Nursing Schools in Illinois
Few professions are in the same demand as health care professions these days. Due to the growth and aging of our population, millions of Americans are finding it harder and harder to gain access to even the most basic health care because their area is underserved by professionals in the field. To enter the nursing field as a registered nurse you simply need to pass the licensing exam called the NCLEX-RN. You can qualify to take this exam with a diploma or certification program completion, but ensure that you speak with your educational institution about transferring to other degrees as you may wish to pursue a further education once you are situated in your career. You will find many colleges that offer RN to BSN programs, so the transfer should be fairly easy, but due diligence will ensure that you can continue to grow in your career for as long as you want.
Illinois is well above the average, compared to the national average, of registered nurses working in the state relative to the population. That doesn’t mean the state can sit back and focus on other things. There is still a shortage of health care and with new laws starting to take effect, the impact on the health care field is enormous. There is still a huge need for nurses as they make up the backbone of the health care industry and the sooner you can enter the field, the better. Earning experience alongside an education will ensure that you enjoy a higher income, better chances at advancing through your career and more options for employers.
On average, registered nurses earn $70,000 a year in Illinois. That number can be met or exceeded by increasing the amount of experience and education on your resume and working while continuing your education will ensure that you are putting yourself in a position to be highly desired by multiple employers. You should also pay attention to the cities that are in most need of your talents in the state. While Peoria, Springfield and Danville have the highest number of registered nurses working relative to the population, Bloomington, Chicago and Champaign are seeing the lowest percentage. You will likely find the highest average income in Chicago, Champaign and Danville, so keep that information in mind if you are willing to relocate for work.
Finding the right employer is just as important as experience and education on your future. The Johnston R. Bowman Health Center in Chicago, The Loyola University Hospital in Maywood and the Evanston Hospital in Evanston are ranked among the top 15 employers in the state across all industries and should be good starting points. You should also check with these employers to see what type of tuition assistance they offer if you plan to continue your education towards a BSN, MSN, DNP or PhD in Nursing.
Colleges offer unique loans, scholarships and grants to students that attend their facilities, but it is rarely enough to cover the entire cost of an education. You can find a great deal of financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. The site for the HRSA lists all of the loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs that they offer nursing students, and you should not shy away from taking full advantage of everything you qualify for. Pay special attention to the loan repayment options as they allow you to “erase” huge amounts of your loan by signing a short contract to work in an underserved area upon graduation. These contracts are usually two years long and will pay huge amounts towards your loan upon completion of the contract.
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing is focused on providing students the ability to transform health care policy, test novel practice models, generate and acquire new knowledge and academic credentials and create new practices. Your education will be more than text book study, it will be training for the future career you will undertake upon graduation. With the goal of preparing you to become a highly competent nurse leader in all aspects of nursing, from clinical practice to academic scholarship, you will study a model that focuses on promoting diversity, trust and respect without a loss of compassion, caring or sensitivity.
With a 98% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN for graduates from the schools program on their first try in 2012, this learning institution is obviously doing something right. With Traditional and Accelerated BSN programs that can be learned on campus or online, you can choose a schedule and educational style that works best for you. In addition, you will be able to experience the Transcultural Nursing Experience which will allow you to examine nursing care locations throughout the world, in locations such as Russia, Kenya, England, Texas and Kentucky.