MSN Programs in Illinois

In order to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for a nurse to meet the every-changing needs of patients and the healthcare system, earning an advanced degree in nursing is highly recommended. Not only does a nurse sharpen his or her skills regarding leadership, clinical management, and the education of others, but he or she also becomes qualified to apply to higher-paying job positions. Attending an MSN program in Illinois is just one of the ways a nurse may gain the proper credentials needed to pursue advanced placement opportunities.

Schools with MSN Programs in Illinois

Finding a MSN Program

There are many different MSN programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of MSN Programs...

  • Aurora University offers full- and part-time programs for students looking for both online and on-campus opportunities to earn an MSN. Classes are offered at the school’s Aurora and Woodstock, Illinois, and Williams Bay, Wisconsin campuses. The University offers the option to pursue an administration or nurse educator track. Both programs take 38 hours of study to complete: 29 semester hours of foundation nursing courses with the inclusion of clinical experience and practicum + three-hour master’s thesis or research project + six semester hours of course related to a specific track.
  • Nurses with an interest in becoming an educator or assuming an advanced practice role may take courses at the School of Nursing and Health Studies at Northern Illinois University. The school’s program allows graduates to take on the role of family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner or adult clinical nurse specialist; or enter the field of nursing education, where they may teach at the baccalaureate- or associate- degree level. The Master of Science nursing degree programs at the University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and are offered on either a full-time or part-time basis. Some students may also choose a thesis option, which requires the completion of at least three added semester hours.
  • Attendees of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville may concentrate on studying the following tracks towards earning an advanced degree in nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Health Care & Nursing Administration, Nurse Anesthesia, Nurse Educator, and Healthcare Informatics. The CCNE accredited programs are offered through the SIUE School of Nursing, and incorporate a high-tech simulation lab and active classroom experiences. Students are also guaranteed clinical placement with agencies located throughout the metro St. Louis region.
  • The Master of Science in Nursing degree program offered at the University of Illinois at Chicago provides campus instruction in Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, Urbana, and Quad Cities. Most students complete the MSN program within two to four years, depending on whether they are attending school on a part-time or full-time basis. The curriculum combines online courses with scheduled in-person meetings with professors. Many courses also offer videoconferencing options.
  • North Park University’s School of Nursing is located in Chicago, where nurses may pursue an advanced degree in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, or Leadership and Management. One of the perks to studying at the University is having access to a state-of-the-art simulation lab that mimics a clinical setting furnished with the latest innovations of medical technology. Students also benefit from practicing on real people, as well as medical mannequins.
  • The MSN program at DePaul University is typically referred to as an MENP, which gives credentials to nurses that go beyond a baccalaureate nursing degree-education. To prepare nurses for licensure by examination (NCLEX-RN), students will take classes at one of two locations: DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus and/or the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, which is around 35 miles north of Lincoln Park.
  • The Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University is home to a MSN program geared towards teaching aspiring Clinical Nurse Leaders, Family Nurse Practitioners, and Nursing System Administrators. The CCNE accredited programs are offered at the Normal, Illinois campus, as well as through online instruction.
  • For students looking to pursue an online education, Benedictine Universityoffers a Master of Science in Nursing program that is completed over the Internet. The school offers two concentrations: Nurse Educator (for those interested in teaching patients and nurses in both clinical and academic settings) and Nurse Executive Leader (for those who would like to plan and manage healthcare initiatives on an administrative and executive level.

Illinois MSN Checklist

  • Become licensed in Illinois as a Registered Nurse (RN).
  • Earn an MSN degree from an accredited program.
  • Fulfill requirements regarding supervised clinical experience, when applicable.
  • Apply for licensure with the Illinois Board of Nursing (~$125 fee). The Board requires official transcripts with a school seal affixed to prove the completion of an accredited degree program.
  • Furnish a current copy of national certification.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Illinois.

Salary Data

Getting an advanced degree in nursing not only increases job opportunities within the industry, but also allows a registered nurse to make more money. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses with an MSN degree may earn the following median salaries in Illinois (depending on his or her chosen career): medical and health service manager ($95,970), nursing instructor and teacher ($63,390), nurse practitioner ($80,550), and nurse midwife ($93,580).

While the above-mentioned MSN programs in Illinois are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many other available programs for nurses looking to obtain an advanced degree – some of which that include the following schools: