Chicago is a fantastic city in which to begin your career in nursing. With one of the highest employment rates of nurses in the country and an average salary of $76,640 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chicago also has a plethora of nursing training programs for students to choose from. From entry-level programs aimed at those new to the nursing field to career advancement programs for experienced nurses, Chicago has a program that fits your career goals.

To get started in nursing or to advance your nursing career, check out our accredited program listings sections below:

Entry Level ADN, BSN, & MSN Programs in Chicago, IL

In the Chicago area, there are a number of entry-level training programs for students who want to become registered nurses. These programs all prepare students to take the NCLEX RN licensing exam for their first jobs as RNs. Program options include LPN to RN bridge programs that help licensed practical nurses become RNs, Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs and direct-entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.

LPN to RN Programs

Transitioning to an RN role is a popular career path for experienced LPNs, and some schools offer special LPN to RN bridge programs to help LPNs take the next step in their careers. Many of these programs provide course credit or proficiency credit for prior LPN coursework, which makes these bridge programs faster to complete than a traditional ADN or BSN program. The LPN to RN program at Ambria College of Nursing is one example of a Chicago area school that provides credit for prior coursework.

ADN Programs

ADN programs are offered at many community colleges and vocational schools and provide a foundational education in nursing in around two years of study. Oakton Community College’s ADN program has coursework in nutrition, pharmacology, nursing care concepts, and pediatric nursing.

Direct-Entry BSN Programs

Another option for entry-level nursing programs for students new to nursing are traditional BSN programs. BSN programs are typically four-year bachelor’s programs that include liberal arts general education courses in addition to nursing major courses. The BSN program at Robert Morris University in Chicago includes general education and career management coursework in addition to classwork in anatomy and physiology, organic chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, healthcare research and the fundamentals of nursing career across the lifespan, community nursing and leadership.

Find out more about Illinois Accelerated BSN Programs

Direct-Entry MSN Programs

A less common pathway to becoming a registered nurse is a direct-entry MSN program, which allows students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing subject the opportunity to earn a master’s in nursing. These programs are a good fit for students who want to transition careers into nursing and would like to earn an advanced degree. The direct-entry MSN program at DePaul University is a two-year accelerated program that prepares students for administrative, educational or advocacy roles in nursing.

Find out more about Illinois Accelerated MSN Programs

Chicago RN Program NCLEX-RN Pass Rates

 ChicagoIllinois
NCLEX-RN Students Total3,4517,011
NCLEX-RN Students Passed2,9936,200
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate86.7%88.4%

Top Ranked Accredited Nursing Programs in Chicago

Listed below are the top nursing schools in Chicago based on our RegisteredNursing.org RN program rankings for Illinois out of 78 other accredited programs offered in the state:

  • Ambria College of Nursing - #29
  • Dominican University - #30
  • Harper College - #24
  • Lewis University - #9
  • Loyola University Chicago - #17
  • Oakton Community College - #10
  • Rush University - #4
  • South Suburban College - #19
  • Trinity Christian College - #2
SchoolContact Information
Ambria College of Nursing
5210 Trillium Blvd
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192
(847) 397-0300
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Isle, IL 60532
(630) 829-6000
CAAN Academy of Nursing
4747 Lincoln Mall Dr
Matteson, IL 60443
(708) 983-1645
Chamberlain College of Nursing
3005 Highland Parkway
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(877) 751-5783
Chicago State University
9501 S King Dr
Chicago, IL 60628
(773) 995-2000
City Colleges of Chicago - Malcolm X
1900 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 850-7000
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(630) 942-2380
DePaul University
2320 N Kenmore Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 687-1000
Dominican University
  • BSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Illinois Program: #30 of 78
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
(708) 366-2490
Elmhurst College
190 S Prospect Ave
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 617-3400
Harper College
  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked Illinois Program: #24 of 78
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL 60067
(847) 925-6000
Instituto College
2520 S. Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 890-0055
Lewis University
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 836-5245
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000
Moraine Valley Community College
9000 College Pkwy
Palos Hills, IL 60465
(708) 974-4300
Morton College
3801 S Central Ave
Cicero, IL 60804
(708) 656-8000
North Park University
3225 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(800) 888-6728
Northwestern College
7725 S. Harlem Ave
Bridgeview, IL 60455
(888) 205-2283
Oakton Community College
  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked Illinois Program: #10 of 78
1600 East Golf Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
(847) 635-1600
Prairie State College
202 S Halsted St
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 709-3500
Rasmussen College
1400 West Normantown Road
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 306-2600
Resurrection University
1431 N Claremont Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-6464
Robert Morris University Illinois
401 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
(800) 762-5960
Rush University
  • MSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Illinois Program: #4 of 78
600 S Paulina St
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-5000
Saint Xavier University
3700 West 103rd Street
Chicago, IL 60655
(773) 298-3706
South Suburban College
  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked Illinois Program: #19 of 78
15800 State St
South Holland, IL 60473
(708) 596-2000
Trinity Christian College
  • BSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Illinois Program: #2 of 78
6601 W College Dr
Palos Heights, IL 60463
(708) 597-3000
Triton College
2000 5th Ave
River Grove, IL 60171
(708) 456-0300
University of Illinois at Chicago
1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-7000

RN to BSN/MSN Programs in Chicago, IL

Many ADN-educated nurses decide to go back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in order to earn a higher salary and move into more senior nursing positions. The best option for these nurses is a special RN to BSN or RN to MSN bridge program that builds on their previous nursing coursework and experience to deliver a higher degree in less time.

RN to BSN Programs

RN to BSN bridge programs help nurses with their associate’s degree earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing. Many of these programs are offered online, including the RN to BSN program at Chamberlain University, which can be completed in as little as three semesters of full-time study.

Find out more about Illinois RN to BSN Programs

RN to MSN Programs

Another option for ADN-educated nurses is an RN to MSN program that provides a master’s degree in nursing without a BSN as a pre-requisite. Curriculum in these programs includes bachelor’s-level coursework in addition to MSN courses. The RN to MSN program at DePaul University is open to ADN-educated nurses with their bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing subject, and includes only three bachelor’s-level nursing courses before allowing students to progress to master’s-level work.

Find out more about Illinois RN to MSN Programs

SchoolContact Information
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 829-1153
Chamberlain College of Nursing
3300 N Campbell Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
DePaul University
1 E. Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604
(773) 325-1887
Elmhurst College
190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 617-3314
Lewis University
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 836-5245
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(708) 216-3582
Purdue University Global
550 West Van Buren St
Chicago, IL 60607
(866) 522-7747
Resurrection University
1431 North Claremont Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-6464 x5347
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-2308
Saint Xavier University
3700 West 103rd Street
Chicago, IL 60655
(773) 298-3706
University of Illinois at Chicago
1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-7808

APRN & Nurse Practitioner Programs in Chicago, IL

For nurses who want to advance beyond their bachelor’s degree and seek leadership positions and advanced certifications, an advanced practice nursing program is the next step. APRN programs in the Chicago area include traditional MSN programs, post-graduate certificate programs, and doctoral programs.

MSN Programs

Traditional MSN programs are designed to prepare nurses with their BSN for advanced practice careers such as nurse practitioner, nurse educator, administrators, and clinical nurse leaders. Most MSN programs allow students to concentrate their studies in a particular practice area and prepare students to take the relevant certification exam for that specialty. Lewis University offers an MSN program with specialties in nursing education, healthcare systems leadership, adult/gerontology acute care and primary care nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner and school nurse.

Find out more about Illinois Nurse Practitioner Programs

Post-Master's Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs are designed to help BSN and MSN-educated nurses become certified in a new specialty of advanced practice nursing. For instance, Loyola University Chicago has graduate certificate programs for BSN-educated nurses in oncology nursing and infection control, as well as APRN programs for nurses with their master’s degrees who would like to be certified as a particular type of nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.

Find out more about Post-Master's Certificate Programs

DNP & Ph.D. Programs

Doctoral programs in nursing are the highest level of education available to nurses. In the Chicago area, nurses can choose from Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) depending on their career goals. DNP programs prepare nurses for independent practice and other leadership roles, and Ph.D. programs prepare nurses for careers in nursing research or academia. Chicago's Rush University offers a variety of DNP specialty programs, as well as a Ph.D. program for interested students.

Find out more about Illinois DNP Programs

SchoolContact Information
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532
(866) 295-3104
Lewis University
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 838-0500
Loyola University of Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000
Resurrection University
1431 N Claremont Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-6464
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-7100
Saint Xavier University
Dual MSN/MBA Programs
3700 W. 103rd Street
Chicago, IL 60655
(844) 468-6798
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
845 South Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 996-7800