Resource Center: The Complete Guide to Nursing in Illinois
Published: June 15, 2020
Are you interested in being a nurse in Illinois? Or perhaps you’re looking for nursing resources in Illinois? This page includes information about the job outlook for nurses in Illinois, professional nursing organizations, continuing education requirements and more.
Demand for Nurses in Illinois
The job outlook for nurses in Illinois is bright, according to the U.S. Department of Labor:
- The agency projects that employment of registered nurses (RNs) in Illinois will grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations in Illinois.
- That’s 8,690 annual projected job openings.
- Nursing jobs in Illinois are growing at a faster rate than for the nation as a whole; from 2018 through 2028, employment of registered nurses in the U.S. is expected to grow 12%.
Illinois State Board
Springfield Address: IDFPR/Nursing Unit, 320 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62786
Chicago Address: IDFPR/Nursing Unit, 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
Illinois Licensing Agency
Nurses in Illinois are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The IDFPR has two offices: one in Springfield and the other in Chicago.
Springfield Address: 320 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62786
Chicago Address: 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
Nursing Organizations and Scholarships
Professional Organizations for Nurses in Illinois
American Nurses Association – Illinois Chapter
The Illinois Chapter of the American Nurses Association (ANA-Illinois) advocates for Illinois nurses, ensuring they’re considered in nursing practice legal and regulatory decisions.
Online contact form: https://www.ana-illinois.org/contact/?ref=/about-ana-illinois/
Address: PO Box 636, Manteno, Illinois 60950
Illinois Association of Colleges of Nursing
The Illinois Association of Colleges of Nursing (IACN) “advances excellence in baccalaureate and graduate nursing education in service to the public.” The IACN has a variety of member nursing schools from private and public institutions across the state.
Illinois Health Care Association
The Illinois Health Care Association (IHCA) consists of more than 500 long-term care facilities for the developmentally disabled individuals. The IHCA “seeks to promote the highest standard of services in facilities and programs for the elderly and physically and mentally challenged.”
Illinois League for Nursing
The Illinois League for Nursing (ILN) is part of the National League for Nursing. Members have access to nursing experts, events, programs and development opportunities.
Illinois Nurses Association
The Illinois Nurses Association is a union committed to advocating for quality wages, benefits and working conditions for Illinois nurses. It provides continuing education and professional development.
Chicago Phone: 312-419-2900
Springfield Phone: 217-523-0783
Chicago Address: 910 West Van Buren Street, Suite 502, Chicago, IL 60607
Springfield Address: 911 South Second Street, Springfield, IL 62704
Specialty Nursing Organizations in Illinois
Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists
The mission of the Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists (IANA) is to “Promote and support the profession of nurse anesthesia in Illinois through health policy advocacy, education and transformational leadership to advance patient safety and access to quality care.”
Illinois Association of School Nurses
The Illinois Association of School Nurses (IASN) supports school nurses in Illinois and promotes healthy school programs for children. The IASN is affiliated with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).
Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders
The Illinois Organization for Nurse Leaders (IONL) is an affiliate of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL). The IONL advances nursing leadership in Illinois through professional development, networking, research and more.
National Association of Hispanic Nurses - Illinois Chapter
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses - Illinois Chapter (NAHN-IL) enhances Hispanic nurses’ careers by providing mentorship, academic promotion and professional development. The NAHN-IL is the largest NAHN chapter in the country and committed to increasing the amount of bilingual and bicultural nurses in Illinois.
Student Nurses Association of Illinois
The Student Nurses Association of Illinois (SNAI) is devoted to fostering the development of Illinois nursing students. It’s run by nursing students for nursing students.
Nursing Scholarships for Illinois Residents
Illinois Association of School Nurses Scholarship
The IASN’s Margaret I. Winters Memorial Scholarship is worth $1,500 and annually awarded to a licensed Illinois professional educator and endorsed school nurse pursuing a graduate degree related to school nursing.
Illinois Department of Public Health Scholarship
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) offers a Nursing Education Scholarship Program to increase the number of nurses in Illinois. Scholarships are available to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, associate degree in nursing, hospital-based diploma in nursing, graduate nursing degree or certificate in practical nursing.
Illinois Farm Bureau Nursing Scholarship
The Illinois Farm Bureau sponsors a Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program that awards $4,000 scholarships to RNs pursuing NP education. Scholarship recipients must serve two years in a rural Illinois community.
Illinois Health Care Association Scholarships
The IHCA offers multiple scholarships with its affiliate, the Long Term Care Nurses Association (LTCNA). The Joseph F. Warner Long Term Care Nurses Scholarship Fund is specifically for those pursuing long-term care nursing jobs in Illinois.
Illinois Nurses Foundation Scholarships
The Illinois Nurses Foundation (INF) offers various scholarships for Illinois residents. Scholarship winners are announced in June, and applications are accepted annually from January 1 to March 15.
Illinois Student Assistance Commission Loan Repayment Program
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) offers a Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program to help nurse educators repay up to $5,000 of student loans. The program addresses the lack of nurse educators in Illinois and incentivizes educators to continue teaching.
National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Illinois Scholarships
The NAHN-IL offers scholarships to its Illinois nursing members pursuing an accredited nursing program. The number of scholarships varies depending on the amount in its scholarship fund.
How to Become a Nurse in Illinois
Here are five steps to become a nurse in Illinois:
- Complete an approved nursing program.
- Apply for an Illinois nursing license and register for the NCLEX examination.
- Study for and pass the NCLEX exam.
- Secure a job in Illinois as a nurse.
- Once you are a nurse in Illinois, you may choose to pursue a nursing specialty or advanced degree.
How to Apply for a Nursing License in Illinois
To apply for an Illinois nursing license through the Acceptance of Examination method, you must submit an online application via Continental Testing Services (CTS), an outside testing vendor used by the IDFPR. The following is required:
- Dual application: You must complete CTS’ online RN application and Pearson VUE’s NCLEX exam registration.
- Application fees: CTS requires a $98 application fee. Pearson VUE requires a $200 testing fee.
- Certification of education: Your nursing school must submit a certification of education to CTS. It’s valid for 90 days.
- Original fingerprint receipt: Applicants must submit an original fingerprint receipt, from an approved fingerprint vendor, to CTS. It’s valid for 60 days.
Once you’ve submitted your applications, fees and supporting documents, CTS will review your application and determine your eligibility for Illinois nursing licensure. Pearson VUE will send your Authorization to Test, which is valid for 90 days.
For additional information about Illinois nursing licenses, such as application by endorsement or international applicant requirements, visit the Illinois Board of Nursing website or the IDFPR’s Registered Nurse New Application Checklist.
Continuing Education Requirements
Illinois registered nurses and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years. Beginning January 1, 2020, one of the required 20 hours must be a sexual harassment prevention training course. CE can be earned through a variety of classes and seminars, but it must be taken from an approved CE sponsor. Additionally, those renewing their license for the first time do not need to complete the required CE hours. Illinois nursing license renewal information can be found on the IDFPR Renewals page.
For more information about Illinous nursing continuing education requirements, including FAQ PDFs, visit the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center website.
Is Illinois a Member of the Nurse Licensure Compact?
Illinois is not a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows members to have one multistate license that can be used in other NLC states. It removes the burden of paying multiple renewal fees and submitting multiple license applications per state.
Top Health Care Employers in Illinois
If you’re looking for nursing jobs in Illinois, check out the health care employers below. This list was developed based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s profile of the state's largest employers.
Health Care Networks and Systems in Illinois
Hospitals and Medical Centers in Illinois
- Rush University Medical Center
- Johnston R. Bowman Health Center
- OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
- John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
- Comer Children's Hospital
- Edward Hospital - Main Campus
- Advocate Christ Medical Center
- Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
- Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
- Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Earn a Nursing Degree Online in Illinois
Are you an Illinois nurse who wants to advance your career? Purdue University Northwest (PNW) College of Nursing offers an online RN-to-BSN program and an online MSN program made to work with your busy schedule. If you’re ready to elevate your nursing career, request more information today.