Accredited BSN to MSN Programs in Illinois [2023]

Study BSN to MSN Programs in Illinois

Illinois is known as a major hub for multiple industries, ranging from publishing to machinery and transportation. It has one of the most diversified economies globally, making it one of the best states to work in compared to most others in the country.

With the recent health developments in the country, Illinois has struggled with finding nurses for its hospitals. Administrators attribute this to the fact that demand is outweighing supply. Aside from this, current staff and faculty are aging rapidly, making the transition even harder.

This makes nursing one of the most marketable professions that people can possess. As Illinois searches for more nurses to fill its hospitals, it has now expanded its search to other countries.

Locals looking to study nursing will have an advantage by going to Illinois universities that offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.

Schools Offering BSN to MSN Programs in Illinois (Online & Campus)

As the country’s population ages, gets sick, or requires special care, nurses will always be needed. It takes a special skill to coordinate patient care, which includes evaluating, observing, and communicating with patients, that only a nursing degree can fulfill.

The best way to further one’s nursing education is to take up the appropriate MSN program that aligns with their preferred specialty. An MSN degree also helps prepare nurses to take on advanced doctorate degrees if they choose to do so in the future.

To improve its healthcare staff needs, the universities in Illinois have stepped up by offering more options for BSN to MSN programs. Here are some universities that you might consider.

University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers two flexible online MSN programs that will help nurses improve their knowledge, expertise, and salary range. This makes continued education even easier for nurses who are looking to focus on their specialty.

The two online MSN programs are:

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Under this program, nurses can acquire their MSN in as little as 8 semesters with 27 credits. Here, students will learn skills such as creating treatment plans for chronic and acute illnesses, and guiding and educating patients on disease prevention while promoting healthy lifestyle habits.

Aside from these, students will be trained in understanding how the aging process affects the changes in health. Performing essential diagnostic tests, evaluating the results, and interpreting the outcomes is another skill that is taught.

Finally, managing overall patient care in terms of development issues and lifestyle concerns will help graduates become better as nurses.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

This program takes a minimum of 8 semesters and 27 credit units. Under this MSN program, students can expect to learn how to make qualified psychiatric assessments and diagnoses.

Another important factor is performing physical and mental health evaluations, as well as developing holistic treatment techniques and plans. Providing psychotropic medications and prescriptions is one skill that students are expected to learn.

Finally, offering group, family, and individual psychotherapy, as well as promoting mental health education and well-being practices among patients, communities, and legislators, is essential skills given to students.

Upon completion, students of both programs are expected to know and do the following:

  • Integrate learned sciences into evidence-based advanced nursing practices
  • Apply acquired nursing skills to plan, coordinate, and manage healthcare for culturally appropriate patient populations.
  • Use knowledge of quality improvement, healthcare technologies, systems leadership, and organizational policy to ensure high-quality care for patients.
  • Participate actively as leaders and members of healthcare teams.

Herzing University

Herzing is another university that offers online MSN programs for students and nurses who need the flexibility. It is recognized by US News & World Report as one of the best online graduate nursing programs.

The programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The MSN programs are:

MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Here, students can complete the program in as little as 20 months, requiring 48 credits and 675 clinical hours under the guidance of academic coaches.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

This 20-month program with 540 clinical hours will help students focus on making a significant impact on patients with mental disorders while promoting mental health awareness and education.

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)

Students can finish the program in as little as 20 months, with 585 clinical hours, and everything done online.

Nursing Leadership

Nurse leaders affect patient lives more significantly with clinical expertise balanced with business administration. This program requires a 36-credit online program over 16 months. Graduates under this program will be prepared to take the Nurse Executive-Board Certified (NE-BC) credentialing exam provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Nurse Educator

Students are trained to teach the next generations of nurses. This 16-month online program requires 36 credits where instructional strategies, curriculum development, and evaluation and assessment methods are taught.

Students who wish to take these programs may be need to provide at least one or more of the following documentations:

  • A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree
  • A minimum of 3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • An unencumbered active Registered Nurse (RN) license
  • Completion of a tertiary statistics course

Additionally, an Associate Degree is allowed to transition from RN to MSN. The Associate Degrees can be in Nursing and Associate of Applied Science in Nursing.

Regis College

Regis College reinvents traditional education by offering MSN programs online. It is one of the many colleges and universities in Illinois that recognize the needs of its students by offering flexible schedules to fit their lifestyles.

The college is accredited by Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The programs include:

MSN – Adult Gerontology – Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)

Here, students will learn to provide primary to patients with aging and chronic illness. Polypharmacy management and end-of-life considerations are some key aspects of this program.

MSN – Adult Gerontology – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

Students will learn to diagnose and treat critical adult medical conditions through advanced diagnostics, pathophysiology, and other principles.

MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

In this program, students will develop skills and knowledge to work with patients in a family practice environment, regardless of age.

MSN – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

Students will learn to focus on various health needs and issues in a pediatric, outpatient, and primary care setting.

MSN – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Under this program, students will develop skills to provide the appropriate care to mental health patients through the latest knowledge on psychopharmacology and psychotherapy modalities.

MSN – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Students will learn to care for women patients at all stages of life. This includes primary care, obstetrical, and gynecological health care needs.

Full-time students can complete their programs in 28 to 36 months. Students who wish to take the program may be required to furnish one or more of the following documentations:

  • Proof of Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Entry
  • A preferred minimum of 3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • An unencumbered active Registered Nurse (RN) license
  • Completion of a college-level statistics course

Moreover, the college offers the following benefits:

  • Regis College partners will enjoy employee discounts.
  • Federal government employees are eligible for a 15% tuition discount.
  • Active, reserve, and veteran military personnel will be given a 15% discount.
  • Alumni are eligible for a 10% discount.

Norwich University

The trend toward online learning is only increasing, and Norwich University is just one of the leading institutions that champion this method. To help nurses expand their skills and earning capabilities, the university offers three online MSN programs.

MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Students can expect to graduate with 45 credits in as little as 30 months. Under this program, students will learn how to use their learned knowledge and skills to work with their patients, regardless of age, in a family environment.

MSN – Adult Gerontology – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

This program has 45 credits with a maximum of 15 students per class. Students can expect to learn how to provide vital primary care to patients who experience chronic illnesses, as well as aging. This includes knowledge of polypharmacy and end-of-life arrangements for their patients.

MSN – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

As with other MSN programs, this requires 45 credits. Each online class can accommodate up to 15 students, and the program can be completed in as little as 30 months. Students will learn to make physical and mental diagnoses with an emphasis on holistic treatment plans.

This can include physical and medical therapies designed to treat and promote mental balance, well-being, and the overall health of patients.

Job Opportunities and Salaries in Illinois for MSN Degree Holders

Illinois’s healthcare landscape has a high incidence of diabetes, teen birth rates, and drug overdoses. Aside from these, mental health crises have gripped most of Illinois during the recent health outbreaks.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the Chicago metropolitan areas are the highest in terms of nursing instructors and nurse practitioner employment. This is to be expected since Illinois has over 180 hospitals.

An RN level 1 is expected to make anywhere from $61,000 to $78,000. The exact salary depends on the employer, the education, skills, certifications, and experience.

An MSN-educated nurse practitioner can expect to make an average of $90,500 annually. According to ZipRecruiter, these are the best cities that pay well for MSN-educated nurses:

  • Naperville, with an average annual salary of $119,770
  • Chicago, with an average annual salary of $119,339
  • Tower Lakes, with an average annual salary of $118,936
  • Norris City, with an average annual salary of $115,817
  • Malta, with an average annual salary of $114,791

It needs to be noted that these salaries highly depend on a number of factors. While the salary range can become competitive, it should be noted that the demand is still quite high. Nurses can always take their pick when it comes to employers and salaries.

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