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BSN Programs in Illinois

Anna Maxwell, popularly known as the American Florence Nightingale, is an important figure in the history of American nursing. She set up the Army Nurse Corps during the Spanish-American War. She was awarded the Medal of Honor for Public Health by the French government. Her efforts and dedication paved way for the progression of nursing. Patriotism, public spirit, and a passion to help the sick is what made Anna Caroline Maxwell a nursing icon.

Healthcare industry in Illinois

Did you know that there were 111,600 registered nurses employed in Illinois in 2014 (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The state has a booming health care industry that offers plenty of exciting career opportunities to nurses. Due to the ageing population and increased healthcare needs, the demand for nurses is high in Illinois.

If you plan on joining the nursing field, consider working in Illinois. Illinois is the 5th most populous state with a number of renowned healthcare institutions, medical research centers, nursing homes, and clinics, where you could launch a nursing career. According to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), some of the state's largest employers are in the healthcare sector.

Do you have what it takes to be a nurse?

A positive employment outlook isn't the only reason why you should become a nurse in Illinois. The career can be challenging in many ways. Staying on your feet most of the day, keeping a cool mind during medical emergencies and helping the families of patients deal with emotional trauma are just a few of the demands of this profession.

If you answer the following questions in “yes”, nursing may be a great career path for you:

  • Do you enjoy working with others?
  • Do you want to help people?
  • Do you want to give back to your community?
  • Do you like jobs that are fulfilling and give you a sense of achievement?

Why get a BSN degree in Illinois?

There are many academic routes leading to nursing careers. You can become a nurse by getting an Associate Degree in Nursing. However, an ADN degree will only prepare you for a basic nursing job. Most healthcare employers prefer hiring nurses who have completed bachelor-level education.

According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in 2013, 89% of BSN graduates secured a job 4 to 6 months after graduating. A BSN degree is more advanced as compared to associate level degrees, and would prepare individuals for advanced nursing jobs. There are many accredited BSN schools in Illinois.

What will you learn in BSN programs in Illinois?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is designed to help students build theoretical and clinical nursing skills. The program covers all aspects of nursing, enabling students to understand the role of nurses in today's society.Students will study a wide range of subjects relevant to nursing, in addition to social sciences and liberal arts subjects. The curriculum is covered through practicum activities, classroom lectures, and simulation lab sessions.Here are a few courses that may be covered in the degree program:

Health assessment

In this course, students will learn how to perform health assessments of patients. The course will emphasize on holistic health assessments, treatment outcomes, special populations, deviations in health, and health promotion.

Family and community health nursing

This course will provide students with an overview of the role of nurses in the community. Some of the topics covered are: vulnerable populations, disaster preparedness, health promotion, risk reduction, environmental influences, and nursing research.

Applying evidence-based practice in nursing

This course will cover the principles and models of evidence-based nursing practice. Students will learn how to evaluate patient outcomes and develop strong critical-thinking skills.

Legal and ethical issues in health care

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the legal regulations that govern the health care field. Nurses are required to apply ethical principles and practice according to the established healthcare standards.

Science and research in nursing

In this course, students will study the basics of nursing research. The course will cover important topics such as scientific process, experimental protocols, research literature, research methods, and ethical issues in research.

How can you enroll in a BSN program?

The admission requirements generally include:

  • SAT scores
  • Completion of high school
  • Letters of recommendation

The admission criteria will vary from college to college. You can get more information from prospective nursing schools.

Duration of the BSN degree

The duration of the program depends on the school and degree track you have opted for. Typically, it takes four years to complete a BSN degree. However, it is also possible to earn a BSN degree in less than four years. Students can opt for accelerated BSN programs in Illinois that can be completed in two years.

Is it possible to study BSN online?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a BSN degree online. The coursework of an online BSN program is usually covered via videos and lectures. However, many colleges are offering a hybrid BSN degree where practical contents of the program are completed on campus.

Online learning has become a popular mode of study for individuals who do not have the time to take classes at a campus due to work or other commitments.

Benefits of online learning are:

  • Flexible coursework
  • Low-costs
  • Convenience
  • Minimal travel

Get your nursing license in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the main licensing body for nurses in the state. To apply for a license, you must successfully pass the NCLEX-RN examination. 

Career prospects in Illinois

There are many public and private healthcare institutions in Illinois that hire registered nurses. Once you are licensed, you can begin applying for nursing jobs. Your salary and job duties will depend on your designation, employer organization, specialization, and skills. According to BLS, registered nurses in Illinois made a mean annual income of $68,030 in 2014. After acquiring a few years of work experience, you can progress in the field with the help of continuing education programs or graduate studies in nursing.


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