Butler University is launching a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program to help meet the state’s need for nursing professionals and create a much-needed pipeline for bachelor-prepared nursing talent. The Indiana State Board of Nursing accredited the four-year program last week, and applications open on August 1 for a fall 2025 launch.

As the population ages and the need for healthcare grows, an additional 1,300 nursing graduates are needed in Indiana each year through 2030 to keep up with workforce demands. Nationally, 66,000 applications (not applicants) were denied from bachelor-level programs in 2022 due to factors such as faculty, clinical, and classroom space constraints. Butler’s program will help address this need and respond to requests for more bachelor-prepared nurses in the healthcare industry in coming years.

“By creating a Nursing program, we’re responding to a clear need for highly educated nursing talent in our state,” said Robert Soltis, Dean of Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “This degree is a natural extension of Butler’s other top programs in health sciences, including our nationally renowned Pharmacy and PA programs.”

Butler will offer students direct admission, meaning they are guaranteed a spot in nursing once they’re accepted to the program. This eliminates prerequisite courses and avoids the challenge that comes with the programs that require students to apply separately to Nursing later in their college career. Non-direct entry programs can increase the time to obtaining a degree or force students outside of their nursing program of choice.

Because Butler is creating a program in such a unique time for healthcare, the University also has an opportunity to design the Nursing curriculum in a way that aligns with the industry’s rapidly changing needs. Coursework will include clinical rotations across healthcare settings to train students to work with diverse populations; classes on how technology can be applied to better serve patients; and immersion in holistic patient practices, such as understanding how socioeconomic factors impact patients’ health outcomes.

“It’s a rare opportunity to build a Nursing program at a time when the  healthcare field—and patients’ needs—are so dynamic,” said Seth Carey, Founding Director of Butler’s Nursing program. “Because of this, Butler is well-positioned to be on the cutting edge of healthcare education so our graduates can be ready for the future.”

Like other aspects of a Butler education, the Nursing program will be hands-on, with clinical experience starting in year one. This will allow students to get internships or other healthcare-related job opportunities early in their college career. Students also will experience a mix of professional immersion in healthcare settings and work in simulation labs to continually learn through skill development.

“We’re immensely grateful to Butler for stepping up to help meet the need for high-quality nursing professionals in our state,” said Bryan Mills, president and CEO of Community Health Network. “We know this program will match the rigor of other Butler programs and ensure that students emerge prepared to serve patients.”