How To Become A Nurse In Illinois

Illinois is making an effort on the state level to provide the resources needed to recruit and train more highly skilled nurses in the state. The latest statewide analysis for nurses in Illinois in the future indicates needs in the long-term care and community-based care fields.

As the “baby boomer” generation grows older, Illinois and the nation must address the demands this generation will place on the healthcare system at the same time that many experienced nurses will be reaching retirement age.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation licenses nurses, which have been under its jurisdiction since 1917 when the department was created. By the year 2020, it is estimated there will be a shortage of more than 21,000 nurses in Illinois, so to address that concern, the department created the Illinois Center for Nursing.

State Nursing Center is Addressing Anticipated Nursing Demand

A top priority has been to provide quality, affordable healthcare in the state. The Center for Nursing is also a resource for current and future nursing students, nursing educators and those nurses already practicing in the field to find information on affordable education options and scholarship opportunities, grants for nursing schools and improvements to working conditions for nurses.

“Nurses are on the frontlines of health care and have the most direct and continuing contact with patients. The Illinois Center for Nursing will be a huge step in guaranteeing that we have enough nurses to provide the necessary high-quality health care for patients in Illinois,” the department said.

Illinois Licenses Three Types of Nurses

Three types of nurses are specifically educated and trained to provide nursing care in Illinois. They are classified as follows:

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is specifically prepared in the techniques of nursing, a graduate of an accredited school of practical nursing. A LPNs qualifications have been examined by a state board of nursing, and they have been legally authorized to practice as a licensed practical nurse. They also must have completed an approved practical nursing education program. Practical nursing includes assisting in the nursing process as delegated by and under the direction of a registered professional nurse. The practical nurse may work under the direction of a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, or other health care professional.

A Registered Nurse (RN) is specifically prepared and promotes health and the prevention of disease, and helps patients cope with illness. When providing direct patient care they observe, assess and record symptoms, reactions and progress, assist physicians during surgery, treatments, and examinations, administer medications and help in the convalescence and rehabilitation of patients.

In Illinois an Advanced Practical Nurse (APN) is also licensed as a registered professional nurse and must meet the requirements for licensure as an advanced practice nurse. An APN cares for patients by using advanced diagnostic skills, the results of diagnostic tests and procedures ordered by the advanced practice nurse, a physician assistant, a dentist, a podiatrist, or a physician, and uses professional judgment to initiate and coordinate the care of patient. An APN can also order diagnostic tests, prescribe and administer medications and drugs.

Illinois has score of approved nursing education programs, including those at three universities ranked in the top 100 nursing schools in the country by US News. The University of Illinois at Chicago was rated No. 1 in the nation and Rush University No. 15.

Nursing Schools of Illinois

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Nursing School Locations

DePaul University School of Nursing
1 East Jackson Street
Chicago, Il 60604
(312) 362-8000

Loyola University Chicago
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
1032 West Sheridan Road
Granada Center, 3rd Floor, Room 360
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 508-3249

Northern Illinois University
College of Health and Human Sciences
1240 Normal Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 753-1384

Rush University
College of Nursing
Armour Academic Center
600 South Paulina Street, Suite 1080
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-7117

University of Illinois
College of Nursing
845 South Damen Avenue, MC 802
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 996-7800

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