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Illinois Nursing Schools

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Illinois Nursing Schools

Due to projected population increases and the fact that people are living longer than ever before, the demand for nursing care is expected to increase in coming years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop, the need for registered nurses in Illinois is expected to grow 13 percent from 2010 to 2020 (careerinfonet.org). According to the same data, the need for licensed practical nurses is expected to grow 10 percent over the next decade.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth in the demand for nurses may be due to a variety of factors, including technological advances that encourage additional treatment, a growing emphasis on preventative care and an aging population that will likely require more health care in the future (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012).

Nursing Programs and Education in Illinois

Nursing schools in Illinois offer several educational paths that can lead to employment in this field. Degree programs can vary in length and difficulty, depending on the program that you choose. Illinois nursing schools typically offer the following degree programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing - In the state of Illinois, the quickest way to become a nurse is to work toward an associate degree and become a licensed practical nurse, or LPN. Before starting an LPN program, students are generally required to complete basic prerequisites such as human anatomy and physiology, English composition, and college level math. Once a student completes the required prerequisites, an associate degree program can be completed in as little as one to two years. Many nursing programs in Illinois offer a hybrid associate degree program, allowing students to complete some of the required course work online before participating in hands-on clinical training.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Although a bachelor's degree isn't necessarily a requirement to become a registered nurse in Illinois, many students prefer to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in order to increase their job prospects. In order to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing, students must complete a four-year degree program. The first two years generally include basic science instruction, with courses in human physiology, chemistry and psychology, and can generally be completed online. After the first two years, students focus on nursing practice and gain supervised clinical experience while completing any additional course work.

Nursing Careers in Illinois

Individuals interested in nursing can decide to enter the field in a variety of ways. Potential nurses can choose to work toward a career as a licensed practical nurse, licensed vocational nurse or registered nurse in the state of Illinois.

  • Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse - LPNs and LVNs typically work under the supervision or a doctor or registered nurse. According to the BLS, LPNs take on a variety of job responsibilities including monitoring patient health and performing basic nursing care (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). After completion of a LPN/LVN program at an Illinois nursing school, students are required to obtain a CPR card and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
  • Registered Nurse - In the state of Illinois, registered nurses may work in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician's offices, home health care settings or clinics. According to the BLS, registered nurses can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a diploma from an approved nursing program (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). All registered nurses are required to pass the NCLEX-RN before practicing in the profession.

Nursing salaries vary according to the specific position and required level of education. For example, the BLS reports that licensed practical nurses had a mean annual wage of $42,400 in 2012, while registered nurses earned a mean annual wage of $67,930 during the same year. Nurse practitioners earned an average yearly salary of $91,450 in 2012.

Sources:

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm#tab-1

Registered Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm#tab-1

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses: Illinois, CareerOneStop, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=111111111&jobfam=29&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=292061&stfips=17&x=50&y=12

Registered Nurses: Illinois, CareerOneStop, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=111111111&jobfam=29&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=291141&stfips=17&x=29&y=8

Illinois Center for Nursing, http://nursing.illinois.gov/Default.asp

Illinois Nursing Association, 2013, http://www.illinoisnurses.com/legislativen/

"Occupational Employment Statistics: Registered Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm

"Occupational Employment Statistics: Licensed Practical Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm


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