RN to MSN Programs in Illinois

Registered nurses in Illinois usually have no trouble finding work, but for some, being an RN just isn’t enough. If you want more out of your nursing career, you should consider getting a master of science in nursing. This degree will open many doors for your professional life, including opportunities to work as a manager, researcher, or educator in the future. RN to MSN programs allow you to skip the step of getting a bachelor of science in nursing, which could speed up your education. You just have to find the right program to enroll in. Here is an overview of RN to MSN programs in Illinois.

Why Get an MSN?

Most people choose to earn an MSN because they want to do more in their places of work. Rather than working as a basic staff nurse, you could work as a nurse anesthetist, advanced practice nurse, nurse practitioner, and more. On top of that, you will have a chance to make a lot more money with an MSN on hand. A staff nurse in Illinois earns about $56,000 a year, but a nurse manager earns approximately $73,000. Advanced practice nurses in this part of the country earn an average of $88,000 annually. The pay changes alone are enough to motivate you to go to school.

Job Prospects for MSN Degrees in Illinois

Nursing jobs in Illinois are growing dramatically by the year, especially in the case of advanced practice nurses. The number of APNs in this state has grown 287% since 2011, and there are currently 7,434 practicing APNs in Illinois. With this said, the population growth in the state and approaching retirement for many nursing professionals leaves room for other MSN graduates to easily find work after school. Simply put, you should have no trouble finding a job with an MSN.

RN to MSN Program Overview

MSN programs are designed to take the information you already know and dive further into it. As a result of that, every program is a little bit different because every student has a slightly different educational background. Your class work will be determined by the type of MSN you get, but you can expect to take classes like Advance Nurse Role, Nursing and Healthcare Trends, Evidence and Practice, Nutrition for the Health Professional, Genetic Concepts, Health Assessment, and Theory and Research. If you already have some of those from your undergraduate studies, you should not have to repeat them.

On average, students spend two to four years completing their RN to MSN programs. Once you have finished with that, you can apply for a license through the Illinois State Board of Nursing. You will work under a collaborative agreement with a physician when you diagnose patients or prescribe medications as a nurse practitioner, but most MSN graduates work on their own for the most part. If you need to specialize your degree after you get out of school, you can go back for a doctorate or a post-master’s certificate.

Popular Illinois RN to MSN Programs

There are a number of RN to MSN programs in Illinois. Choosing the right one is simply a matter of deciding what you want to do in nursing. Find a school that has a track you want to be in, and you’ll be set for the future. Some common examples of this include:

  • DePaul University: DePaul is located in the heart of Chicago, and it offers some of the most extensive nursing programs available at the graduate level. This school also features a study abroad program for nursing students who wish to travel.
  • Aurora University: AU has an RN to BSN program that you will need to complete before entering your MSN degree program. This school has post-graduate certifications as well if you need further education after graduation.
  • Elmhurst College: EC has a large population of older adult students who have come back to school to further their career. If you would rather be around peers that are 35 years or older, this is a great school to attend.

In addition to the nursing grad schools in the state, you can look for RN to MSN programs online. These are designed to give you the flexibility you need to maintain a job and go to school at the same time. Make sure that whatever school you attend is accredited, and try to get through training as quickly as possible. You’ll be on your way to success in no time.