Illinois is full of possibilities for registered nurses who want to earn a graduate level degree. With higher salaries and employability in advanced specialties, RNs are seeing the value in returning to school to complete a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. If you are an Illinois nurse with either an ADN or BSN degree currently, there's an RN to MSN program in the state for you.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Illinois

In order to be admitted into an RN to MSN program in the state, you must meet the program's requirements, which may include:

  • Must have previously earned an ADN or BSN (degree level requirement varies by program)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 for undergraduate work (GRE test scores may be required for those who have less than a 3.0 GPA)
  • Current active RN license in the state of Illinois
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal Goal Statement

RN to MSN Courses

Students in RN to MSN programs can expect to take a mix of nursing courses that include core advanced courses along with specialized courses. These specialized courses often pertain to degree concentrations, such as Family Nurse Practitioner. Often there is a clinical component required; students in online programs can typically arrange to complete these in their local area.

To provide an example, the RN to MSN program at Loyola University Chicago includes the following classes:

  • Information Systems in Healthcare Management
  • Ethics
  • Concepts and Theory
  • Research
  • Epidemiology

Online RN to MSN Programs in Illinois

Online RN to MSN programs are increasingly popular options for those who need flexibility in completing their degree. With part-time and full-time options typically available, RNs are able to continue working or take care of other life obligations while completing their MSN in the comfort of their own homes.

Featured Online School

Northern Illinois University offers a convenient online MSN program for those who have completed a BSN degree. Students can choose between a Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator concentration. Part-time and full-time study options are available, and all coursework must be completed within six years of the student's start date. This program prepares RNs for an advanced practice role in their desired specialization.

Admissions and Program Length

While exact program length depends on many factors, many students are able to complete an RN to MSN program in 2-3 years of study. Students starting out with an ADN will usually take a bit longer than those starting with a BSN due to the bridge courses needed before graduate level courses can be taken. Part-time or full-time study can also impact the length of time it takes to complete the degree.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Students applying for an RN to MSN program can expect to budget for tuition, mandatory fees, and course materials/textbooks. As an example on cost, the MSN program at Resurrection University in Chicago costs roughly $858 per credit hour for tuition, along with approximately $290 in fees for full-time students per semester and $140 in fees for part-time students per semester. This does not include extras like textbooks.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Illinois

Upon completion of an MSN, RNs are eligible for nursing specialties such as:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Educator

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

Nurses who hold an MSN degree typically earn a substantial salary compared to those who hold lower nursing degrees. For instance, an MSN-educated RN in Chicago, IL earns a median salary of $89,750 annually. A general registered nurse in the same city earns a median annual salary of $62,711. This proves that an advanced nursing career can be both lucrative and rewarding.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

Whether online, traditional, or a combination of the two methods you could earn your degree in one of the RN to MSN programs offered throughout the state in at least 12 different colleges. A nurse with their MSN degree has the opportunity to take specialty department opportunities; you could find yourself working in areas of health care such as urgent care, midwifery, etc., all of these careers can also offer a higher earning potential.

ProgramWebsite
Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing
Online
College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Broadway St & N 11th Street
Quincy, IL 62305
Bradley University
Online Campus
Department of Nursing
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
(309) 677-2547
DePaul University
Online
School of Nursing, College of Science and Health
1 E. Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604
(773) 325-1887
Elmhurst College
Campus
Department of Nursing
190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 617-3314
Lewis University
Campus
College of Nursing and Health Professions
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 836-5245
Loyola University Chicago
Campus
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(708) 216-3582
McKendree University-Illinois
Online
Division of Nursing
701 College Rd
Lebanon, IL 62254
Resurrection University
College of Nursing
1431 North Claremont Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-6464 x5347
Rush University
Online
College of Nursing
600 S. Paulina St.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-2308
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Campus
Master of Science in Nursing Program
511 NE Greenleaf St
Peoria, IL 61603
Saint Xavier University
Online Campus
School of Nursing
3700 West 103rd Street
Chicago, IL 60655
(773) 298-3706
Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Campus
Trinity College of Nursing
2122 25th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201
(309) 779-7708
University of Illinois at Chicago
Campus
College of Nursing
1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-7808
University of Saint Francis-Illinois
Campus
Leach College of Nursing
500 Wilcox St
Joliet, IL 60435