The Best Nursing Schools in Illinois

Different areas in the United States are undergoing a crisis that pertains to the shortage of nurses.  The severity of the problem though varies according to each state.  The state of Illinois for example is experiencing shortage of nurses as well, but the concern in Illinois is not as alarming as compared to the other areas of the United States.

As projected by the Illinois State Board of Nursing, between the present time and the year 2020, there is a possibility that there will be an increase of demand for nurses of about 16.3%, and the need for licensed vocational and practical nurses will also rise by approximately 9.1%.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also included that there will be an increase for the need of Registered Nurses by around 26% for the entire United States.

The country is aware of the current concern with regards to the shortage of nurses, and each state is also aware of their current condition regarding this issue.  Given the knowledge of the situation, strong efforts must be made in order to address the concern and resolve the issue even before they get really worse in the future.

In Illinois, so many nursing jobs are available and in fact in 2012, there were 5,200 nursing jobs that were vacant and were waiting to be filled in.  But the need to have more nurses is on the rise because it was brought about by several different factors such as the aging population, and the current nursing work force that is composed of baby boomers are already almost nearing their retirement age.

The shortage of nurses in Illinois is most severe in the area of Chicagoland where most of the nursing staff are more than 55 years old, which means that soon they will need to retire.  Because of this pressing concern about nurse shortage, patients cannot stay long in hospitals because there are not enough nurses to accommodate all the patients.  Hospitals are somehow forced to discharge their patients fast in order for them to respond to all the other patients.

Nurses are not just needed in hospitals but in other health care facilities as well such as home care and other long term care facilities.  Nurses are certainly very essential in all the communities because they are very much needed in every area where health care assistance is required.

Aside from nurses, another need are nurse educators because if not for these educators, then there will be no nurses.  Nurse educators are the ones who provide the students who will be nurses in the future the right training and skills as well as all the necessary knowledge in order to become effective nurses after they graduate from the nursing program.  Because there is a shortage in nurse educators as well, some 2,000 students who possess the necessary credentials to enter the program in nursing were turned down because there are no sufficient staff to educate them.

The shortage in nurses in Illinois definitely affects everyone, most especially those that are currently employed.  The present nursing staffs are affected mentally probably because of overwork as they are required to work for longer hours and perhaps even to work for more days.  Also because of stress, the nurses who are currently employed cannot perform their tasks well in the way that it already affects their capacity to provide the proper care for the patient.  Since the conditions are not very favorable, there are so many professionals in the health care field that have abandoned the industry because they can no longer be provided with satisfaction in their jobs.

Like in other states, Illinois also favors the nurses with a specialized license as well as those who possess higher education such as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s because the Institute of Medicine wants to make sure that no less than 80% of the nursing staff have at least a bachelor’s degree.  The salary of nurses in Illinois is approximately $62,650 which is below the national average by about 5%.  Salaries also vary according to specialization, location and education.

Some schools within Illinois that offer nursing programs that have good quality of education are as follows:

  1. Loyola University Chicago

It is the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (SON) that provides the training for the nursing programs at Loyola University Chicago.  This School of Nursing offers transformative education in a Jesuit Catholic tradition, and is an essential part of Chicago’s Jesuit Catholic University which strives to be a varied community that finds God in all things.

This School of Nursing aims to be superior in terms of teaching, research, service as well as practice.  More than providing high quality and holistic education, it is also a home to the Center for Ethics in Nursing, and also the Center for Nursing Research.

The US News and World Report ranks the Loyola University Chicago as one of the country’s top national universities.  It also has an online program in nursing which also ranks in the top 10 for student services and technology.  This School of Nursing is highly recognized by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and this university is also very proud of its faculty as over 85% of them have doctoral degrees.

  1. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
222 S. Prospect Ave.,
Suite 304, Park Ridge
IL 60068-4010

Another good university in Illinois is the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville wherein its Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia and Family Nurse Practitioner programs have evolved into a recognized Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia and Family Nurse Practitioner.  This university has an environment that encourages active learning, and strives to build excellence in the different areas of nursing such as leadership, teaching, research and also involvement in the community.

In Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, students can expect state of the art simulation laboratories and can look forward to be educated by a world class faculty.  Graduates of this university are much sought after because they are known to be superior in patient care.

  1. University of Illinois at Chicago
UIC College of Nursing
845 South Damen Avenue MC 802
Chicago, IL 60612

The University of Illinois at Chicago was founded in 1873 and was the pioneer among the public institutions to provide a program that leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.  It had its highly significant moment in September of 1954 when the first class were admitted to the school of nursing.  The University of Illinois at Chicago definitely have had so many achievements that it will always be proud of.

In 1956, the first Dean of Nursing was Emily C. Andrew, and in the 1960’s came the completion of a new building at 845 South Damen Avenuewhich then increased the number of students by three times the university’s population.

The University of Illinois at Chicago maintains to offer high quality of education as well as excellent patient care.  This university is one of the institutions that has provided first class nursing programs in the country.

  1. Lewis University
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446-2200

Another university where students can expect high quality education with a holistic and compassionate approach is the Lewis University.  This university is proud of its simulation laboratories that are most modern, and which also fosters a supportive as well as a safe environment that can certainly encourage and inspire students to have positive approach in learning.

Lewis University has developed great nurses for more than 40 years which gives its nursing program so much credential.  The courses are always updated to meet the latest requirements in the health care system.  Lewis University has the widest bachelor’s programs as well among private not for profit universities in all of Illinois.

What is also amazing about this university is that it shares its accelerated RN/ BSN and master’s programs to different health care organizations.  Aside from on- campus learning, Lewis University’s master’s and DNP programs are available online as well to cater to those who are already working in the field.

  1. University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox Street
Joliet, IL 604435

The University of St. Francis is also a good choice to obtain a nursing degree from.  This university is a small not for profit college that is located in Joliet, Illinois.  It was established in 1847 and has since then been giving high quality education to its students.  University of St. Francis also offers various degrees such as abachelor’s, a master’s, certificates as well as a doctoral which is available in five of the university’s nursing programs.

The cost of education for University of St. Francis is pretty expensive and in an average, costs about $29,000 for an entire academic year, but the tuition fee though varies as it depend on the program.  The concern though with this university is that its location is somewhat not safe and has a poor evaluation in terms of campus security.

University of St. Francis is on the 144th ranking in the list of nursing schools in the United States and belongs to the top 5 universities within the state of Illinois.  It is at par with other universities such as Loyola University Chicago and also University of Illinois, both schools are located in Chicago.


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