Indiana’s Butler University Adds Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Amid Shortage

About 50 students will join the inaugural class in fall 2025.

Butler University's sign stands in front of Fairview House on campus on Dec. 7, 2023. (Claire Rafford/Mirror Indy)

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Butler University is adding a bachelor’s degree in nursing, the university announced May 20, in an effort to address Indiana’s nursing shortage.

According to the Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana would need to graduate 1,300 additional nurses annually until 2030 to meet demand.

“All of this evolved from rising to the need of a huge shortage, but also realizing that Butler was in a unique position to offer a quality education to students in a traditional four-year degree,” said Seth Carey, Butler’s inaugural nursing program director.

Several other Indianapolis colleges and universities offer nursing programs, including IUPUI, Marian University, University of Indianapolis and Ivy Tech.

Carey said Butler plans to differentiate itself by giving clinical experience to nursing students in their first year. If students are working in clinics and hospitals early, Carey said, they’ll be more set up to get health care internships during school or nursing jobs after they graduate — ideally in-state.

“We’re hoping to keep students in Indiana or in the Indianapolis area, giving back to that community who’s given to them during our education,” he said.

Butler nursing students will be exposed to a variety of nursing specialties, including OB-GYN, pediatrics and behavioral health. As a graduation requirement, students in the Butler nursing program also will have to complete a short-term apprenticeship, called a preceptorship, under a fully qualified nurse.

How to apply

The program will welcome its first class of nursing students in fall 2025, and the application will open Aug. 1. The school has been approved to start 48 students in the first class, Carey said.

Students interested in the program should apply to Butler through the Common App. You’ll select your choice of major as nursing, where you’ll be directed to answer a few additional questions.

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