Earning a Master's degree can be an excellent way to expand your career options and become well-known as a leader in your field. But if you want to switch fields and start a career in nursing, you may need a little bit more training. There are education options for students with a non-nursing Bachelor's degree that want to start nursing careers. Illinois has many nursing schools that offer accelerated or direct entry MSN programs. Just as their name implies, these programs are fast-paced and demanding. You may be required to drop to part-time work or pass on work entirely while earning an MSN. These restrictions make it possible for you to get a BSN and an MSN in 18 to 24 months.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can earn your Master’s in Nursing degree in a short period of time, contact the schools on this page and request detailed program information.
Illinois nursing faculty expect a lot from accelerated MSN students, and your progress may be measured by a set of learning outcomes. As you work through your curriculum, you should demonstrate a growing ability to integrate nursing information for the purposes of treating, analyzing, and diagnosing health problems. With this should come advanced leadership skills and the ability to make quick, accurate decisions. A major part of direct entry MSN programs is understanding that nursing policies that may affect nurses at an institutional and societal level. With your education, you should also be able to provide and advocate for culturally competent nursing care.
You education may start with lower-level courses that prepare you for registered nursing (RN) licensure. Courses may include Pathophysiology, Fundamentals of Nursing Practice, Ethics in Nursing, and Pharmacology. Clinical work is a significant part of your education, which means that you'll likely spend over 600 hours in a local health care facility.
Higher-level nursing courses include Information Systems in Health Care Management, Nursing Concepts and Theory, Advanced Nursing Care for Community Health, and Leadership in Health Care Settings. The amount of clinical hours you complete will vary, based on which nursing specialty you pursue.
In Illinois, MSN students may be able to apply for a wide selection of grants, scholarships, and loan repayment programs. As soon as you know that you'll be attending nursing school, you may want to start the application process. Scholarships and grants often fill up early, and applying as soon as possible may give you a better chance of being selected. The Illinois Board of Nursing offers scholarships for nurse educators, loan repayment programs for nurses that stay in Illinois, and other opportunities. The Illinois Center for Rural Health funds the Nursing Education Scholarship Program, which is designed for low-income students. Several scholarships are available through the American Nurses Association of Illinois.
Though job growth rates in Illinois are slightly lower than the national average, they are still indicative of a growing field that may have plenty of room for trained, educated professionals. Estimates provided by O*Net indicate that job growth is slowest for health services managers. In the decade between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects job openings to increase by 13%. In comparison, O*Net predicts a 31% increase in jobs for nursing instructors.
Salaries can vary considerably between advanced nursing careers. The average salary for a nursing instructor in Illinois is $65,800 per year (O*Net, 2013). The highest-paid nurses in the state are nurse anesthetists, who bring in an average income of $154,800 per year (O*Net, 2013).
In Illinois, the licensing of nursing professionals goes through the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Initially, you'll need a registered nursing license. You also need an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license if you plan on going into a clinical specialty. Those who administer controlled substances need additional certification.
In Illinois, the need for highly-trained nursing professionals is growing. Take advantage of this growth by attending a direct entry MSN program and learning how you can improve the nursing field. Request information from the Illinois nursing schools on this page to learn more about Direct Entry MSN programs.