Chicago is one of the most exciting cities within the U.S., but if big-city living isn’t your style, this state provides residents and visitors with charming countryside and rural towns. As one of the nation’s largest industrial and commercial centers, this state is brimming with job opportunities – including nursing careers and top-notch nursing education.

Becoming a Nurse in Illinois

Chicago is the place to be for nursing education, including specialties in adult care, anatomy, pediatrics and more – especially if you desire urban life. DePaul University offers certifications, the BSN and MSN in nursing, along with specialties in nutrition, pharmacology and family care. If you prefer to study away from big-city distractions, try Illinois State University, Mennonite College of Nursing in Normal. You can specialize in administration or community health and earn your BSN or MSN as well as study for your RN licensure. Another choice might be Illinois Central College in East Peoria, where you can study to earn your LPN/LVN license.

Nursing Jobs in Illinois

Illinois nurse salaries are in step with the rest of the nation, as an LPN averages about $44,000 per year, and an RN can average approximately $74,000 per year. Some of the largest health care employers in this state include Advocate Health Care, Holy Cross Hospital, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital – all based in Chicago. If you’d prefer to work outside this city, you can find jobs as a travel or rural nurse, or work in hospitals in smaller towns such as Waukegan, Springfield or Rockford.

Find a Nursing Degree in Illinois

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Top 10 Online Nursing Schools

University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix — BSN, MSN, and Certificate. The University of Phoenix is the nation's largest online university and currently offers several nursing programs at three different degree levels, based on previous nursing education and experience.

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Kaplan University
Kaplan University — Bachelor's, and Master's Nursing Degrees. Kaplan's School of Nursing offers specializations for nurse administrators and nurse educators.

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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University — BS in Nursing (BSN) and MBA/MS in Nursing. Grand Canyon University offers a unique MBA/MS in nursing degree program that teaches students about the business aspect of healthcare, specifically nursing healthcare. Current nurses who want more business experience will find this may be an ideal fit.

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Liberty University
Liberty University — RN to BSN Degree and MSN Degree. The Department of Nursing at Liberty prepares students for baccalaureate level nursing, putting strong emphasis on Christian ethical standards and viewing nursing as a ministry of caring.

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Walden University
Walden University — M.S. in Nursing (RN Track), M.S in Nursing (BSN Track). Walden offers a wide variety of nursing degrees and certificates that are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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