Indiana Physician Assistant Programs for Licensure

How to Become a Physician Assistant in Indiana

Physician assistants in Indiana are on the front line of the fight against the leading causes of death in the state. In a recent year the top three – heart disease, cancer, and stroke – accounted for 55 percent of the state’s mortality rate, a tragic number in itself but all the more so because with the right diet and exercise many of these statistics are preventable. And that is where the state’s PAs come in; besides treating diseases and disorders that are already present, PAs also play a role in educating their patients on preventative measures they can take to avoid many maladies altogether. Those interested in how to join the respected ranks of the Hoosier State’s PAs can follow these steps on how to become a physician assistant in Indiana, who last year earned an average salary of $83,830:

  1. Choose an Accredited PA Degree Program
  2. Pass the National Certifying Exam
  3. Apply to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
  4. Maintain Licensure

Step 1. Choose Accredited Indiana Physician Assistant Programs for Licensure

Students researching physician assistant programs for licensure in Indiana can start by making sure the program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Once this can be confirmed, prospective students should check the admission requirements that are specific to each program. Usually these will include the GREs (Graduate Record Examinations), clinical experience and prerequisite classes. Students need to also have a bachelor degree in any subject as PA programs are offered at the graduate level. Coming from an undergraduate background in the sciences can help to eliminate PA prerequisites, including bachelor degrees in the following:

  • Nursing
  • Medical Assistant
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Public Health

Step 2. Pass the National Certifying Exam

Three months before graduation from their scheduled PA graduate degree program, students can register to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). This exam is sponsored by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and passage is required for licensure in Indiana. The PANCE covers the major organ systems of the human body and their associated problems and is administered in a multiple-choice format. There is a $475 registration fee and students will have five hours to complete 300 questions. Testing locations and $35 practice exams are available online. Upon passing students will be awarded the Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C) credential and should arrange to have their test scores sent directly to the Physician Assistant Committee of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency as part of an application packet.

Step 3. Apply to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency’s Physician Assistant Committee

After graduating from an approved PA program and passing the PANCE, students will be ready to apply for licensure in Indiana to the Physician Assistant Committee. This involves submitting the following to the Committee:

  • Application for Licensure
  • $100 application fee
  • Fingerprinting and a criminal background check (CBC)
  • Official transcripts and diploma from the student’s PA degree program
  • NCCPA certificate (PA-C)
  • Although not required for a license, PAs must also submit a supervising agreement with a physician and a prescriptive authoritylist before they can begin practicing and write prescriptions, respectively

Step 4. Maintain the PA License

PA Licenses are valid for 24 months, expiring July 1st of even-numbered years. Renewals can be made online here or by requesting a paper application, both for a fee of $50. Besides turning in a renewal application, PAs must also maintain their PA-C certification from the NCCPA. This involves accumulating 100 credits of continuing medical education (CME) every two years, and passing the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE) on each tenth year. As their practice develops there are a number of professional organizations where PAs can make contributions in their field, including:

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