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Illinois RN to MSN Bridge Programs

Select a school below to get more information.

In the busy state of Illinois, which is home to suburban areas as well as large cities like Chicago, health care is one of the highest priorities. Due to recent legislation changes, a large portion of Illinois' population now has health insurance for the first time. This has led to an increase in demand for advanced nursing professionals, particularly those who can provide advanced care to patients. If you're ready to take the next step in your nursing career, now may be the time to consider an RN-to-MSN program in Illinois. Contact the schools you find on our site to learn more about your options.

Though earning both a BSN and an MSN generally takes about six years of work, you can complete your degree much quicker in an MSN bridge program in Illinois. In fact, most RN-to-MSN programs in Illinois can be completed in three years. There are even options that can be completed in two years if you attend during winters and summers. Part-time MSN options in Illinois may last four to five years.

One of the most important decisions you make as an aspiring MSN student is which specialty you want pursue. The graduate specialty you decide to follow determines the course of your career. If you want to be a manager or administrator, consider a specialty in nursing administration or nursing management. Want to stay in direct patient care? Become a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist. If you'd prefer to impact the field of nursing by educating new nurses, you may become a nurse educator.

Become familiar with the curriculum of your nursing program to prepare for the subjects you'll be studying throughout the duration of your program. You may begin by taking classes like Advanced Clinical Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment, and Theoretical Perspectives for Advanced Nursing. As a nurse practitioner student, you may take classes like Clinical Issues in Adult Health, Young Family in Health and Illness, and Pharmacotherapy in Nursing. In an administration-based course, you may take courses like Nursing Financial Management, Health Care Program Planning and Evaluation, and Nursing Administration.

Illinois has a fairly diverse array of nursing scholarships and grants. Begin the application process early to avoid missing deadlines and missing out on possible awards. The Illinois Center for Nursing has several programs for nursing students, including military financial aid and minority financial aid. If you plan on going into nursing education, you may qualify for the Nursing Education Scholarship Program. Another good resource for nursing scholarships is the American Nurses Association of Illinois.

To prepare for your advanced practice nursing license, you must contact the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. They license advanced practice nurses; this category includes nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.

If you want to know more about your possible job outlook after graduation, you can look specifically into the job title you're interested in. Nurse managers may see a 13 percent increase in job openings from 2012 to 2022 (O*Net, 2012). During this time frame, nurse instructors may see a 31 percent increase in job openings (O*Net, 2012).

Typically, nursing salaries in Illinois are in line with national averages. O*Net reports that nurse instructors in this state earn an average of $65,800 per year. The average salary earned by nurse anesthetists is $154,800 per year (O*Net, 2013).

Nursing is a growing field with quite a few career paths for those with advanced degrees. After you get your MSN, you may find that you can contribute greatly to nursing in Illinois! Contact schools in Illinois with RN to MSN bridge programs to get started.