Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Illinois
| Staff Writers
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Data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing shows there were more than 175,000 RNs in Illinois in 2014. There were also more than 7,800 APRNs working in the state as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives. Yet a 2015 report published by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation states that one-third of nurses around the state will retire within the next five years. It estimates that the biggest losses will come from the school, psychiatric, community health, and home health nursing sectors. To learn more about how you can be part of a new generation of nurses, read on for salary info, degree program details, and licensure specifics.
Top 10 Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Illinois
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:
Accredited at the institutional level
Private nonprofit or public school
Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools
Schools were then scored on factors such as:
Cost & Financial Aid
Number and variety of program offerings
Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
Placement and support services offered
Academic/Career counseling services
Loan default rates
These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.
The Illinois Board of Nursing grants all types of nursing licenses. The board, part of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, enforces state nursing standards and regulates nursing education programs.
The Illinois licensure process is not the most straightforward, so it would behoove students, especially those with irregular circumstances, to contact the Board of Nursing as they begin the licensure process. The state offers phone assistance to applicants trying to fill out forms.
Who Is Eligible for an IL Nursing License?
Anyone graduating from a nursing program approved by the state can apply for a license by examination by downloading a form from the Illinois Board of Nursing website. Once they have earned their associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree, they should:
Apply to take the NCLEX-RN via the Continental Testing website and pay a $98 application fee
Register for the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE and pay a $200 fee
Have a nursing school official certify graduation from an approved nursing program
Get their fingerprints taken within two months of submitting an application
Submit a CT-NUR Form and proof of completed nursing education (out-of-state and international applicants only)
Pay for and provide a credential evaluation report of any foreign degree (international applicants only)
Applicants have 90 days from receipt of their authorization to test (ATT) to take the NCLEX-RN. If they fail to do this, or if they do not pass, they will have to reapply both with the state and with Pearson VUE and pay fresh application fees.
When to Renew a License in IL
Nursing licenses must be renewed every two years and expire on May 31 of even-numbered years. During this time period, RNs must take 20 hours of continuing education credits, and advanced practice nurses must fulfill 50 hours. Applicants who are renewing an RN license for the first time are exempt from this requirement. The renewal fee is $60.
How to Gain Advanced Practice Licensure in IL
Nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists who are certified are all considered advanced practice nurses (APNs) in the state. APNs can get a license in Illinois by submitting the following:
An application form
A check or money order for $125
A current copy of national certification from a designated certifying body in their specialty
Official transcripts from a graduate program in their specialty
A $5 fee and separate application for the ability to write prescriptions
Most of the state’s nurses make between $55,000 and $65,000, but a 2014 report by Illinois Center for Nursing found significant earnings differences based on type of degree. According to this report, BSN holders made seven percent more than RNs with an associate degree. Advanced practice nurses had even higher earning potential. Take a closer look at how nurses’ pay stacks up in Illinois:
Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Illinois
Hourly Median Wage
Annual Median Wage
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville IL Metropolitan Division
Lake County-Kenosha County IL-WI Metropolitan Division
The Illinois Hispanic Nurses Association is the state chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. It works to support nurses of Hispanic descent by providing scholarships, updating members on industry news and facilitating networking opportunities.
The Illinois Nurses Association, or INA, is the state’s nursing union. The organization is dedicated to advocating on behalf of Illinois nurses and empowering nursing professionals to provide quality care.
ISAPN is primarily an advocacy organization. It also hosts regular member dinners and publishes an active job board on its website.
Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.