How to Become a Registered Nurse in Illinois
The Illinois Board of Nursing (IBON) regulates the licensing process in the state. The board sets policy and adapts regulations and continually monitors the field of nursing and identifies areas where improvements can be made. The ultimate goal is to provide the best possible nursing care for patients.
The field of nursing continues to grow and remains a strong employment prospect. Nursing opportunities will increase by 18 to 20% through the year 2020. As healthcare options expand, nursing opportunities will increase.
The IBON requires nurses to be licensed and candidates must meet certain educational requirements to qualify to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Nursing candidates are required to earn a minimum of an Associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited school of nursing and approved by the IBON. An Associate degree program typically takes two years to complete.
Once the nursing candidate completes an approved nursing program, the next step is to take the NCLEX-RN. Candidates must submit an application to the IBON to take the exam and then register with Pearson VUE, the exam administrator. The application to test includes a criminal background check, a fingerprint card and documentation of education. Graduates have three years to take the NCLEX-RN, and the clock starts ticking once the application is received by the IBON. Graduate nurses are not allowed to practice nursing until the exam is passed and the IBON issues an RN license. Once the application to test has been approved by the IBON, the applicant can schedule the exam with Pearson VUE.
RNs in Illinois are required to renew their license every two years. Beginning with license renewals in 2012, RNs are now required to complete 20 hours of approved continuing education hours every renewal period. RNs that hold an RN license in addition to other nursing license must renew the RN license first before renewing their other licenses.
RNs will find employment in a variety of facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities, clinics, doctors office, occupational healthcare centers, visiting nurse and hospice organizations, the American Red Cross, blood banks, seasonal retreats and educational and government facilities. Experienced RNs will also find opportunities with nursing staffing companies or nursing help hot lines.
RNs undertake a variety of tasks that are challenging and often change on a daily basis. RN’s establish patient care plans, monitor a patient’s progress, dispense medication including injections, perform diagnostic testing, dress wounds and change dressings, evaluate patients conditions, answer patients questions and make sure the patient, their families and the medical staff are all on the same page. RN’s also supervise the entire nursing staff including the certified nursing assistants (CNA).
The average RN salary is $72,000. The average starting, entry level RN salary is $47,000. RNs who take on a supervisory position such as Director of Nursing or unit manager may earn a salary close to $125,000. Salary also depends on geographic location, education, area of specialty and years of experience. RNs who work in larger cities may find the salary offerings slightly higher than other parts of the state.
RN Nursing Schools in Illinois
- Flexible, online RN-BSN and MSN programs available
- RN-BSN program is designed to help registered nurses earn their bachelor’s in as little as 9 months
- Courses designed to expand on student’s prior knowledge and enhance their patient care skills
- Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
- Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
- Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
- Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
- Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
- Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
- Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
- Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
- M.S. in Nursing: Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
Do you want to start working toward a career that actually makes you excited? If so, an education from West Coast University (WCU) could be the perfect choice for you! This accredited, private University has a history that dates back over 100 years. Today, WCU offers health care degrees that will help prepare you and educate you on the current trends and issues within the health industry.
- MSN - Informatics (Online)
- MSN Advanced Generalist (Online)
- RN to MSN - Advanced Generalist (Online)
- And more...
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student. Our nursing degrees offer the cutting-edge professional knowledge and skills needed in today’s dynamic, evolving health care industry.
- RN to MS - Nursing Informatics
- M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Informatics
- DNP - Doctor of Nursing Practice
- And more...
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
- Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP)
- And more...
- Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
- Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
- Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
- Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
- Specialization in Nurse Administrator (MSN)
- Nursing (RN to BSN)
- RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
- And more...
Harrison College prides itself on truly knowing our students -- their lives and families, obstacles and motivations and their dreams and goals. We also know their potential -- that's why for more than 100 years, our mission has been to provide a supportive environment, with the expectation that their success also benefits their families, friends and communities. That's the Harrison Difference.
- RN to BSN
- 100% online degrees include Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Education, and more.
- Students and faculty are encouraged to engage in a collaborative learning environment that promotes personal and professional growth.
- All faculty are professionals in the field of education, with PhD or EdD qualifications.
- Programs are designed to help educators at every level sharpen their teaching skills.
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MS in Nursing
- Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
- And more...