As the healthcare industry shifts its focus to higher quality patient care, many registered nurses (RNs) are feeling the need to continue their nursing education. Illinois is a great state for nurses who have previously completed an Associate's Degree in Nursing to pursue a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. With a plethora of schools in the state offering RN to BSN programs just for this purpose, there's never been a better time for RNs to advance their careers.

2019 - Best Online RN to BSN Programs in Illinois

For ambitious RNs looking to advance their careers, the RN to BSN program is an excellent choice. Building upon the RN's prior knowledge and experience, an RN to BSN program can lead to more job prospects and higher pay. Online options are widely available to help busy nurses fit in their studies. Choosing the right online option, however, can be challenging. That's why we have ranked the top online RN to BSN programs in Illinois. Take a look at our rankings below to get started.

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Chamberlain College of Nursing


Available to current RNs in good standing, the RN-to-BSN pathway at Chamberlain College of Nursing allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree in as few as three semesters. Delivered completely online, most students will be able to complete their clinicals at their current places of employment. This “Direct Care Experiential Learning” allows students to apply what they learn in the classroom immediately in the workplace. Students obtain 77 proficiency credits whey they enroll in the RN-to-BSN program based on their RN work experience and may transfer in additional credits if applicable.

  • Campus
Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Private 4-Year
  • Enrollment sessions begin every 8 weeks
  • Full or part-time options available
Methodist College

Peoria, IL

Licensed Registered Nurses seeking to advance their careers in a short time can sign up for Methodist College’s RN-to-BSN program. The online offering, which requires two on-site practicums, allows students to transfer in as many as 90 credits so that they can complete the RN-to-BSN as quickly as possible, in as few as three semesters. The online curriculum meets established best practices for the ever-changing nursing profession, including nursing leadership, evidence-based practice, and public health.

Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Private Non-Profit 4-Year
  • Options for tuition reimbursement/deferment
  • Flexible scheduling for working RNs
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Edwardsville, IL

Working RNs can accelerate their career trajectory when they apply to the RN-to-BSN online program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The flexible format allows nurses working evening, night or per diem shifts to complete their assignments on their schedules. Moreover, students with an unencumbered RN license may receive up to 43 proficiency credits to apply toward completion of their BSN. The online RN-to BSN program can be completed in one calendar year (for students who transfer in general education coursework).

Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Public 4-Year
  • Corporate partnerships available
  • Flexible 8-week classes
Western Illinois University

Macomb, IL

Completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing will allow an RN to earn more money as well as take on greater patient care responsibilities. To help licensed Registered Nurses achieve this goal, Western Illinois University offers an RN-to-BSN online program exclusively for busy working RNs. Students may transfer in or take concurrently general education or lower-level nursing courses as needed. The online RN-to-BSN program, however, requires a clinical or practicum for the community health course.

Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Public 4-Year
  • Individually prepared course schedule
  • Program is 4 semesters in length
Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL

Licensed RNs can move forward in their nursing careers in less time when they join the RN-to-BSN online program at Northern Illinois University. To reduce educational expenses and expedite degree completion, the RN-to-BSN program strives to accept as many general education and previous nursing credits as possible.  To be admitted to the RN-to-BSN online program, students must maintain a 2.75 GPA (cumulative) and have a current Illinois RN license.

Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Public 4-Year
  • Up to 66 hours of general ed courses accepted
  • Designated program advisor assigned

Admissions Requirements for Illinois RN to BSN Programs

The admissions process for an RN to BSN program is not unlike other college admissions; if you apply within the stated timeframe and meet the requirements, you have a great chance of being accepted. Below are some highlights of entrance requirements in the state:

  • Must show proof of current licensure as an RN in the state of Illinois
  • Must be a graduate of a state-approved diploma, associate degree program, or foreign nursing program
  • Must submit official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 required

RN to BSN Classes & Courses

RN to BSN programs require a mix of non-nursing support courses, general education courses, electives, and nursing courses. Required nursing courses at Romeoville's Lewis University include:

  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Concepts of Professional Nursing
  • Health Assessment/Health Promotion
  • Pharmacotherapeutics for the Registered Nurse
  • Professional Development and Leadership

Online RN to BSN Programs in Illinois

Completing an RN to BSN program while employed as an RN can be challenging. That's why many schools have begun offering online RN to BSN programs, giving working RNs the flexibility they need to earn their degrees. These programs allow students to work at their own pace from the comfort of their own homes.

Featured Online School

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a fully online RN to BSN program that's accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This highly-ranked program offers the same top quality nursing education that students in the traditional classroom setting receive. The degree can be completed in as little as 16 months if courses are taken in back-to-back terms.

Admissions and Program Length

RN to BSN programs tend to be highly flexible, and most students can attend either part-time or full-time. Once any general education requirements are completed, full-time students can generally complete the program in 3 semesters if they include the Summer semester. Part-time students can finish in roughly 5 semesters.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Tuition and fees across schools in the state can vary, so it's always a good idea to compare thoroughly before deciding on the right program for you. As an example, the University of Illinois at Chicago charges approximately $14,250 for the entire RN to BSN program degree. This breaks down to $475 per credit hour for 30 credits. This figure does not include additional expenses such as textbooks, fees, or other course materials.

Does an RN to BSN Increase My Salary?

An RN to BSN does more than just increase salary potential; it opens to door to a wider array of nursing specialties and the opportunity for higher level advancement. Those wanting managerial or other nursing leadership roles will need at least a BSN, and many niche nursing jobs these days require one as well. These prestigious nursing roles come with a higher paycheck, offsetting the expense of degree completion.

RN to BSN Salary Comparison in Illinois

Many are surprised to learn that the earnings range for a registered nurse can vary wildly. Things like experience, location of practice, and education level undoubtedly impact the amount an RN can earn. Payscale lists the wage range for an RN in Chicago, IL at between $53,914 and $87,143 annually. It stands to reason that nurses with more education will have the ability to reach the higher end of that range.

2020 List of RN to BSN Programs in Illinois

Becoming a BSN (Bachelor's of Science in Nursing) Nurse in Illinois has become an easier process, especially for nurses already in the field and are looking to upgrade their degree. The state has more than 20 schools offering the program, and some of which are offering scholarships to nurses that are wanting to upgrade their skills. BSN nurses in the state see the advantages of moving forward with their degree in a number of ways, which includes about $25,000 more yearly salary than an ADN nurse, as well as job advancement opportunities, etc. The state is looking to support and mentor individuals in their quest for a higher degree of education.

Find RN to BSN Programs By City:

Benedictine University
Online Campus
College of Education and Health Services
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 829-1153
Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences
College of Nursing & Health Sciences
PO Box 7005 (11th & Oak)
Quincy, IL 62305-7005
(217) 228-5520
Chamberlain University
College of Nursing
3300 N Campbell Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(877) 751-5783
Eastern Illinois University
RN to BS in Nursing Program
600 Lincoln Avenue, McAfee Room 2230
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-7048
Elmhurst College
Deicke Center for Nursing Education
190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126-3296
(630) 617-3314
Governors State University
Department of Nursing
1 University Parkway
University Park, IL 60484-0975
Illinois State University
Mennonite College of Nursing
100 N University St
Normal, IL 61761
(309) 438-2176
Lewis University
College of Nursing and Health Professions
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 836-5245
Loyola University Chicago
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(708) 216-3582
MacMurray College
Division of Nursing
447 East College Avenue
Jacksonville, IL 62650
(217) 479-7085
McKendree University
Division of Nursing
701 College Rd
Lebanon, IL 62254
Methodist College
Division of Nursing
7600 N. Academic Drive
Peoria, IL 61615
(309) 672-5510
Millikin University
School of Nursing
1184 West Main Street
Decatur, IL 62522
(217) 424-6366
Northern Illinois University
School of Nursing and Health Studies
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 753-6550
Olivet Nazarene University
Nursing department
One University Avenue
Bourbonnais, IL 60914
(815) 939-5322
Purdue University Global
School of Nursing
550 West Van Buren St
Chicago, IL 60607
(866) 522-7747
Resurrection University
BSN for RN program
1431 North Claremont Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-6464 x5347
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Department of Nursing
511 NE Greenleaf Street
Peoria, IL 61603
Saint John's College
RN-BSN Program
729 E. Carpenter Street
Springfield, IL 62702
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
School of Nursing
1 Hairpin Dr
Edwardsville, IL 62025
(618) 650-3959
Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Nursing Department
2122 25th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201
(309) 779-7708
University of Illinois at Chicago
College of Nursing
1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-7808
University of St. Francis
Leach College of Nursing
500 Wilcox St.
Joliet, IL 60435
(800) 735-7500
Western Illinois University
School of Nursing
1 University Circle, 125 Currens Hall
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 298-2571

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