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.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

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 ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs4637
Average NCLEX Passing Rate87.90%89.20%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range71.14% to 95.44%78.89% to 96.67%
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 DetailADN Rankings for Illinois StateBSN Rankings for Illinois State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Illinois

Best Ranked RN Programs in IllinoisTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at 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

IL Rank
US Rank
Offered As:
99.11 ADNSoutheastern Illinois College110 Harrisburg

Southeastern Illinois College was founded in 1960 and is located in Harrisburg, IL. They offer an ACEN accredited ADN program that gives students in-depth training in general nursing as well as in specialty sectors such as obstetrics and pediatrics. The nursing program is a two-semester program that begins each fall and accepts 30 students annually. Their program is designed so that students first complete the Practical Nursing program, after which students may practice as licensed practical nurses. Or they may choose to reapply and continue to earn their ADN agree. This strategy aims to concentrate ADN students who are serious and passionate about the field.

Students benefit from small class sizes, engaged peers, and faculty members who offer guidance in academics and career planning. Students are admitted based on their TEAS score, though other factors are weighed in as well. Southeastern Illinois College has an active nursing club that engages with the community through service and advocacy, aiming to increase the presence and voices of aspiring nurses as well as those of nursing professionals.

PublicCampusSee School Details
97.22 ADNOakton Community College262 Des Plaines

Oakton Community College is located in Des Plaines, Illinois.  There is also a campus in Skokie, Illinois.  They offer an RN program and an LPN to RN bridge program.  The RN program is offered twice yearly, whereas the bridge program is only offered once per year.  The LPN seeking entrance into their program must have a minimum of two years of nursing experience prior to admission.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.37 ADNJohn A Logan College392 Carterville

John A. Logan College is located in Carterville, IL. They offer an ACEN accredited ADN program that only admits students who have completed a Practical Nursing program and have obtained their LPN license. The program does have two options for curriculum delivery, either traditionally or in a hybrid format. Do note that students can enroll in JALC’s PN program, but they cannot immediately transition into the ADN program. Students must work and gain experience for one year after licensure before applying to the ADN program.

John A. Logan College fosters a diverse and supportive student community. The nursing program is rooted in Maslow’s theory of needs, aiming to prepare students who can resolve those lower, physiological needs of their patients so that they can go back out into the world pursuing their desired paths. Students will be trained to provide competent, evidence-based care, and will be guided by a supportive group of faculty and peers.

PublicCampus, OnlineSee School Details
95.96 ADNKaskaskia College4108 Centralia

Kaskaskia College offers an Associate Nursing Degree (ADN) Program, a Nurse Assistant Certificate (CNA), and a Practical Nursing Certificate (LPN). The ADN Program is ACEN accredited and boasts a 96% NCLEX-RN pass rate and 100% job placement. New students are admitted four times per year. This program focuses on students’ ability to provide nursing care in various settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, physician’s offices, and community agencies. Kaskaskia’s Nursing Education Center has a simulation lab and convenient clinical sites.

Completion of the Nurse Assistant Certificate Program leads to the CNA credential. After completion of the seven-week program, students can provide basic care and assist patients with activities of daily living.

The Practical Nursing Certificate (LPN) program is three semesters long and admits new students twice a year. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam. This program prepares students to work in a variety of healthcare settings under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Physician.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.85 ADNSouth Suburban College5115 South Holland

South Suburban College offers a two-year Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program. South Suburban is a public college located in South Holland, Illinois. Throughout the course of study, students will acquire basic knowledge of nursing theory and practice, and upon graduation they will be adequately prepared to take the NCLEX exam.

South Suburban College’s mission is to equip nursing students with the necessary knowledge to provide safe, quality, and patient-centered nursing care. The program places emphasis on diverse patient populations of all age groups, cultivating clinical reasoning/nursing judgment, developing and participating in patient care improvement processes, collaboration and teamwork, holistic and compassionate patient care, as well as information management principles and patient care technology. Graduates of the ADN program at South Suburban College will have a thorough understanding of the management, legal, and ethical guidelines that are standards in the industry.

Students can enroll into the program once a year in the fall. Admissions are not highly competitive, as long as the basic requirements are met. Accepted students are required to complete a criminal background check and a urine drug screening prior to enrollment.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.81 ADNJoliet Junior College6116 Joliet

Joliet Junior College is located in Joliet, Illinois.  The College of Nursing at Joliet Junior College offers a practical nursing program, a military corpsman to practical nurse program, an RN program and an LPN transition to RN program.  Their LPN to RN program is competitive and their admission requirements are more rigorous than other LPN to RN programs; for example, an exam that predicts success on the NCLEX-RN must be taken prior to admittance into the program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.33 ADNHeartland Community College7138 Normal

Heartland Community College offers an ACEN accredited Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, a one-year Practical Nursing Certificate Sequence, as well as an LPN to ADN Program. The AAS is a two year program with an optional preparation course for the NCLEX-PN exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Admission to this program is selective, limited to 40 students per year. Applications are accepted starting October 1st through March 1st.

The LPN to ADN Program is an accelerated program that results in an Associate Degree in Nursing. This option allows LPN licensed students who have worked 1000 hours to complete the second year classes in 2-3 semesters, and additionally prepares them for the NCLEX-RN exam. Applications for this program are accepted from October 1st through January 15th.

Collaborative partnerships with Illinois State University and other 4-year universities are also offered, allowing students to complete a baccalaureate in nursing. There’s an additional pathway for those seeking a transfer preparation program, the Associate in Arts (AA) with a Concentration in Nursing. It’s a 60-credit hour program especially tailored for those seeking to finish their studies at a 4-year university in Illinois.

HCC’s nursing school equips students with theoretical knowledge and technical skills to excel in the nursing industry. With a focus on improving patient’s quality of life and helping them regain their health, the program also places a focus on students’ ability to function as a core member of a healthcare team. Admission to this program is selective, limited to 40 students per year.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.07 ADNSpoon River College8146 CantonPublicCampusSee School Details
94.63 ADNBlack Hawk College9167 MolinePublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.63 ADNMcHenry County College9167 Crystal Lake

McHenry County College is located in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Their nursing department offers an AAS degree and an LPN to AAS degree.  McHenry County College also offers an RN to BSN Partnership Program with Aurora University  – Woodstock Center.  If enrolled in this program, McHenry nursing students will have direct admission to Aurora’s RN to BSN program.

PublicCampusSee School Details
94.00 ADNKankakee Community College10195 KankakeePublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.74 ADNMoraine Valley Community College11209 Palos HillsPublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.70 ADNLincoln Land Community College12211 SpringfieldPublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
93.70 ADNAmbria College of Nursing12211 Hoffman EstatesPrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
93.59 ADNCollege of DuPage13216 Glen EllynPublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.56 ADNKishwaukee College14217 Malta

Kishwaukee College is located in Malta, Illinois.  Their nursing program began in 1970, but evolved into an RN program in 1975.  They graduate 80 new RNs yearly.  At this time, their program is strictly an RN program, without an LPN to RN option.

PublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
93.19 ADNTriton College15232 River GrovePublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.00 ADNWilliam Rainey Harper College16240 Palatine

Harper College is located in Palatine, Illinois.  Their nursing department graduated their first RNs in 1967.  They offer a practical nursing program, and RN program and an RN to BSN completion program.  Harper College is partnered with Benedictine University to offer the RN to BSN program on the Harper College campus for its RNs.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.52 ADNIllinois Valley Community College17267 Oglesby

Illinois Valley Community College is located in Oglesby, Illinois.  Their nursing program offers an RN option and an Advanced Placement for LPNs.  The advanced placement option allows the LPN to become an RN in three semesters.  They require that LPNs have a minimum of one year of work experience prior to admittance into the program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.81 ADNSouthwestern Illinois College18332 Belleville

Southwestern Illinois College has locations in Belleville, Granite City and Red Bud, Illinois.  They offer an RN program.  They also have an LPN Articulation program.  This program allows LPNs to take prerequisite classes as required; if all classes are passed successfully in the allotted time frame, “escrowed” credits will be awarded.  If the LPN does not want to go through this process, they may opt to enroll in the general RN program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.48 ADNRock Valley College19342 Rockford

Rock Valley College is located in Rockford, Illinois.  They offer an AAS RN degree.  Rock Valley College also has a partnership with five local universities (Indiana-Wesleyan University, Northern Illinois University, Olivet-Nazarene University, St. Anthony College of Nursing and University of Illinois in Chicago); these universities offer RN to BSN programs that Rock Valley College RN graduates may attend after passing their NCLEX-RN.

PublicCampusSee School Details
90.22 ADNCCC-School of Nursing at Malcolm X20353 ChicagoPublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.74 ADNWaubonsee Community College21447 Sugar Grove

Waubonsee Community College is located in Sugar Grove, Illinois.  They offer an RN program.  They also offer an RN to BSN program, in partnership with Governors State College.  Waubonsee Community College enrolled its first RN students in 1970.  Today, it graduates approximately 144 students per year.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.70 ADNPrairie State College22450 Chicago Heights

Prairie State College is located in Chicago Heights, Illinois.  Their nursing department offers an ADN degree and a bridge option for licensed practical nurses.  LPNs may enter the generic ADN program if there are not enough seats available in the bridge program for the amount of applicants.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.52 ADNLake Land College23457 Mattoon

Lake Land College is located in Mattoon, Illinois.  They offer an RN program.  They do not offer a specific LPN to RN program; however, LPNs are welcome to apply to their program.  LPNs who apply and are accepted may then apply for a waiver to pass out of certain classes.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.22 ADNElgin Community College24468 Elgin

Elgin Community College is located in Elgin, Illinois.  Elgin Community College has a variety of degree options; many of these associate’s degrees are designed so that after completion, the graduate can enter a university seamlessly and complete their bachelor’s degree.  They offer an RN program and offer their students guidance throughout the program, should they want to complete a BSN degree after graduation.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.15 ADNHighland Community College25471 FreeportPublicCampusSee School Details
87.07 ADNLewis and Clark Community College26473 GodfreyPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.48 ADNRichland Community College27492 DecaturPublicCampusACENSee School Details
85.15 ADNShawnee College28524 UllinPublicCampus, OnlineSee School Details
84.30 ADNSauk Valley Community College29544 DixonPublicCampusSee School Details
83.85 ADNCollege of Lake County30557 GrayslakePublicCampusACENSee School Details
82.89 ADNParkland College31580 Champaign

Parkland College is located in Champaign, Illinois.  Their nursing program has multiple options – an ADN program, an LPN to ADN bridge program and a paramedic to ADN bridge program.  The paramedic to ADN bridge program builds on clinical work experience; the program is designed to “…fill in the gaps, so you would not need everything a student starting from the beginning needs to be able to graduate and take the NCLEX.”

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
82.30 ADNDanville Area Community College32594 DanvillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
80.56 ADNJohn Wood Community College33620 QuincyPublicCampusSee School Details
80.15 ADNMorton College34625 CiceroPublicCampusACENSee School Details
79.26 ADNCarl Sandburg College35637 GalesburgPublicCampusACENSee School Details
73.70 ADNIllinois Central College36679 East PeoriaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
46.15 ADNNorthwestern College-Southwestern Campus37718 BridgeviewPrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
99.11 BSNTrinity Christian College18 Palos Heights

Trinity Christian College is a private Christian college located in Palos Heights, Illinois. The nursing school offers a four-year BSN program that comes with an integrated minor in science. Trinity’s nursing program is the only nursing school in the Chicago area with a 100% NCLEX pass rate in 2015 and 2016 and has continued to earn that perfect score each consecutive year.

The program prepares students academically and clinically for the patient’s physical, spiritual, and mental needs. The coursework incorporates knowledge from the humanities and the natural, social, and nursing sciences to cultivate a holistic understanding of nursing care. The program offers small class sizes and state-of-the-art facilities, providing a comprehensive and hands-on experience grounded in a Christian environment. Trinity Christian College’s nursing program has an excellent reputation in Illinois, attracting a strong, albeit small yet dedicated group of students. The college offers a robust program and is accessible to most interested students with an 88% acceptance rate.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
96.89 BSNSaint Anthony College of Nursing274 Rockford

Saint Anthony College of Nursing is located in Rockford, IL. Their health sciences facility is located on the campus of Rock Valley College, which provides for an interdisciplinary campus and student experience. They offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN track. All programs are CCNE accredited. Saint Anthony’s additionally offers high school students the chance to reserve a seat in the BSN program beginning in the fall, two years after high school graduation. Students must take general education and pre-nursing requirements at other institutions before enrolling into the BSN program at Saint Anthony’s.

The RN to BSN program is 18 months long and offers classes during the evening and afternoon, making it possible for RNs to incorporate an academic curriculum into their schedules. The school is owned and operated by OSF HealthCare, and provides nursing education that deeply integrates Christian values and the example of Francis of Assisi. OSF HealthCare has a rich and extensive history for its efforts to care for those in need and saving lives.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
96.26 BSNBradley University399 Peoria

Bradley University was founded in 1897 and is located in Peoria, IL. They offer a BSN degree, as well as on-campus and online graduate programs. BU’s location is amidst a blend of urban and rural landscapes, which in turn exposes nursing students to the various needs within these healthcare facilities and different patient populations. Students enrolled in the BSN program will participate on small clinical teams, gaining hands-on experience and practice.

Bradley University has a significant alumni network, and there are several nursing-specific student organizations, such as the Bradley Nursing Student Association and the Nurses Christian Fellowship. They offer 11 semester hours of credit for qualified LPNs seeking to earn their BSN degree, and RNs may earn up to 66 hours in transfer credit. Studying at Bradley is certainly a valuable choice for students, as it is located in a thriving medical community with several major hospitals and specialized facilities. Nurses are in high demand in Peoria, making it an attractive program to consider.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.33 BSNMennonite Nursing at Illinois State University4128 Normal

Illinois State University is located in Normal, Illinois and was founded in 1857. The Mennonite College of Nursing has a BSN program that extends over 4 semesters of full-time studies in traditional nursing. They also offer an accelerated second degree program and an online RN to BSN program. They offer various graduate programs as well. Their facilities include an extensive simulation lab that looks just like a real hospital, complete with four patient rooms, crash carts, a patient call system, a medication dispensing system, and a nurses station.

The college has a vibrant student community, with a nurses association as well as a specific group for men in nursing, providing extra support for a minority demographic in the nursing field. Students enrolling in the traditional program can do so annually in the fall. The RN to BSN program has spring and fall start options, and the accelerated program begins in May, and ends fifteen months later.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.22 BSNIllinois Wesleyan University5132 Bloomington

Illinois Wesleyan University is located in Bloomington, Illinois.  They offer a BSN program.  Their program is unique because they encourage their nursing students to study abroad in Barcelona.  A transcultural experience is also offered for travel to Hawaii.  Nursing students are also given the opportunity to minor Human Services Management or Spanish.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
95.04 BSNLewis University6144 Romeoville

Lewis University is located in Romeoville, Illinois.  Their nursing department offers a few options for its nursing students: a pre-licensure program, which is a general BSN program, a pre-licensure accelerated program, which is designed for students already holding a bachelor’s degree, and an RN to BSN program.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
94.44 BSNLoyola University - Chicago7170 Chicago

The Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers undergraduate (BSN), master’s (MSN), and doctoral programs (DNP and PhD) in nursing. All programs are CCNE accredited and fairly competitive, with a 55% acceptance rate.

The BSN program is designed to prepare generalist nurses who can deliver quality and professional care. Students are expected to gain comprehensive knowledge from liberal arts, sciences, and nursing science as a solid basis for professional nursing practice. Graduates are additionally culturally competent, and are able to integrate levels of prevention, quality, and safety principles into their position within a healthcare team.

The MSN program equips students with advanced knowledge and skills to prepare them for leadership roles in inter professional healthcare delivery. This further education shifts its lens to scientific findings in nursing, healthcare, and biopsychosocial fields. Additionally, graduates will be well-prepared for effective leadership, with a strong fluency in ethical and critical decision-making, workplace relations, and systems.

The DNP program offers advanced practice nurses with the highest level of knowledge and skill to provide innovative leadership in the nursing profession. Graduates will have mastered an area of nursing practice and have advanced levels of ethical and moral judgment and decision-making.

The PhD in Nursing is designed to matriculate individuals who are able to initiate a beginning program of research that expands nursing and healthcare knowledge, in addition to a thorough understanding of social, cultural, political, economic, and ethical considerations.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
94.33 BSNWestern Illinois University8176 MacombPublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
93.74 BSNTrinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences9203 Rock Island

Trinity College or Nursing and Health Sciences is located in Rock Island, Illinois.  This college is unique in that it is small and houses only health science degrees – nursing (associates of nursing, bachelor’s of nursing, master’s of nursing, bachelor of science in health science, associate of applied science in radiography, and associated of applied science in respiratory therapy).  They also offer the EDGE Program, which allows high school seniors early entry into their programs.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
93.70 BSNMacMurray College10207 Jacksonville

MacMurray College is a private Christian institution located in Jacksonville, Illinois that offers a four-year, CCNE accredited BSN program, as well as an online RN to BSN program. MacMurray’s BSN program is a unique program that integrates a liberal arts core while preparing graduates for professional nursing practice, graduate education, and ongoing career development.

The program’s focus lies in the extensive development of students’ knowledge, values, and competencies that ensure they can provide safe, high quality nursing care for diverse populations in various settings. The coursework further equips students with the clinical reasoning, communication skills, understanding of healthcare policies and systems, and management technology necessary to be a strong member of a healthcare team.

To be admitted to the MacMurray’s nursing program, the applicant must met the following minimum requirements: 2.75/4.00 high school GPA, ACT composite of 20 or 1020 on the SAT, 2 semesters of chemistry with a grade C or better within the last 5 years. Students can enroll twice a year, in the fall or spring semester.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
93.44 BSNNorthern Illinois University11216 DekalbPublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.07 BSNAurora University12234 Aurora

Aurora University is located in Aurora, Illinois.  They offer both a traditional BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  Incoming freshmen may apply for direct admission into the BSN program if they have an ACT score of 23 and a GPA of 3.2.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
92.07 BSNMillikin University13268 Decatur

Millikin University is located in Decatur, Illinois.  They offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  They also offer a school nurse certification.  The school nurse certification is allows the BSN to become a K-12 nurse in the state of Illinois; this certificate can be obtained at only four universities in Illinois, with Millikin University being one of the four.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
91.00 BSNOlivet Nazarene University14302 BourbonnaisPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
90.41 BSNUniversity of St Francis15314 Joliet

University of St Francis is located in Joliet, Illinois.  The Leach College of Nursing is offers undergraduate and graduate programs.  Undergraduate programs include a traditional BSN program and two RN to BSN programs.  They offer an RN to BSN program online and an RN to BSN program as a fast track program with Joliet Junior College.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
90.30 BSNSt John's College of Nursing16317 Springfield

St. John’s College of Nursing is located in Springfield, Illinois.  They offer a BSN program, an accelerated BSN program for those students already holding a bachelor’s degree, and an RN to BSN program.  They also have an early admit option for high school seniors.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACME, COASee School Details
89.30 BSNElmhurst College17346 Elmhurst

Elmhurst College is located in Elmhurt, Illinois.  They offer a prelicensure program (a BSN program for those without a prior RN license) and a Baccalaureate Degree Completion Option (a BSN program for those holding an ADN degree, already holding their RN license).

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
88.63 BSNMethodist College18359 PeoriaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
88.11 BSNSaint Xavier University19375 ChicagoPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
87.33 BSNSaint Francis Medical Center - College of Nursing20402 PeoriaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
87.26 BSNBlessing Rieman College of Nursing21403 Quincy

Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing is located in Quincy, Illinois.  They offer a basic-track BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  They also offer a variety of advanced degrees; unique to their program is the RN to MSN program, which allows the RN to bypass the BSN and obtain and an advanced degree.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
87.19 BSNUniversity of Illinois at Chicago22405 ChicagoPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
85.44 BSNNorth Park University23436 ChicagoPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
84.96 BSNRobert Morris University24444 Chicago

Robert Morris University Illinois is located in Chicago, Illinois.  They are able to boast that their graduation rate is in the top 5 amongst private universities in Illinois.  Their department of nursing offers a BSN degree and an ASN degree.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
83.96 BSNLakeview College of Nursing25455 DanvillePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
83.48 BSNChamberlain College of Nursing-Illinois26458 AddisonPrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACME, COASee School Details
80.19 BSNRockford University27487 Rockford

Rockford University is located in Rockford, Illinois.  They offer a “basic BSN” program.  They also have an “early decision option” for high school seniors.  High school seniors may opt to enroll in the nursing program immediately – however, this is competitive and only a handful of seniors are selected each year.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details
75.44 BSNResurrection University28511 Chicago

Resurrection University is located in Chicago, Illinois.  This university is unique because its primary focus is educating healthcare professionals.  While their main focus is nursing, they also offer degrees in health information management, radiography and health systems leadership.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
60.52 BSNChicago State University29531 ChicagoPublicCampusACME, COASee School Details

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: 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.

Illinois Department of Professional Regulation

James R. Thompson Center 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 814-4500 Fees 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 nameEmploymentHourly median wageAnnual median wage
Bloomington-Normal, IL1,380$28.02$58,290
Champaign-Urbana, IL2,390$27.79$57,800
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division69,750$34.67$72,100
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI81,780$34.21$71,150
Danville, IL550$28.47$59,220
Decatur, IL1,400$24.01$49,940
Kankakee-Bradley, IL1,340$33.23$69,110
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division5,700$32.81$68,250
Peoria, IL4,790$26.68$55,490
Rockford, IL3,830$27.86$57,940
Springfield, IL2,950$29.45$61,250
Northwest Illinois nonmetropolitan area2,720$25.12$52,240
West Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area3,870$24.80$51,580
East Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area2,430$23.24$48,350
South Illinois nonmetropolitan area3,860$26.56$55,240
Source:, 2014 Data