5 Best Illinois Nurse Practitioner Programs + Requirements

Illinois is a very famous state, being the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Additionally, it is a popular place of employment for nurse practitioners (NPs). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 2,610 NPs worked in the state in 2012, and demand continues to grow. Meanwhile, demand is particularly high for those with advanced degrees. The base salary for an NP in the state is $88,140. However, as demand for nurses continues to grow, it is likely that this will increase.

Nurse practitioners in Illinois have a great deal of autonomy in their work. However, they are not able to administer or prescribe schedule 2 controlled substances through injections. Additionally, an NP does have to enter into a collaboration agreement with a physician in order to practice.

Illinois offers a range of different programs for aspiring NPs. Below are what we consider to be the 5 best Illinois Nurse Practitioner programs. Hopefully, this information will help you to find a school to enroll in.

1. Olivet Nazarene University

Olivet Nazarene offers a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program for nurses who already hold a master’s degree (MSN) and want to specialize as an advanced practice nurse. Graduates can be employed in a variety of different health care settings, and they care for patients from different demographics. A strong focus is on disease prevention and health promotion.

  • Campus: Bourbonnais, IL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: 13 months
  • Online availability: Blended
  • Degree requirements: MSN
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner Certification
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. Illinois State University

Illinois State University offers MSN programs, a post-master’s certificate and the DNP. Graduates are able to integrate self-care and preventative measures into the health care setting they work in. Additionally, they will be able to diagnose conditions and help patients to manage them. The DNP program in particular focuses strongly on leadership and management, and many go on to become educators. However, the program focuses heavily on practice.

  • Campus: Normal, IL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Varies, please inquire
  • Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner, Post-Master’s Certificate, DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

3. Lewis University

Lewis University offers various pathways for NPs. The curriculum focuses on patients and on the development of care strategies. Graduates are also equipped with the skills to manage the changing environment of health care.

  • Campus: Romeoville, IL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $760 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: BSN, RN license, GPA of 3.0, 2 letters of recommendation, resume, personal statement,
  • Programs: MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. Loyola University Chicago

Loyola offers a huge range of specializations for NPs. The programs are all delivered blended, meaning many of the tuition is done online. Additionally, students must take part in clinical placements in the Chicagoland area. Before they take their specialization, students must have completed 2,000 hours of clinical experience.

  • Campus: Chicago, IL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,020 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Online availability: Blended
  • Degree requirements: Transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, personal statement, GRE, RN license, clinical experience
  • Programs: DNP, Post Master’s Certificate, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioners, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University offers two specializations for NPs and the programs can be completed both part-time and full-time. Additionally, a student can choose to take a thesis, which adds 3 semester hours to the program. The full program must be completed in six years.

  • Campus: Dekalb, IL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen path. Students must complete in six years.
  • Online availability: Some
  • Degree requirements: RN license, BSN, GPA of 3.0, goal statement, 3 letters of reference, clinical experience
  • Programs: MSN family nurse practitioner or adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid 

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Illinois

In order to become an APN in Illinois, you must first have a state recognized RN license. If you do not have this, for instance, because you have an RN license in another state, you must complete the <a href=”https://www.idfpr.com/renewals/apply/rn.asp”>Professional Nurse Endorsement Packet</a> first.

The steps to become an APN in Illinois are:

1. Get an Illinois RN license.

2. Complete a graduate degree program with a nurse practitioner specialization.

3. Earn a national certification for advanced practice nursing.

4. Apply for your APN license in Illinois.

5. Renew your license by May 31 of each even-numbered year.