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Illinois, IL | RN to BSN Nursing School Program

Why Become an RN to BSN in Illinois?

If you are a licensed RN in Illinois and want to take your education further while still working, an RN to BSN degree is an attractive option. RN to BSN programs allow RNs to pursue their BSN while still continuing to work via night classes and online degrees. They give previously accredited RNs the ability to expand their knowledge and skills already gained through previous education that led to RN licensure through programs such as an ADN. In addition, it is possible to complete the programs at an accelerated rate—as little as one year once all the general education courses are completed. Accelerated completion is partly made possible through NLN Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exams, which test knowledge in nursing processes and skills, medical and surgical processes and knowledge, pediatrics, mental health and maternal newborn care, and place currently working nurses for accelerated education. Essentially, they test current knowledge and skills to determine the educational development of accepted RNs and allow them to move to higher level courses based on previously acquired knowledge. This allows currently employed Registered Nurses to tailor individual coursework to their needs and to reach career goals. Indeed, it is a targeted program towards nurses wishing to develop their career beyond that of their current practice.

How To Get Your RN to BSN In Illinois

Currently, over thirty schools offer RN to BSN programs in Illinois, including several online programs including the University of Illinois at Chicago , Illinois State University, West Suburban College of Nursing, the University of Saint Francis, the Chamberlain College of Nursing ), and Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville . To be accepted into an RN to BSN program in Illinois, a 2.5 GPA is usually required in previous prerequisite and nursing courses, but entry is competitive and the minimum is not always enough to gain acceptance. Usually, these courses have been completed on the way to an RN in an AND program and include both arts and sciences courses like English, statistics, microbiology and so on. And like an ADN, admission to general studies is required before applying to a nursing school. Once accepted to the respective college of nursing, students take courses in research, leadership, family and community health, community assessment and upper level electives that allow for further specialization of knowledge during an RN to BSN. Other specialized courses are also available from throughout the science department; RN to BSN students may take anything from upper level biology to philosophy of health.

There is no final test to achieve a BSN beyond those in coursework—before entry you have already passed the NCLEX-RN. There is, however, a minimum GPA required to graduate, usually a 2.5 or C average. And once a student has graduated, many newfound opportunities for career advancement open up. Research and critical thinking skills, a broader scope of knowledge, and further leadership training can lead to both public and private sector research positions and community health programming beyond a hospital or clinical setting. Leadership and management skills offer the opportunity for advancement in current occupational settings as well. With an average Registered Nurse’s salary sitting around $71,000 (according to BLS.gov) in urban areas of Illinois, this can also mean that graduates of an RSN to BSN program have the opportunity to move to the higher end of the nursing salary scale, which in some cases can reach six figures.