Nursing Schools & Programs in Chicago

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The Chicago area is home to over 60 hospitals—including renown facilities like Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and University of Chicago Medicine—which gives those looking for nursing jobs in the area many options for employment. The high caliber of local healthcare centers allows students in Chicago nursing schools to learn from qualified professionals who can teach them the realities of working in the field. The following page details nursing schools and programs in Chicago, as well as the accompanying career opportunities.

Nursing Schools in Chicago: Search Tool

Whether students are interested in attending Chicago nursing schools to jumpstart their career or advance to a more challenging position in the field, there is something to meet their educational and career needs. These students have a number of choices, from the type of degree program they’re looking for, to the type of school they want to attend. From large schools like the University of Illinois at Chicago to smaller community colleges, the Chicago area is a great location to receive nurse training.

The search tool below can help users narrow down their options and find the nursing schools in Chicago that meet their needs.

Degree Level
School Type

Chicago Nursing Careers In-Depth

How many nurses currently work in Chicago?

There are currently 82,940 nurses working in Chicago, the majority of which are registered nurses.

What percentage of all healthcare workers are nurses?

Nurses make up 41 percent of all healthcare workers in Chicago.

What are the primary working environments for nurses?

Nurses in Chicago work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and public health agencies. Some examples of the local employers for nurses include Advocate Christ Medical Center, Loyola University Medical Center, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, and NorthShore Evanston Hospital.

How is the job outlook for nurses in Chicago?

There will be a projected 15,000 nursing jobs added to the Chicago workforce within the next ten years.

While there are thousands of professionals who currently fill Chicago nursing jobs, some specialties of the field are more popular than others. The following chart illustrates how many nurses there are working in five areas of the profession.

Source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)

Chicago Nursing Jobs: Salary

When deciding on whether or not to pursue a career in nursing, salary potential should come into consideration. While the national salary averages show that nurses can make healthy salaries, some states fare better than others. Illinois nurses as a whole earn slightly less than the national averages. However, certain nursing careers in Chicago earn higher salaries on average than the rest of the state.

Annual Median Salary for Nurses

Source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)

Chicago Nursing Schools Spotlight

Student who are interested in attending nursing school in Chicago have their choice of over a dozen institutions that offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as nursing certificates. According to the Illinois Center for Nursing, Chicago has three accredited RN associate’s degree programs, seven RN bachelor’s degree programs, and five licensed practical nurse programs

The schools that offer nursing degrees in Chicago include public institutions, like the University of Illinois at Chicago, and private schools, including Loyola University, North Park University, and Resurrection University. Find details below about some of Chicago’s leading nursing schools:

University of Illinois—Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing has received many honorable distinctions over the years, including being ranked #1 in Illinois and #13 nationally by U.S. News & World Report for best nursing graduate schools. On the undergraduate level, the publication has also ranked UIC #2 for its online bachelor’s degree programs. In addition, for two consecutive years, the school was ranked #2 for research funds from the National Institutes of Health.

Programs offered
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Ph.D. in Nursing
Rush University

The College of Nursing at Rush University has been ranked #19 of nursing graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the publication has also named several of Rush’s nursing programs—including its Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader, and Nursing Anesthesia programs—among the best in the country. Not surprisingly, the school has attracted students and faculty members that win awards as well. For example, Rush University students and professors were recognized for their achievements at the Midwest Nursing Research Society's conference in 2015.

Programs offered
  • Direct Entry Master's (MSN)
  • MSN for RNs: Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Ph.D. in Nursing
Loyola University Chicago

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago has been named #51 in U.S. News & World Report’s top graduate nursing schools. In addition, faculty members have won awards from the Midwest Nursing Research Society and American Nurses Association. Students have also received recognition, including winning grants from organizations like Sigma Theta Tau International.

Programs offered
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Accelerated BSN
  • RN-to-MSN Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Ph.D. in Nursing
DePaul University

DePaul University’s School of Nursing is ranked #129 for nursing graduate schools around the country by U.S. News & World Report. Faculty members have been recognized by the American Academy of Nursing and the American Heart Association.

Programs offered
  • RN-to-MSN
  • MENP for Non-Nurses (MS)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Illinois Licensing Requirements & Nursing Associations

Licensing is required of all nurses in order to practice anywhere in the country. However, there are no uniform guidelines for licensing, as every state has its own requirements. Professionals looking for Chicago nursing jobs must follow the Illinois licensing prerequisites and there are no further city-specific rules.

With the field constantly changing, it’s important for nurses to keep their knowledge and skills current in order to continuously provide quality care to patients. Professional associations help those who hold nursing jobs in Chicago keep abreast of industry trends by providing continuing education, information on the latest research, and conferences. There are several organizations that Chicago nurses can join, including local chapters of national associations like the American Nurses Association and the National Black Nurse Association. In addition, some state-specific professional associations have Chicago chapters, like the Illinois Nurses Association.

For information on the professional nursing associations and the licensing process, visit our detailed page on nursing school and programs in Illinois.

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