Illinois MSN Programs

Do you enjoy your nursing career, but wish you could explore your options and take on a bit more freedom in the field? Perhaps a Master’s degree in nursing is the next step in your career. Illinois has many schools that offer MSN programs in different areas, like nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse leadership, and nurse administration. To find out which one of the graduate nursing programs in Illinois is right for you, contact the schools on our site and request program information today.

For many working nurses, working in independent direct patient care is the ultimate goal. Though the American Association of Nurse Practitioners claims that nurse practitioners in this state are slightly limited in their scope of practice, there are movements to expand the scope of practice of advanced practice registered nurses happening across the country. Per Northwestern Medicine, Illinois faces a significant physician shortage. As residents start to realize the effects of a doctor shortage, including long wait times and an inability to get an appointment when necessary, the state's demand for nurse practitioners will likely increase. The Illinois Center for Rural Health notes that throughout the state, there are many areas with severe shortages. Typically, these are in rural areas.

If you'd rather go into leadership or management as opposed to a direct patient care role, Illinois offers other options for MSN study for you. Illinois WorkNet reports that medical and health services managers are in very short supply throughout the state. With an MSN that focuses on nursing administration or leadership, you may be able to take on these job responsibilities, affecting healthcare and the nursing profession at an administrative level.

Even if you've worked in the profession for many years, changing your role within nursing can be overwhelming. That's why Illinois has so many professional resources for advanced nursing professionals. The Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing helps advanced practice nurses stay involved in relevant legislature, further their education, and network. A great resource for nurse anesthetists is the Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

MSN graduates are expected to work both autonomously and as part of a team. As a master’s educated nurse, you should bring a greater degree of knowledge, understanding, and intuition to the table. It's obvious that being a graduate-level nurse comes with lots of responsibility, which is why earning an MSN can be such a demanding educational experience. However, the long hours and hard work can really pay off.

When you first jump into your MSN program, you may start out with your cohort in core program classes. In classes like Applied Biostatistics, Health Care Organizations and Policy, Population Health, and Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice, you learn about the role of an advanced practice nurse and the various fields that you may be expected to become an expert on. These courses build the foundation for your concentration-specific courses.

If you're interested in nursing leadership, you may take classes like Financial Management for Healthcare Workers, Leadership in Evolving Healthcare Systems, and Dynamics of Healthcare Organizations. In these courses, you get real work experience in local organizations and health care settings.

Nursing education is another prominent specialty field. You must know a lot about nursing theory and practice to be able to effectively educate students. You must also be able to apply education theories to nursing information and your personal instructional techniques. Plan on taking courses like Educational Theory and the Scholarship of Teaching, Role Transition for the Nurse Educator, and Curriculum Development & Education in this type of MSN program in Illinois.

In Illinois, all nursing licensure goes through the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. As you move through your education, you will want to ensure you meet their licensing requirements.

In addition, you may want to apply for different nursing scholarships. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission awards the Nursing Education Scholarship for MSN-level students. You can also apply for scholarships through the Illinois Center for Rural Health.

Job growth rates in this state vary between professions. In the decade between 2012 and 2022, O*Net predicts a 17 percent increase in job openings for nurse midwives. On the high end of the scale, O*Net anticipates a 31 percent increase in job openings for nurse instructors.

Salaries are also dependent on your career path. Nursing instructors tend to earn slightly less than their peers, claiming an average salary of $65,800 per year (O*Net, 2013). The average salary for a nurse anesthetist is $154,800 per year (O*Net, 2013).

Take some time to review your options for MSN programs in Illinois by contacting the schools you are interested in and obtaining program materials to compare. You will find that solid research on the front end of this endeavor can enhance your ability to succeed.

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