MSN & RN to MSN Programs in Illinois

Governors State University
University Park, IL


Lewis University
Romeoville, IL


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The number of APNs in Illinois has dramatically increased in recent years. Between the year 2007 and 2011, the number of Illinois advanced practice nurses has increased to 26.3% or a total of 7,434 APNs. 

Illinois APNs have been observed to be extremely satisfied with their nursing careers. According to a recent survey, these nurses are likelier to admit that they are happy with their job than most RNs. Compared to the latter, APNs generally have a leeway on their profession, meaning, they enjoy professional autonomy. 

Additional education, without a doubt, gives nurses the ability to choose the field that they intend to work in. For instance, those who want to teach can seek out nursing graduate programs that focus in teaching. 

The great news is, there is an increase in the number of Illinois nurses who are already pursuing their Master’s degrees. Rather than wait till the middle of their careers before they enroll in a graduate program, these nurses plan to achieve their MSN degrees sooner. This spells higher employment and demands that are met for the state. 

Professional organizations for APNs include The Illinois League for Nursing, Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the Illinois Society for APN, and the Illinois Nurses Association. 

Here are schools that offer master’s programs in Illinois – 

Saint Xavier University 

If you want a grounded approach in graduate nursing education, this is the school to go to. SXU offers both graduate and post-graduate programs that are highly respected by health care employers. 

Founded all the way back in 1846, this educational institution is Chicago’s oldest Catholic University. It is recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 40 universities that offer comprehensive Master’s degrees. 

SXU is accredited regionally by the Higher Learning Commission and its graduate program for the School of Nursing is accredited by the CCNE or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the AACN or American Association of Colleges of Nursing. 

An added achievement for SXU is its designation as the Center of Excellence by no less than the National League of Nursing. It has been holding this award for three consecutive years till 2013. 

Northern Illinois University (School of Nursing and Health Studies) 

The Northern Illinois University has three strong programs – nursing, health education and public health; so in terms of health care, this school is considered an expert. 

Located about an hour west of Chicago, this university is the perfect place to enroll in for Northern Illinois region students. Nursing MS graduates are trained to take part in advanced nursing roles such as adult nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, adult clinical nurse specialist, or an LSN teacher. 

Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing 

An exciting nursing career awaits the enrollees of the Mennonite College of Nursing (Illinois State University) as they educate students to reach their health care career goals. 

This school offers the Master of Science in Nursing with three lines of specialization – 

  • Nursing Systems Administration
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)