MSN Degree Programs in Illinois

According to the 2007 Illinois Nursing Workforce Survey Report, only 8.5% of registered nurses in Illinois held a graduate degree and only 3.5% reported being enrolled in a a graduate program. These numbers do not bode well for future nursing faculty numbers. Entry level registered nursing, RN to BSN, master’s and doctorate level nursing programs require their faculty to hold a master’s or a doctorate degree, depending on the institution.

Based on these numbers there is some concern that master’s level education is not as accessible as it should be to allow the baccalaureate educated nurse the opportunity to advance their education and career. Motivation to become a nurse educator has also been limited due to salary. Master’s educated advanced practice nurses can earn substantially more than nursing faculty. One way the state of Illinois has been working around the nursing faculty shortage is by encouraging advanced practice nurses to take part-time second jobs as nurse educators. There are many resources for grants, financial aid and scholarships that can be found on the Illinois Center for Nursing website ( once you decide on a program.

According to the Advance for Nurses 2007 Salary Survey, MSN educated nurses earned an average annual salary of $67,750. Salary will depend on specialty area, facility, geography and other factors. The most common annual salary range for advanced practice nurses in Illinois, according to the 2007 Illinois Nursing Workforce Survey Report, was between $65,000 and $85,000.

Online MSN Programs Offered in Illinois

There has been an increase in the number of MSN programs offered by nursing schools in Illinois as well as the number of online MSN programs that have no residency requirements and a variety of concentrations to choose from. The opportunity to earn a master’s level education in nursing is improving and the benefits with regards to job satisfaction and increased salary with a master’s education improve as well.

MSN programs take around 18 to 24 months to complete and online MSN programs can take as little as 16 months for concentrations other than advanced practice. The programs below build on the baccalaureate level nursing education. You might also want to research the Nurse Practitioner programs offered in Illinois.

Schools Based in Illinois Offering MSN programs

Rush University – College of Nursing – Illinois

Rush University – College of Nursing is one of the country’s most well known and well respected institutions of higher education, particularly in the fields of nursing, medicine, health sciences and graduate study. Located in Chicago, IL, the College of Nursing offers online options for Baccalaureate and Master’s educated Registered Nurses. There are a number of clinical sites in the Chicago area that faculty will assist in setting up for the student. The Rush University – College of Nursing received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Programs Offered On-Campus: ADN – MSN – (Clinical Nurse Specialist), MSN – Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN – Critical Care (Adult) Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN – Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN – Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN – Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Post-Master’s Certificates are offered in the same CNS specialties as the MSN programs.

Programs Offered Online: Post-BSNAdvanced Generalist MSN, Community/Public Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

DePaul University – Department of Nursing

The online RN to BSN is accredited by the CCNE.

Programs Offered: RN to BSN, MSN (Tracks in: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nursing Education, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Health Systems Leadership, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner)

DePaul University,
1 E. Jackson,
Chicago, IL 60604,
PH: 312-362-8000

Governors State University

The online RN to BSN is accredited by the NLNAC. The MSN programs are also NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: Online RN to BSN, MSN – (Clinical Specialist in Adult Health or Nurse Administrator Tracks), DNP

Governors State University,
1 University Parkway,
University Park, Illinois 60466-0975,
PH: 708-534-5000

McKendree University – Division of Nursing

The RN to BSN and MSN programs are CCNE accredited.

Programs Offered: RN to BSN, MSN (Nurse Manager and Nurse Educator tracks)

McKendree University,
701 College Road,
Lebanon, Illinois 62254,
PH: 618-537-4481

Millikin University – Division of Nursing

The RN to BSN and MSN programs are NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: RN to BSN, MSN (Clinical Nurse Leader and Nurse Educator tracks)

School of Nursing – Millikin University,
1184 West Main Street,
Decatur, Illinois 62522,
PH: 217-424-6348

Northern Illinois University – School of Nursing & Health Sciences

The RN to BSN and MSN programs are NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: RN to BSN, MSN (Adult Clinical nurse specialists, Adult nurse practitioners, Family nurse practitioners, Nurse educators tracks)

School of Nursing,
1240 Normal Road,
DeKalb, IL 60115,
PH: 815-753-1231

Olivet Nazarene University – Department of Nursing

The RN to BSN program is CCNE accredited.

Programs Offered: RN to BSN, MSN (Concentrations in: nursing education, management and leadership, and emergency preparedness disaster readiness)

Olivet Nazarene University-Department of Nursing,
One University Avenue,
Bourbonnais, IL, 60914-2345,
PH: 815-939-5340

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – School of Nursing

Programs Offered: RN to BSN, MSN (Tracks in: Health Care and Nursing Administration, Nurse Anesthesia, Nurse Educator, and Family Nurse Practitioner)

SIUE School of Nursing,
Alumni Hall, Room 2117
Campus Box 1066,
Edwardsville, IL 62026,
PH: 618-650-3956

Loyola University Chicago Niehoff – School of Nursing

Programs Offered: RN to MSN, MS in Nursing (Graduate Majors: Acute Care, Adult Health, Cardiac Health and Disease Management, Family Health, Health Systems Management, Oncology, Population-Based Infection Control and Environmental Safety (PICES)Women’s Health)

Loyola University Chicago Niehoff – School of Nursing,
Lake Shore Campus,
6525 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626,
PH: 773-508-3249

University of Illinois at Chicago – College of Nursing

Programs Offered: MS in Nursing (Concentrations in: Acute Care CNS, Acute Care NP, Adult NP, Adult/Geriatric NP, Geriatric CNS, Geriatric NP, Family NP, Mental Health CNS, Mental Health NP, Occupational Health/Advanced Community Health Nurse Specialist, Occupational Health/Family NP, School/Advanced Community Health Nurse Specialist, School/Family NP, Pediatric NP, Pediatric CNS, Perinatal CNS, Nurse Midwifery, Women’s Health NP, Administrative Studies in Nursing, Advanced Community Health Nurse Specialist

UIC College of Nursing,
845 South Damen Avenue MC 802,
Chicago, IL 60612,
PH: 312-996-7800

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