Illinois is home to the largest city in the Midwest and the third largest in the United States. Chicago is a booming metropolis with numerous hospitals and healthcare facilities in need of nurse practitioners. The nursing shortage in Illinois has prompted area colleges and universities to expand their nursing programs and recruitment initiatives. Now, with more 100 nursing programs to choose from, students seeking to become nurse practitioners have access to wide variety of educational opportunities.
According to The Illinois Center for Nursing (ICN), Illinois needs more than 3,000 nurses [PDF] each year during the next five years. Currently, nursing professions licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) include:
- Registered Professional Nurse (RN)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)
- APN Continuing Education (CE) Sponsor
- APN Controlled Substance
Nursing Licensure in Illinois
Each state has its own licensing and certification criteria as well as its own Nursing Board that regulates the profession. The Nursing Board in Illinois operates under the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. IDFPR licenses persons who have successfully completed all the required steps. To work as a nurse in Illinois, you must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- Complete a nursing education program approved by the State
- Receive a passing grade on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered professional nurses
- Attend at least 20 hours of continuing education every two years
- Renew license every two years and update all contact information with the Illinois Nursing Board
It’s important to note that each state licenses advanced practice nurses differently. Your area of specialty will determine what steps are required to maintain your eligibility.
Average Nursing Salaries in Illinois
All salary data is as of May 2011.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a registered nurse in the state of Illinois is $67,190, while the U.S. average is $69,110. Occupational employment and wages of nurses in Illinois’ metropolitan areas vary significantly. The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metropolitan area reported wages roughly similar to that of the national average. However, most of the other major metropolitan areas in the state reported below-average wages for registered nurses.
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