Illinois Nursing Certification and Licensing
Nursing Licensing in Illinois
Nurses in Illinois have a strong career outlook. The state is experiencing a shortage of nurses, much like the rest of the nation. By gaining your nursing degree, you are practically guaranteed employment. There are many facilities that employ nurses from nursing homes to factories. All levels of nurses are capable of providing first aid as needed on the job, in a school setting, or in an emergency outside of the workplace. People that are considering a job as a nurse may wish to include certain science classes to their college studies. The Illinois Board of Nursing recommends anatomy, microbiology, and other life sciences on their website. English composition is included, along with social skills based classes that would increase the knowledge of how to interact with people (psychology is listed). This is because a nurse will often give mental and emotional support to patients as they are receiving treatments.
Illinois Nursing Schools
Local community colleges offer nursing programs, as do larger colleges. There are many approved programs in Illinois for both LPN and RN. The programs for licensed practical nurse run about one year while registered nurse programs begin at two years. RNs may choose between the Associates and Bachelor's degrees, the second being a four year program.
Illinois Licensing Requirements
To qualify to sit for the National Council on Nursing Exam (NCLEX) you must complete one of the LPN or RN programs, then apply for testing. A fee is required for this application and must be mailed in with the completed application. Once approved you will receive a letter from the state. You will then be able to take your photo identification to the testing location, pay for testing, and sit for the exam. If you pass the test you will be issued a license.
Illinois does not participate in the Nursing Licensure Compact at this time. Any nurse from another state must apply for licensure by endorsement and pay the Illinois licensing fees. Nurses from other countries must prove that they completed a nursing program that is comparable to or better than the Illinois programs, then apply to take the NCLEX.
Illinois License Renewal
A nurse's license, in Illinois, must be renewed every two years. The state has different levels of fees per license and lists each on their board of nursing website. All forms for nursing may be found there for download.