RN Programs in Illinois
Coursework in RN and BSN programs in Illinois build upon your prior learning and nursing experience, and provide opportunities for individualized study in your area of interest. Healthcare reform, increasingly complex medical technology and computerized healthcare have raised the bar for nurses, making an advanced education in nursing a very valuable asset.
In our Illinois RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Illinois RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.
In the State of Illinois, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.
BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Illinois RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN
|Compare RN Programs||ADN||BSN|
|Number of Nursing Programs||46||37|
|Average NCLEX Passing Rate||87.90%||102.17%|
|NCLEX Passing Rate Range||71.14% to 95.44%||78.89% to 396.50%|
|Average Net Price||$6,013.42||$19,560.45|
|Average Net Price Range||$1,634.00 to $19,642.00||$10,203.00 to $29,184.00|
|Average Student Loan||$5,694.95||$21,263.40|
|Average Student Loan Range||$3,344.00 to $20,000.00||$14,157.00 to $27,000.00|
|See Additional Detail||ADN Rankings for Illinois State||BSN Rankings for Illinois State|
Best Ranked RN Programs in Illinois
To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Illinois and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.
To create our rankings, we evaluated 41 ADN degree programs and 29 BSN degree programs in Illinois. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Illinois to provide our state rankings. View our methodology.
ADN Programs In Illinois
Illinois has many education programs for nursing students. Their is a multitude of colleges located in urban Chicago and in community colleges in outlying areas of the state. Many of the colleges offer RN programs. Community colleges in Illinois also often partner with neighboring universities and colleges to offer "bridge" programs, which allows a recent RN graduate to "bridge" into a BSN program.
NCLEX Passing Rates for Illinois ADN Programs
Southeastern Illinois College has the highest NCLEX-RN rate in Illinois of 95.44%. Attending this stellar school will cost you about $7,403.00 a year.
- ADN Programs Offered in Illinois: 46
- Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 87.90%
- NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 71.14% to 95.44%
How Much Do ADN Programs Cost in Illinois?
We compiled the net-price costs for RN Programs in Illinois so that you can find RN programs to meet your budget expectations.
When comparing ADN vs BSN programs, the average net-price per year for an Associate Degree in Nursing program is considerably less than for a Bachelor Degree in Nursing.
The lowest cost ADN program in Illinois is offered by Olney Central College at about $1,634.00 and has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of N/A%. The highest cost ADN program is offered by Robert Morris University Illinois and it will cost about $19,642.00.
- Average Net-Price for ADN Programs inIllinois: $6,013.42
- Net-Price Range for Illinois ADN Programs: $1,634.00 to $19,642.00
Median Student Borrowing for ADN Programs
- Average Student Borrowing for Illinois Schools: $5,694.95
- Student borrowing range for ADN programs in Illinois: $3,344.00 to $20,000.00
BSN Programs In Illinois
Coursework in BSN programs builds knowledge gained from nursing experience and helps provide individualized study in an area of interest. The healthcare reform, complex medical technology, and computerized healthcare have made higher education in nursing essential to be a success in the industry. BSN programs in Illinois offer a wide selection of hospital and outpatient settings. This can enhance nursing practice and provide a foundation for leadership positions. Courses that are common in BSN programs may include (but are not limited to):
- Leadership, management, and professional roles in nursing
- Advanced practice studies in a choice of areas or concentration
- Cultural aspects of healthcare for individuals, families, and populations
NCLEX Passing Rates for Illinois BSN Programs
Robert Morris University Illinois wins the highest NCLEX-RN passing rate for BSN programs offered in Illinois with a score of 396.50%. Attending this influential program will cost you about $19,642.00 a year.
- BSN Programs Offered in Illinois: 37
- Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 102.17%
- NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 78.89% to 396.50%
How Much Do BSN Degree Programs Cost in Illinois?
We compiled the net-price costs for BSN Programs in Illinois to give you an idea of how much nursing school will cost.
The lowest cost BSN degree program in Illinois is offered by Chicago State University and will cost you about $10,203.00 and has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 78.89%. The highest cost BSN degree program is offered by Loyola University Chicago and will cost you about $29,184.00 and it has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 91.11%.
- Average Net-Price for BSN Programs in Illinois: $19,560.45
- Net-Price Range for Illinois BSN Programs: $10,203.00 to $29,184.00
Median Student Borrowing for BSN Programs
- Average Student Borrowing for Illinois Schools: $21,263.40
- Student borrowing range for BSN programs in Illinois: $14,157.00 to $27,000.00
Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Illinois
RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.
Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Illinois
Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Illinois offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
Learn about the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.
Illinois RN Licensing Requirements
RN Licensure by Exam
After graduation a candidate can apply for the exam and licensing. This can be completed online. The application and fee is sent to through an outside agency called Continental Testing Services for a $91 fee. There is also a paper application available. Prior to receiving authorization to participate in the exam, candidates must submit proof of graduation. An official transcript will be required eventually but the process can be quickened the process by providing the correct documentation. Fingerprints will be required. This is a step that can be completed within 60 days in advance.
Registration to the exam itself is completed through the Pearson VUE website and requires a $200 fee. When a nursing candidate has passed a licensing exam they will be able to practice under appropriate supervision as a “license pending” nurse. This cannot be done, however, until the candidate receives an authorization letter. The exam must be passed within three years of the time they apply for the Board; otherwise, two years of nursing school will be required.
RN Licensure by Endorsement
Candidates who obtained licensure in one of the other 50 states need license verification from the state in which they are licensed. This includes the current state and other states in which the nurse has practice in the most recent five year around. NCLEX results may be provided by the state of original licensure or by Pearson VUE. Endorsement candidates may obtain a temporary license in favor of beginning work before the paperwork is processed. The endorsement application fee is $50 but is $75 for a temporary license.
RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad
Eligible foreign nurses may obtain licensing in Illinois as long as they are license in their country and met all other requirements. There must be a credential report for one or two approved agencies. Credentials or documentation that are not in English must be sent with a certified translation. Candidates who do not speak English as a first language must complete the TOEFL or IELTS Academic Module. This requirement may be waived for a nurse who completed a program or took a licensing exam in English.
James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Initial licensing fee, RN: $91
License renewal (every two years), RN: $50
RN Salaries in Illinois
Nurses who have completed a RN to BSN program are commonly sought out by prospective employers and offered a wider range of career choices. Both hospitals and non-hospitals positions in Illinois for nurses with BSNs include:
- RN educators for faculty, academic advising, and clinical preceptors
- Labor and delivery, intensive care, and OBGYN
- Intervention catheter labs, emergency department, and PACU
The complexity of care for an increasingly older population requires advanced training for effective nursing care. The nurses in Illinois earn an average salary of $66,730 annually.
Illinois Registered Nursing Salaries
You will see in this table that the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan area has the highest employment rate as well as hourly mean wage and annual median wage.
|Area name||Employment||Hourly median wage||Annual median wage|
|Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division||69,750||$34.67||$72,100|
|Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division||5,700||$32.81||$68,250|
|Northwest Illinois nonmetropolitan area||2,720||$25.12||$52,240|
|West Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area||3,870||$24.80||$51,580|
|East Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area||2,430||$23.24||$48,350|
|South Illinois nonmetropolitan area||3,860||$26.56||$55,240|
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data
Sources: The State Board of Nursing from Each State, U.S. Department of Education: College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education – OPE, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Popular Nursing Careers: Clinical Nurse Specialist | Clinical Nurse Leader | Family Nurse Practitioner | Nurse Informatics | Nurse Executive | Nurse Educator | Adult Gerontology Nursing Specialties: Nursing Specialties | Salary Guides: RN Salary | LPN Salary | CRNA Salary