Masters in Nursing Programs in Illinois

Attending a nursing school in Illinois could be the next step in your education if you’re looking for a flexible Master’s degree that lends itself to many different career paths. Depending on where your interests lie, you may be able to pursue a graduate degree in nurse management, research, informatics, education, or direct care. Master’s in Nursing programs in Illinois are diverse, and offer several advanced opportunities for nurses in the state.

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Grand Canyon University
Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing, MS in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner
Purdue University Global
Accelerated RN to MSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Liberty University
Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator
Walden University
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Northern Kentucky University
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing online program

Illinois does have some restrictions on scope of practice for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists. However, both the Campaign for Action and Illinois Healthcare Action Coalition aim to give direct care advanced nurses full freedom of practice throughout the state.

Nursing Schools in Illinois

Since there are so many nursing schools in Illinois, you should be able to find a program that fits into your schedule, educational needs, and career goals. Some programs in this area can be completed in two years of full-time study. However, most programs are meant to be completed in three years of full-time study. This permits you to keep working and gaining nursing experience while earning your degree.

Looking at admission requirements for each school is helpful, as it shows you exactly what your current level of education qualifies you for. Traditional programs are likely to require the completion of a Bachelor’s in Nursing prior to graduate school. New programs that combine your BSN with an MSN are becoming more and more popular, so you may be able to find an RN to MSN program in Illinois if you only have an ADN or a Bachelor’s degree in another field.
When you start your program, you may take core courses like Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, Scientific Inquiry and Research, and Pathophysiologic Bases of Health Deviation. Once you’ve passed these courses, you can begin specialty-specific classes.

The nursing shortage in Illinois has led many state organizations to create scholarship programs. The Nurse Education Scholarship Program, led by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, awards scholarships to nursing students at all degree levels. The State of Illinois awards the Nurse Educator Scholarship to students that commit to teaching at an Illinois school after graduation.

Working With Your MSN in Illinois

Illinois offers several RN to MSN programs at accredited universities. Most universities require completion of core requirements prior to taking master’s level classes. You may choose from numerous MSN specialty careers at this point.

Recent nursing legislation in Illinois has created the need for advanced nurses of all specialties. Because of the Nurse Safe Staffing Bill, each department must be staffed by nurses with direct training in that department. Nurses with Master’s degrees in leadership and informatics can also help each nursing department run more smoothly.

Primary care is a crucial part of any health care system, and the Illinois Center for Rural Health indicates that many of the rural communities in Illinois have extreme primary care shortages. This may present new career opportunities for graduate-level nurses that wish to go into direct patient care. Compare the MSN programs in Illinois listed on our site to see which route is right for you.

Nursing Informatics is a career where you may design research studies, analyze health-related data or even design healthcare–related software applications.

As a Nurse Informaticist you may have the opportunity to work in hospitals, the software industry or in academia. Chief nursing informatics officers, clinical analysts, informatics nurse specialists and nurse data scientists are all possible job opportunities with this MSN degree. An informatics nurse specialist’s median wages for Illinois were $82,710 (O*net, 2014).

Becoming a Woman’s Health Nurse Practitioner is another excellent career choice. The mean average income for this position in Illinois is $95,350 (O*net, 2014). Specializing in women’s health may give you the opportunity to work in the office of an OB/GYN physician, hospital or a health clinic as an independent practitioner.

The RN-MSN program gives you the opportunity to become an advanced practice nurse in a shorter timeframe. Becoming a graduate nurse may offer you new opportunities with room for advancement and a higher income.

Nursing Schools in Illinois

University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL

What You Can Expect From Your MSN Program

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.

Illinois RN to MSN Bridge Programs

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.

Illinois Direct Entry MSN

Earning a Master’s degree can be an excellent way to expand your career options and become well-known as a leader in your field. But if you want to switch fields and start a career in nursing, you may need a little bit more training. There are education options for students with a non-nursing Bachelor’s degree that want to start nursing careers. Illinois has many nursing schools that offer accelerated or direct entry MSN programs. Just as their name implies, these programs are fast-paced and demanding. You may be required to drop to part-time work or pass on work entirely while earning an MSN. These restrictions make it possible for you to get a BSN and an MSN in 18 to 24 months.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can earn your Master’s in Nursing degree in a short period of time, contact the schools on this page and request detailed program information.

Illinois nursing faculty expect a lot from accelerated MSN students, and your progress may be measured by a set of learning outcomes. As you work through your curriculum, you should demonstrate a growing ability to integrate nursing information for the purposes of treating, analyzing, and diagnosing health problems. With this should come advanced leadership skills and the ability to make quick, accurate decisions. A major part of direct entry MSN programs is understanding that nursing policies that may affect nurses at an institutional and societal level. With your education, you should also be able to provide and advocate for culturally competent nursing care.

You education may start with lower-level courses that prepare you for registered nursing (RN) licensure. Courses may include Pathophysiology, Fundamentals of Nursing Practice, Ethics in Nursing, and Pharmacology. Clinical work is a significant part of your education, which means that you’ll likely spend over 600 hours in a local health care facility.

Higher-level nursing courses include Information Systems in Health Care Management, Nursing Concepts and Theory, Advanced Nursing Care for Community Health, and Leadership in Health Care Settings. The amount of clinical hours you complete will vary, based on which nursing specialty you pursue.

In Illinois, MSN students may be able to apply for a wide selection of grants, scholarships, and loan repayment programs. As soon as you know that you’ll be attending nursing school, you may want to start the application process. Scholarships and grants often fill up early, and applying as soon as possible may give you a better chance of being selected. The Illinois Board of Nursing offers scholarships for nurse educators, loan repayment programs for nurses that stay in Illinois, and other opportunities. The Illinois Center for Rural Health funds the Nursing Education Scholarship Program, which is designed for low-income students. Several scholarships are available through the American Nurses Association of Illinois.

Though job growth rates in Illinois are slightly lower than the national average, they are still indicative of a growing field that may have plenty of room for trained, educated professionals. Estimates provided by O*Net indicate that job growth is slowest for health services managers. In the decade between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects job openings to increase by 13%. In comparison, O*Net predicts a 31% increase in jobs for nursing instructors.

Salaries can vary considerably between advanced nursing careers. The average salary for a nursing instructor in Illinois is $65,800 per year (O*Net, 2013). The highest-paid nurses in the state are nurse anesthetists, who bring in an average income of $154,800 per year (O*Net, 2013).

In Illinois, the licensing of nursing professionals goes through the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Initially, you’ll need a registered nursing license. You also need an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license if you plan on going into a clinical specialty. Those who administer controlled substances need additional certification.

In Illinois, the need for highly-trained nursing professionals is growing. Take advantage of this growth by attending a direct entry MSN program and learning how you can improve the nursing field. Request information from the Illinois nursing schools on this page to learn more about Direct Entry MSN programs.

Illinois CRNA Programs

In the last several years, health care has become a major issue in the United States. Health care legislation has changed extensively, leading to a greater need for skilled medical providers in all aspects of health care. As a nurse, you have likely contributed to excellent care standards in Illinois and done your part by helping patients and making the most of doctors’ time. However, if you’re looking for a way to further your education and explore new career options, you may want to pursue a Master’s degree in nurse anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists fill many of the same roles as anesthesiologists, making health care more accessible and affordable for the people of Illinois. Contact the CRNA schools in Illinois listed on our site to learn more about your options.

The title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist has been in use since 1956, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. CRNAs provide anesthetic services in many different settings, from surgical wards and labor & delivery rooms to chronic pain clinics and emergency rooms. This specialty allows you to work with patients of different ages, medical issues, and anesthesia needs. If you’d like to make a difference in your state’s health care industry by becoming a nurse anesthetist, request information about CRNA programs in Illinois now.

Admissions and Curriculum for CRNA Programs in Illinois

It’s clear that working as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist requires quite a bit of hard work, specialized knowledge, and dedication. To that end, CRNA programs in Illinois may have fairly strict admissions requirements to ensure that you are up for the job. A Bachelor’s degree in nursing is required, with the exception of RN-to-MSN programs that allow you to focus on nurse anesthesia. Your GPA is also a major factor in acceptance; you should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher before applying. Some schools allow you to take courses as a non-degree student to boost your GPA prior to application. You may also wish to get work experience in an emergency or acute care setting, as many CRNA programs in Illinois specifically require at least one year of nursing experience in these fields.

Once you have been accepted into the nurse anesthesia program of your choice, you may want to get familiar with the curriculum of your school. This program can help you develop skills in pharmacology, anesthesia administration, patient communication, and documentation. Core courses that may make up your first couple semesters include Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, Principles of Anesthesia, Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Professionals, and Advanced Health Assessment in Nurse Anesthesia. Courses that may deepen your understanding of nurse anesthesia include Clinical Anesthesia, Advanced Pathophysiology in Anesthesia, and Analysis of Health Policy Issues. Clinical work is absolutely crucial to a CRNA student. To be eligible for certification after graduation, you must work with no fewer than 550 patients. However, many programs exceed this requirement in order to help you build a solid base of experience.

Scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs are in place for MSN students in Illinois. Spending a little bit of time finding these programs and applying may help you save money on your tuition costs. The Illinois Center for Rural Health has scholarships available for those who are willing to stay in a rural part of Illinois after graduation. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is also a good source of financial aid for MSN students. Through the American Nurses Association of Illinois, you may be able to apply for a range of awards in varying amounts.

Working as a Nurse Anesthetist in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is responsible for the licensure of nurse anesthetists. Since you should already have a valid nursing license in the state of Illinois, you should be fairly familiar with the licensing process in Illinois. You can first contact the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists to schedule your certification exam. Once you pass the CRNA exam, you may apply for licensure through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. To maintain your state license, you must keep your certification current by completing 40 hours of continuing education every year.

Nurse anesthetists in Illinois may enjoy a positive job outlook for several years to come. In the period from 2012 to 2022, O*Net expects job openings for nurse anesthetists to increase by 17 percent. This may lead to about 50 new job openings per year through 2022 (O*Net, 2012).

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn a wide range of salaries in Illinois. O*Net reports salaries ranging from $120,600 to $187,200 per year. The statewide average is $154,800 per year, which is slightly higher than the national average (O*Net, 2013).

Working as a nurse anesthetist comes with certain professional responsibilities. Professional liability insurance is required, as this protects you and your employer from malpractice suits. You must also make sure to meet your continuing education requirements. Your employer may have CE opportunities or you may need to travel to nurse anesthesia conferences in the Midwest. In addition, it’s likely that your employer may expect you to spend time collaborating with anesthesiologists, experienced nurse anesthetists, and other health care practitioners.

The field of nurse anesthesia has been growing for decades, and as health care grows in America, this specialty may continue to expand. If you are ready to use your nursing experience to take your education to the next level, reach out to CRNA schools in Illinois for program details today.

Forensic Nursing in Illinois

Consistent growth in the field of nursing has demonstrated the value that nurses bring to society as a whole. Forensic nursing is a clear example of this phenomenon. In the past, criminal justice professionals and nurses were on opposing sides when working with victims of crime. Nurses focused on patient care, a move that often destroyed or compromised physical evidence. Criminal justice professionals were interested exclusively in the collection of evidence, which often made victims feel ignored and further traumatized. Forensic nurses bring together the best of each side by providing needed patient care while following strict evidence collection standards.

Illinois recently received a grant of $4 million to expand their hiring of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (Chicagoist, 2016). This grant may help victims get prompt care.
If you want to make a difference in this field, the first step is learning how to become a forensic nurse. Keep reading for more detailed information on this career path and get in touch with Illinois forensic nursing programs to get started.

Master’s Degree Programs in Forensic Nursing in Illinois

As a Bachelor’s-level registered nurse, you should already have a thorough understanding of health care procedures, patient communication, and collaboration. However, you need specialized education to work with traumatized patients, gather evidence in an appropriate manner, and collaborate with those outside the healthcare field. While working with patients, forensic nurses may look for signs of crime and work with criminal justice professionals to collect the necessary evidence.
Master’s degree programs in forensic nursing cover advanced patient care theory and patient communication, but they also explore forensic science and Illinois law.

Examples of Forensic Nursing in Illinois Courses

  • Survey and Foundations of Forensic Science
  • Forensic Analysis of Biological Evidence
  • Forensic Chemistry and Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Physical Pattern Evidence Analysis
  • Forensic Drug Analysis
  • Expert Witness Testimony

Throughout this time, you must maintain your registered nursing licensure in Illinois. Clinical experience is absolutely required at this level of study. If you attend an online program, you may need to work with them to find an approved clinical site in your community.
After you graduate, you may pursue several types of certification. Some require work experience, so you may need to work as a forensic nurse before becoming certified. Certified Forensic Nurses are certified by the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. If you plan on becoming a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or Advanced Forensic Nurse, your next stop is the Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification. If you complete a legal nurse certification program, you may obtain certification via the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.

The Role of Forensic Nurses in Illinois

With a forensic nursing degree, you should be ready to contribute to a fairer and more effective criminal justice process for victims. Illinois is fully on board with this effort. This state has the Illinois Attorney General Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program. This program, funded by a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, provides ongoing training. They hope to improve the quality of evidence collection and have a positive impact on prosecution rates of offenders. However, you may also work for private facilities and nonprofit organizations.

Forensic nursing is a way to expand your healthcare abilities and meet the needs of a group that is often overlooked. If you’re ready to jump in, use the list of forensic nursing schools here to contact schools that interest you.

Clinical Nurse Leader Degrees in Illinois

When you start your career in nursing, there’s a lot to learn! You have to apply your newly gained practical skills, navigate fast-paced environments, and discover how to work as part of a nursing team. As you evolve in your nursing role, however, you may discover that you have capabilities and skills that can pave the way for new career opportunities.

If you’re prone to taking on a leadership role as a nurse and you enjoy the challenges that come with tackling complex care situations, you may be interested in becoming a Clinical Nurse Leader. Look at Maria Kordas, a nursing supervisor in Chicago (CBS Local, 2015).

She found that working as a nursing supervisor allowed her to spend more time with patients and improve their care through empowering staff nurses. She notes that the nurse leader role puts you in a position to model high-quality nursing care for new registered nurses.

Getting involved in nursing means investing yourself in the future of Illinois. Why not take it one step further by learning more about clinical nurse leadership Master’s programs in Illinois?

How Can I Become a Clinical Nurse Leader in Illinois?

The biggest part of becoming a successful nurse leader is getting the right education and experience behind you. With a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you should meet the admissions requirements for many CNL programs in Illinois. However, you may also want to check out the experience requirements, since many graduate-level programs require you to have a specific amount of nursing experience.

FEATURED PROGRAMS
SPONSORED LISTINGS
SCHOOL
PROGRAM
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Grand Canyon University
Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing, MS in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner
Purdue University Global
Accelerated RN to MSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Liberty University
Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator
Walden University
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Northern Kentucky University
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing online program

If you have an Associate’s degree in nursing, consider looking into RN to MSN bridge programs. Although these programs are a bit longer, they tend to be the quickest option for transitioning to a BSN and then to an MSN.

Through the curriculum requirements of your school, you should develop the advanced leadership skills and clinical knowledge that nursing employers in Illinois look for. The following courses are often included in nurse leadership programs:

  • Nursing Leadership in Health Systems
  • Human Resources Management in Nursing and Health Care
  • Business of Nursing
  • Evidence Based Practice for Advanced Nursing
  • Roles for Advanced Nursing Practice

By looking at each program’s curriculum and learning outcomes, you should be able to get a broad overview of the school’s goals and how you will grow as you earn your degree.

Illinois nurse leadership programs may expect you to meet the following learning outcomes by the time you graduate:

  • Address complex care needs
  • Adapt to specialized care roles
  • Apply advanced nursing knowledge to clinical situations
  • Comfortably take on a leadership role in nursing environments

Taking on an advanced nursing role means meeting the certification requirements for two different positions. First, you have to maintain your Illinois nursing license. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation expects you to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years. You must renew your license by the last day of May in even-numbered years.

The AACN is the organization that administers Clinical Nurse Leadership licenses. Upon meeting their educational requirements and passing the licensing exam, you can claim the title of Clinical Nurse Leader. Then, you must renew your certification every five years by completing 50 hours of continuing education.

What Does a Clinical Nurse Leader Do?

Although the title of Clinical Nurse Leader is specifically regulated by the AACN, this role may take on several different variations, depending on which health care setting you work in and the needs of your specific facility. Getting involved in a nurse leadership group can help you become involved with the culture of nurse leadership in Illinois. Consider joining the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders to learn from the experience of others who take on leadership roles in this field.

Many different tasks may comprise your work as a nurse leader. However, your main priority as a CNL is patient care. Whether you are with a patient providing direct care, analyzing the results from nurse-provided care, or developing care plans, the vast majority of what you do should be for the benefit of patients.

It is also essential to recognize your role as a mentor for new nurses. By valuing education and guiding nurses to higher standards, you can improve the field of nursing as a whole.

To truly mobilize and grow, the nursing industry needs strong leaders. Find out how you can become one by contacting graduate nurse leadership programs in Illinois.

Illinois Research Nursing Graduate Programs

The impact you have as a nurse is staggering. No matter how much time you spend thinking about your patients and their outcomes after work, it’s unlikely that you understand just how important you are to the nursing community of Illinois. In fact, your knowledge and experience are extremely valuable to research organizations across the state. If you’re ready to start addressing the health problems of Illinois, it is time to find out how you can become a clinical nurse researcher.

Going into clinical research means taking your years of nursing experience and using them to start studying and solving the problems with Illinois health care. The research you do and the results you find may influence this industry for decades to come. With the right training and education, you may conduct research on how nurses work, how to make procedures and protocols more effective, and how to improve patient outcomes.

Take the first step now by learning more about research nursing graduate programs in Illinois.

Illinois Graduate Degree Programs in Nursing Research

Nurse researchers are a crucial part of the nursing industry of Illinois. As a nurse researcher, you must be able to communicate with patients and participants, doctors and nurses, and others who are conducting research with you. This is why it is so important to get the right education. Spending two to seven years in a graduate nursing program can give you the scientific knowledge and research background you need.

As a Master’s degrees student, you can plan on earning between 30 and 40 credits. These courses build off of the undergraduate nursing education you have, so it is extremely important to have current experience in the nursing field. If you have been out of the workforce for a while, you may want to take a refresher course to get up-to-date on basic nursing practices and procedures.

Once you jump into your program, you can take a variety of engaging and challenging courses. You may enroll in classes like Foundations of Qualitative Research, Advanced Statistics in Nursing Research, Foundations of Quantitative Research, and Theoretical Perspectives of Nursing Science. These classes help you step back from your role as a registered nurse to look at the field of nursing as a whole. When you start thinking like this, you can start seeing research opportunities and areas for improvement everywhere you look.

Of course, to think like a researcher, you must be able to work like one. For this reason, most Illinois schools require you to spend several hundred hours actually conducting and participating in nursing research. This experience may help you network with those on the research side of nursing, which may benefit your new career.

The Role of Clinical Nurse Researchers in Illinois

Be prepared for your role in the nursing industry to change completely once you go into research. Though you will likely spend a lot of time interacting with patients, you will now think of them as study participants. The research you conduct depends on where you live. For example, there may be more study opportunities in a large city like Chicago than in one of the state’s suburban areas. You may present your research at local events like the Midwest Nursing Research Conference, where two local nursing research students recently presented a study they conducted.

Projected job growth in Illinois is steady. Through 2022, O*Net expects a 5% increase in jobs in this industry. The average salary in this field is $115,600 per year (O*Net, 2014).

Going into the field of nursing research in Illinois may help you change the face of Midwestern health care. Use our school listings here to request information from Illinois research nursing schools.

Illinois Certified Nurse Midwife

The number of nurses pursuing their graduate degree in Illinois is growing, and the state is working to advance the authority of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) due to the physician shortage. According to the Illinois Board of Nursing, getting a CNM license requires a current Illinois RN license, a graduate degree in nurse midwifery and the national certification.

If you are ready to learn more about your options for becoming a nurse midwife in Illinois, contact the schools listed below to get program details.

Certified nurse midwives usually work with women who have relatively low risk pregnancies, as well as women across the lifespan. They will treat the patient during their prenatal visits through labor and delivery, and they can also provide counseling after pregnancy, as they are trained to care for women from puberty through menopause.

The Certified Nurse Midwife may prescribe and dispense medications with the collaboration of a physician, although the physician does not have to sign the prescription. They have the authority to prescribe controlled substances, which includes schedule II-V. Becoming CNM is a career that offers job security, and it may offer a higher income than that of a staff nurse.

Certified Nurse Midwife Programs in Illinois

To become a CNM in Illinois, you must attend a Master of Science program as a Nurse Midwife. This type of program typically requires 34 credits with 135 clinical hours over three terms, which can take two years if you attend full-time or four years if you attend part-time.

The admission requirements for nurse midwife programs can include:

  • Baccalaureate degree with an upper division major in nursing from an accredited program
  • License to practice as a professional nurse
  • Applicants with a cumulative GPA less than 3.25 for their bachelor of nursing program must submit their GRE scores by the application deadline
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of the first baccalaureate degree
  • Introductory courses in Statistics and Research
  • Qualified applicants may be required to schedule an interview with faculty

Curriculum for the Master of Science-Nurse Midwife program in Illinois usually begins with five transition courses into advanced practice, which include:

  • Health Assessment
  • Concepts & Processes for Contemporary Nursing Practice
  • Clinical Concepts & Processes for Population-Focused Nursing
  • Introduction to Nursing Research & Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice

The balance of the midwifery educational program educates nurse clinicians to provide comprehensive health care across a woman’s lifespan. Health promotion is emphasized through your education, advocacy, support and comprehensive healthcare, which includes primary care, reproductive health, pregnancy and women’s health and pregnancy related problems.

There are, fortunately, different online midwife programs available from accredited universities in Illinois as well. Online programs can be very helpful if you are working or have a family, and you can usually arrange for your clinical requirements to be completed locally.

Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife in Illinois

The American Midwifery Certification Board offers a certification exam once you have your graduate degree. This is a nationally recognized certification that is considered the gold standard in midwifery, and it is recognized in all 50 states. The cost is $500 for the exam.

If you need assistance with your tuition expenses, visit the Financial Aid Office and complete a FAFSA application, which is a federal grant program based on your income. The federal government often offers low interest loans, as does the Nurse Corps program. In this program you can work for two years in one of their non-profit hospitals and while earning an income, sixty percent of your loans will be paid. Illinois also has an Allied Health Care Professional Scholarship Program, which includes nurse midwives.

Working as a Certified Nurse Midwife in Illinois

Nurse Midwives in Illinois earned a medianincome of $89,700 in 2014 according to O*net Online. The projected job growth for Nurse Midwives is 22 percent above average through 2022.

Nurse Midwives provide care to women throughout their life span. This entails providing physical examinations, prescribing medications, including contraceptive methods, ordering laboratory test as needed, providing gynecological care, providing prenatal care, labor and birth care. In addition, they are health educators and they counsel women of all ages.

There are jobs available in doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, community health centers or other healthcare facilities. If you are considering returning for your graduate degree, becoming a midwife is an exciting career that helps women and strengthens the nursing profession as a whole. Reach out to the Illinois schools that have nurse midwife programs today to get started.

Illinois Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs

Health care is important in all parts of the United States, but it has particular importance in Illinois. As one of the most densely-populated Midwestern states, Illinois has medical needs that simply aren’t present in other states. To improve patient outcomes and ensure that residents have access to affordable and timely care, many organizations and employers are changing up their hiring strategies and trying to save money.

What does this mean? If you’re ready to take on an advanced nursing role, you may be able to enjoy an expanded scope of practice and serve in a variety of settings in Illinois.

Contact the schools with CNS programs in Illinois to get program details, which can help you make an informed decision about how to expand your nursing education.

Whether you’re interested in leadership, clinical care, or research, becoming a clinical nurse specialist may be the right move for your career. Clinical nurse researchers are taking on a growing role in the medical field by helping nursing professionals use the latest evidence-based standards in their work. If you want to learn more about becoming a CNS, keep reading to learn more about clinical nurse specialist programs in Illinois.

Becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Illinois

Clinical nurse specialists have a broad knowledge of nursing standards and patient care, but they do focus on one particular patient group or health care need. As a result, you may want to spend some time looking at options near you and deciding which choice best suits your career.

When you enroll in a CNS program, you should plan on spending at least two years in school as a full-time graduate student. This program, which encompasses 30 to 40 credits, requires you to complete coursework in advanced patient care, research and ethics, leadership, and other aspects of nursing. As is the case with any program that prepares you for clinical practice, clinical nurse specialist programs require you to put your knowledge to work during clinical hours. You’ll likely spend at least 500 hours in hospitals and clinics.

Throughout your time as a CNS student, you may take a variety of courses to meet the learning requirements of your school. In your curriculum, you may find courses like Adult Gerontology, Foundations of Advanced Nursing, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment, Healthcare Leadership for Advanced Practice Nurses, and Evidence-Based Nursing Practice. In addition, you may take courses that specifically relate to your chosen area of study within the field of nursing.

One benefit of working in a field like nursing is the variety of scholarships and grants you can look into. The Illinois Center for Nursing is a state agency that funds grants and loan programs for advanced practice nurses. The Illinois Nurses Foundation awards many different scholarships and grants to nursing students at different levels of education. If you are willing to use your skills in a rural area after graduation, consider applying for funding through the Center for Rural Health.

Working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Illinois

Throughout the duration of your education, you should maintain your registered nursing license. This makes it much easier to apply for your advanced practice license when you graduate. After getting your nursing degree, you must follow this process via the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. With this license, you can work independently as a clinical nurse specialist in hospitals and clinics all over Illinois.

As a clinical nurse specialist, you may enjoy an increased earning potential and a very positive job outlook. CNN reports an anticipated 26% increase in clinical nurse specialist jobs through 2022. Their estimates indicate an average salary of $86,500 per year in this field.

With an advanced nursing degree, you may be ready to change the field of nursing. Take the first step today by contacting clinical nurse specialist programs in Illinois.

Illinois Public Health Graduate Programs

When you think about the biggest changes in health care over the last hundred years, you may find that they all have something in common. Almost every major medical advance that has changed the world relates to public health. Vaccines, disease testing, and treatment for infectious diseases have all increased the average lifespan and decreased rates of illness across the board. The field of public health is an extremely important one that is always looking forward to how to create a healthier society.

In Illinois, public health is a crucial part of the medical industry. The Illinois Department of Public Health employs public health nurses to track disease outbreaks, educate residents, provide free public health services and minimize residents’ exposure to contagious disease.

If you want to use your nursing experience in a new and exciting way, request information from the schools below to learn about public health nursing graduate programs in Illinois.

Master’s Degree Programs in Public Health Nursing in Illinois

Your time as a registered nurse is an important part of your public health education. However, you must still learn about many areas of nursing that you may have never studied or that you have minimal experience with. In your two to three years as a public health nursing student, you may jump into topics like epidemiology, community health, epidemics and disease transmission, and health education.

These topics are fairly diverse, which is why most programs require the completion of 30 to 40 credits before graduation. Some of the classes you may enroll in include Perspective Transformation in Nursing, Nursing Research, Advanced Nursing Theories, Theoretical Basis of Public Health Nursing, and Epidemiology.

While you work your way through these courses, you must be able to apply your knowledge to public health settings. During your clinical rotations, you may work in clinics, explore nursing research, and get involved in public health issues in Illinois.

Since you already have your Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may know a little bit about the financial aid options available to Illinois nursing students. Many of the same grants and scholarships are open to graduate students. The Illinois Center for Nursing has a number of scholarship and loan repayment programs for students who commit to working in the state after graduation.

The Role of Public Health Nurses in Illinois

The work of public health nurses can be seen everywhere in Illinois. From health care legislation to education and outreach efforts, public health nurses are always working to improve the state of Illinois. One recent bill, backed by public health professionals and nurses, would permit nursing home executives or the state to put cameras in nursing homes. Through measures like this one, public health nurses protect at-risk populations from abuse and exploitation.

Illinois has a stable job outlook for registered nurses, as O*Net anticipates an 11% increase in jobs by 2022. The average salary for a nurse is $66,100 per year (O*Net, 2014). Keep in mind, however, that your advanced certification may help you qualify for more jobs and increase your earning potential.

Are you ready to spend your workdays making Illinois a healthier state? Find out how you can do that by requesting information from public health nursing programs in Illinois.

Graduate Nursing Programs in Healthcare Policy in Illinois

No matter which part of the health industry you look at, policy decisions are at play in a major way. At the local, state, and federal levels, healthcare policies determine how nurses work, what care patients receive, and what rights are enjoyed by staff members and patients.

In Illinois, this manifests in many different ways. With the Affordable Care Act, state and federal policies decide how federal money is allocated. This has led to a Springfield clinic starting a $16 million expansion, which may create more jobs for nurses and improve care options for patients (State Journal-Register, 2015). By studying health policy at the graduate level, you can give nurses a voice in an area where may be underrepresented.

It is time to advance your career and take advantage of the opportunity you have as an experience nurse. Start preparing for your new career path by contacting graduate nursing programs in healthcare policy in Illinois.

Master’s Degree Programs in Healthcare Policy in Illinois

As you explore different health policy programs in Illinois, you may find that they take on many different names and titles. Quite a few schools combine policy with nursing management and research, since these three areas of nursing inevitably overlap. In fact, as you examine the learning outcomes and curriculum outline for your program, you may discover that all three of these areas are covered in-depth.

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Grand Canyon University
Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing, MS in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner
Purdue University Global
Accelerated RN to MSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Liberty University
Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator
Walden University
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Northern Kentucky University
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing online program

These are some common expected learning outcomes in Illinois health policy programs:

  • Use statistical analyses to drive health policy decisions
  • Understand epidemiological data and research
  • Apply health behavior techniques and theories
  • Identify areas of health risk for different populations

You develop the necessary competencies, knowledge, and skills by completing the required courses and learning experiences of your program. Commonly required courses are listed here:

  • Health Policy
  • Theory of Health Behavior
  • Public Health Practice
  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Health Program Evaluation
  • Cultural Competence and Health Promotion

However, do not overlook the importance of practical experience in your graduate nursing education. Completing an internship or fieldwork course as a graduate student may help you put your new abilities to work and develop a useful understanding of what it means to work in a legislative setting.

To serve as a legislative voice for nurses, you must be a nurse yourself, which means staying licensed through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Nursing license renewal applications are due by the last of May in every even-numbered year. To qualify for renewal, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years.

How Do Nurses Impact Healthcare Policy in Illinois?

Ever since nurses became a significant part of healthcare in the United States, they have had a major presence in healthcare policy. In recent years, many nursing groups and associations have come together to have an even bigger impact on the legislative process.

In Illinois, the Illinois Nurses Association has impacted legislation regarding safe work environments for nurses, safe staffing levels in hospitals, and improvements to the healthcare reform system. When you specialize in health policy, it’s important to stay involved with these groups to make the most of your efforts.

Public health is one of the largest areas of health policy throughout Illinois and the entire United States. The Illinois Public Health Institute develops and supports many laws and policies that lead to the improvement of health statistics in Illinois. Gaining policy experience in various work environments may assist you in creating a strong professional network and voicing areas of legislation that you are passionate about.

The policies and laws that you create as a healthcare policy expert have a direct effect on the medical system of Illinois. By utilizing research and current evidence, you can create a work environment in which nurses are free to provide high-quality care to patients.

Learn more about your options by contacting graduate healthcare policy programs in Illinois.

Hospice Nursing in Illinois

The experience you’ve gained as a registered nurse is useful in many advanced nursing roles. In particular, your patient communication skills and ability to use clinical reasoning to respond swiftly to issues may help you thrive in the world of hospice care.

Patients in hospice care need to have their spiritual, emotional, and medical needs met for as much time as they have left. When you become a hospice nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you can oversee care, create healthcare plans, and work alongside physicians to ensure that patients are well cared for. As you explore your options in this field, you may consider joining a group like the Illinois Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Discover your options for palliative care certification by reaching out to Illinois nursing programs below.

Master’s Degree Programs in Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing in Illinois

The first step to choosing a palliative care nursing degree in Illinois is deciding whether you want to be a clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner. There is a lot of overlap in these roles, so you may want to compare course requirements and learning outcomes to decide which career path is right for you. This involves choosing a patient population, such as geriatric care, adult care, or pediatric care. On top of your core nursing courses and those that relate to your chosen patient population, you complete a curriculum of hospice nursing courses.

Palliative Care Courses

  • Translating Nursing Evidence Into Practice
  • Health Care Systems for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Palliative Care Nursing
  • Advanced Palliative Care Nursing
  • Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Pharmacology of Pain Medications
  • Pathophysiology

Clinical work is required for advanced nursing licensure. At minimum, you need 500 clinical hours. However, many schools require you to complete 500 hours plus additional hours for hospice nursing. The more time you spend in clinical settings, the more prepared you may be for hospice and palliative care certification exams.

When you’re accepted to a program, start checking out hospice nursing scholarships and grants. The Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation is one of the largest organizations in this field. Each year, they give selected graduate students $2,000 scholarships.

Certification is regulated by the Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center. After becoming licensed as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you must complete 500 hours of experience in one year or 1,000 hours of experience in two years to become certified.

The Role of Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in Illinois

With your hospice and palliative nurse credential, you may take on primary care or consulting duties at a local hospice care provider. This typically involves traveling to patients’ homes, getting reports from family members and other medical staff, administering pain medications, and making any necessary adjustments to care plans.

During your time at a patient’s home, you may also talk with family members and ease their worries as they go through this difficult time. Your job is to advocate for your patients, make sure their wishes are respected, and minimize their pain. Hospice facilities are located throughout Illinois. Major employers include Northern Illinois Hospice, Rainbow Hospice, and JourneyCare.

With the right hospice care training, you can help families and patients get through an extremely challenging time with as much comfort and knowledge as possible.

Explore hospice nurse training options by reaching out to Illinois programs on this site.