Illinois Nurse Practitioner Programs

Do you want to do more than you can as a registered nurse? Do you feel like you have more to offer the medical world? If so, you might want to consider a career as a nurse practitioner. In this profession, you can work as an analyst, a researcher, a manager, an educator, and just about anything else you want. You just need a solid education to get started. Illinois is becoming a thriving state for new nurse practitioners to work in, with the average NP in the state being younger than the average LPN or RN. You can use your youth and enthusiasm to find a great job in a short amount of time.

Illinois nurse practitioner programs are designed to take your nursing skills to a whole new level. If you’re up for the challenge, read on to see how one of these programs works.

What Is a Nurse Practitioner?

If you have ever seen a nurse assessing patients or prescribing medications at work, he or she was a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners take on many of the same roles as doctors do, but they do not have quite as much training to go through. You may not be able to do everything a doctor does, but some nurse practitioners perform small surgeries if there is a need for them. You can do a lot more with this career than you realize, as long as you have the state-required collaboration of a physician.

A nurse practitioner can also work as the head of a nursing department, advising and monitoring other nurses on the floor. This will involve less patient interaction, but it will require extreme adaptability and versatility. As long as you plan to work in the upper divisions of the nursing profession, you will want to be a nurse practitioner.

How Illinois Nurse Practitioner Programs Work

Illinois nurse practitioner programs take approximately two years to complete at the graduate level. After you spend about four years earning a bachelor of science in nursing, you will go through two more years of school to get a master of science in nursing. With your master’s degree in place, you may need to pursue specific certifications to work for the employer you want to be with. You will also need to apply for an advanced nursing license with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Once all of that is completed, you can start working as a nurse practitioner.

Here are some examples of classes you may take for your MSN:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Anatomy
  • Biostatistics
  • Statistics
  • Theoretical Foundations
  • Health Care Ethics
  • Informatics
  • Research
  • Research Applications
  • Physiology
  • Primary Health Care

If you want to become a specialized NP, you will need to go through additional courses that relate to your specialty. Of course, this may add a semester or two onto your degree, but it will ensure that you can work exactly where you want to be. You can talk to an academic advisor to learn exactly what a plan like this may entail.

Life as a Nurse Practitioner in Illinois

As a whole, nurse practitioners make pretty good money in Illinois. The average NP earns around $84,000 a year in the rural areas of the state, and the average NP in Chicago earns close to $95,000 a year. A lot of that is due to the advanced skills necessary for this career, but it also has something to do with the high demand for nurses at the moment. RNs are available in abundance, but NPs are a lot harder to come by. If you specialize in something that most other people don’t get into, you should be able to make a whole lot of money right from the start.

Here are some examples of jobs you can have as a nurse practitioner, along with nationwide salary statistics for each of them:

  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner: $67,130 – $104,470 per year
  • Cardiovascular Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner: $68,819 – $108,342 per year
  • Clinical Nurse Manager: $62,068 – $107,758 per year
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist: $64,634 – $108,269 per year
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: $64,140 – $97,483 per year
  • Nurse Practitioner: $63,877 – $100,171 per year

Illinois Nurse Practitioner Programs at a Glance

If being a nurse practitioner is a dream of yours, start looking for a master of science in nursing program. You will need this kind of degree to achieve your career goals. Some schools to look into include:

  • DePaul University: With several locations in Illinois, including one in Chicago, DePaul offers MSN programs to aspiring nurse practitioners throughout the state. Programs also include internships to speed up your ability to find work after graduation.
  • Loyola University Chicago: Loyola is one of the few schools in the country that offers a master’s degree for women’s health nurse practitioners. The school also has programs for acute care, adult gerontology, family practice, and more.
  • Northern Illinois University: NIU is committed to helping students of all kinds, which is why it provides most of its classes in the afternoon and evening to allow some scheduling flexibility. If you have children or a steady job, you can easily go to school part time here.

You may also want to think about getting your MSN online. The great part about going to school online is that you get to set your own learning schedule. If you work as an RN during the day, you can still complete your schooling at night. Check out the Illinois nurse practitioner programs available to you today, and you’ll soon be on your way to a rewarding future.