RN to MSN Programs in Illinois

Find Online Master of Nursing Programs in Illinois

Registered nurses in Illinois seeking an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree may select from numerous accredited programs based in the state.

Governor's State University and St. John's College offer online MSN degrees accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Most of the online programs in the state are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Both ACEN and CCNE accreditations ensure that the program has been certified as offering an effective and high quality education that reflects current professional standards.

Example MSN Programs in Illinois

Chamberlain University

Chamberlain University, based in Downer's Grove, has an Online RN to BSN to MSN program. The degree may be completed in eight semesters, and students may select to complete the program even faster by selecting an accelerated course schedule. Students who choose the accelerated program do not earn a BSN, but may elect to prepare for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification by adding an additional semester of full-time coursework. Students who opt not to pursue an accelerated MSN may choose from six specialty tracks, including Educator, Executive, Family Nurse Practitioner, Healthcare Policy, Informatics, and Population Health.

Nurses who already have a BSN may select to complete the Online Master of Science in Nursing program, which includes the same specialty tracks as the RN-BSN to RN-MSN program. The MSN program may be completed in two years and, with the exception of a required immersion weekend for some tracks and practicum requirements, is available entirely online.

Loyola University

Loyola University, Chicago offers an MSN in Nursing and Healthcare Administration that is completed online with annual immersion sessions. The required immersion weekends are "designed to begin the socialization into the leadership community by establishing contacts with fellow students and guest speakers. The educational sessions will feature expert speakers who will discuss hot topics facing the nursing and healthcare administration leaders."

They also offer an Online MSN in Population-Based Infection Control and Environmental Safety APN. This program prepares nurses to meet the challenges of health care and community-associated infections, emerging diseases, environmental hazards, and bioterrorism. Coursework is completely online, but Chicago-based students may take selected courses on campus if they choose. A clinical practicum is required.

The Online MSN in Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist with Oncology Specialty degree teaches students about the advanced practice care of patients across the cancer care continuum (genetic screening, primary prevention, acute care, and palliative care). The Adult-Gerontology CNS with Oncology Specialty program is offered in an online format. Clinical placements can be arranged near where students live or work.

- Campbellsville University: Online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
- George Mason University: MSN-FNP
- Simmons University: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global, based in Chicago, offers an Online Master of Science in Nursing with ExcelTrack that allows students to finish their degree faster than other online platforms. With ExcelTrack, students may take as many courses as they like during the ten-week term for one fixed tuition price. Each course is a single credit covering a specific topic. Students who select this track may specialize in the Nurse Educator or Executive Leader pathway.

The University also offers a traditional online Master of Science in Nursing degree program, with specializations in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leader, and Nurse Educator.

St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, based in Peoria, offers programs that include online components, but most MSN programs require at least some on-campus experiences. The Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner degree requires students to be on-campus for two four-day practicums and the final proficiency exam. Classes are available online, however, and clinicals may be completed in the student's local area. The Master of Science in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care degree requires students to be on-campus for one practicum each semester.

All other programs are available entirely online, including the Accelerated Pathway to MSN for RNs with a Non-Nursing Baccalaureate Degree; the Master of Science in Nursing, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner degree; the Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Educator degree; the Master of Science in Nursing, Nursing Management Leadership degree; and the Master of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree.

St. John's College

St. John's College, based in Springfield, offers an Online Master of Science in Nursing, Nursing Administration & Leadership degree. The master's program consists of five core courses of online learning with student requested face-to-face meetings. Full-time plan of study is 6 semesters completed in 2 years. Part-time plan of study is 8 semesters completed in 3 years.

They also offer a Family Nurse Practitioner MSN degree. The FNP Program is a hybrid program with a combination of online and in seat learning. The master's program of student consists of five core courses of online learning with student requested face-to-face meetings. The course scheduling is flexible, using blended methods, in-person courses meet on Fridays after completion of the pre-clinical (online) courses. The curriculum includes 45 credit hours, including 660 clinical hours and 60 simulation hours under the guidance of expert faculty members and preceptors. Preceptors and clinical sites are arranged by St. John's College for the students. Full-time plan of study is 6 semesters completed in 2 years. Part-time plan of study is 8 semesters completed in 3 years.

Typical Curriculum for a Master’s in Nursing Degree

Typical curriculum for MSN programs vary based on the specialization and track selected. Many programs prepare students for certification as a Nurse Practitioner. Nurse Practitioner programs should provide theoretical and evidence-based clinical knowledge that prepare students for national certification in their anticipated area of population-focused practice. Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) competencies reflect practices across all specialties, populations, and settings. According to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, these competencies may be broadly categorized to include direct patient care, health promotion, interdisciplinary collaboration and consultation, system leadership, optimization of clinical outcomes, and health education.

Some programs prepare students to be Nurse Educators. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nurse educators must have a solid clinical background, strong communication skills, and a high level of cultural competence. Typical courses include curriculum development, theoretical foundations and instructional strategies, experiential learning, and strategies for assessment and evaluation. Graduates of Nursing Education MSN programs are prepared to be faculty or clinical instructors in schools of nursing or employment in staff development positions in health care institutions. Most of these programs can be completed in two years.

Another common path is to seek an MSN that prepares students for administrative or clinical leadership roles. Programs focused on administrative leadership may include courses in the management of financial resources, health care information systems, creating a professional working environment, and role development for nursing management. These programs may prepare students for certification as a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.

Clinical leadership programs may include courses in health care ethics, health policy and theory, and research principles, in addition to advanced coursework in pathophysiology, health assessment, pharmacology, and disease management. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which helped develop the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) credential, CNLs are trained to be point-of-care leaders who focus on care coordination, outcomes management, transitions of care, interprofessional communication, risk assessment, and quality improvement, among other things.

Licensure in Illinois

Nurses who graduate from MSN programs that prepare Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists are licensed as Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The Department has set specific licensure requirements for each APN role, and additional requirements for full practice authority and controlled substances prescribing.

Nurse educators and nurse leaders may be licensed as either an APRN or RN, depending on their individual training and educational background. RNs may be licensed either by examination or endorsement.

MSN and FNP Salaries in Illinois

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published in May 2018 that the average salary for a Nurse Practitioner in Illinois was $105,800. This is significantly higher than the average RN salary of $73,890. Overall, national employment of nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses is expected to increase 26% between 2018 and 2028 due to an increased demand for healthcare services.

All Accredited Schools with MSN Degrees in Illinois

Online Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants
Aurora University
Aurora
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Aurora University's Master of Science in Nursing program prepares students for leadership roles in the health care field. The program is fully accredited and two specialization tracks are available.
Benedictine University
Lisle
CCNE
  • Nurse Executive Leader MSN  - School of Nursing
  • Benedictine University offers students a Nurse Executive Leader MSN program for those interested in becoming leaders in organizational and administrative roles. The program also offers a flexible online schedule.
Blessing Rieman College of Nursing
Quincy
CCNE
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers students a Master of Science in Nursing program.  This is an online part-time program and a free laptop is supplied for course work.
Bradley University
Peoria
ACEN
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN - FNP)
  • The  Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner program at Bradley University prepares nurses to provide primary health care to families and individuals of all ages. The program is accredited by the CCNE and can be completed online.
  • Master of Science in Nursing Administration (MSN) - College of Education & Health Sciences, Department of Nursing
  • Bradley University offers students a Master of Science in Nursing Administration (MSN) program for those interested in becoming leaders in organizational and administrative roles. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
  • Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSN) - College of Education & Health Sciences, Department of Nursing
  • The Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSN) program at Bradley University prepares students for teaching positions in schools of nursing, staff development, and patient education. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Chamberlain College of Nursing
Addison
CCNE
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing
  • Chamberlain College of Nursing’s online Master of Science in Nursing degree program prepares students for roles as in the health care field. Specialties offered include Nurse Educator, Nurse Executive, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Informatics or Healthcare Policy.
Chicago State University
Chicago
NA
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • The MSN program at CSU prepares students for roles as in the health care field. Specialties offered include focusing on community health nursing, nursing administration and nursing education.
DePaul University
Chicago
CCNE
  • Master's Entry to Nursing Practice (MENP)
  • The Master's Entry to Nursing Practice from DePaul prepares students for licensure into professional nursing practice. Students will gain leadership skills that will help them move into administrative, educational or advocacy roles.
  • RN to MS in Nursing (MS) - Department of Nursing & Health
  • DePaul University's Master of Science in nursing program offers students the skills they need to function in health care delivery, management and education. The program can be done online with clinical done on campus/in health care facility.
Elmhurst College
Elmhurst
CCNE
  • M.S. in Nursing
  • The M.S. in Nursing program at Elmhurst College helps develop knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. Areas of specialization include clinical nurse leader, nurse educator or nurse administrator.
Governors State University
University Park
ACEN
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - School of Nursing
  • Governors State’s Nursing program offers students the skills they need to function in health care delivery, management and education. Specializations are offered in Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Administration.
Illinois State University
Normal
CCNE
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (M.S.)
  • MCN's FNP program prepares nurses to provide primary health care, treatment and care plans to families and individuals of all ages. The program is accredited by the CCNE and has a choice of online or on campus classes.
  • Nursing Systems Administration (MSN) 
  • The Nursing Systems Administration program at Illinois State graduates nurses who are skilled in fulfilling leadership and executive roles within the health care system. The program is accredited by the CCNE and is completed entirely online.
Lewis University
Romeoville
CCNE
  • Post-Master's Certificate - Healthcare Systems Leadership
  • The Post-Master's Certificate- Healthcare Systems Leadership at Lewis University is for nurses looking for an advanced degree after completing the Masters of NE. The program is accredited by the CCNE.
Loyola University Chicago
Chicago
CCNE
  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Loyola University Chicago’s Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares nurses to provide primary health care, treatment and care plans to families and individuals of all ages. The program is accredited by the CCNE.
  • MSN in Health Systems Management
  • The MSN in Health Systems Management program at Loyola University Chicago offers students the knowledge to lead in a new health-care system that can incorporate modern technology and evidence-based decision making. This program is accredited by the CCNE.
  • MSN - Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS) 
  • The Adult-Gerontology CNS program at Loyola University Chicago prepares nurses to practice skills across health care settings, centering on the adult age group. This program is accredited by the CCNE.
McKendree University
Lebanon
CCNE
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • The Nursing program at McKendree University assists nurses to develop knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. The program is accredited by the CCNE.
North Park University
Chicago
CCNE
  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner - Department of Health Professions: Nursing
  • The Family Nurse Practitioner program at North Park University offers students the skills they need to function in health care delivery, management and education. The program is accredited and offers flexible class schedules.
  • MSN: Leadership & Management Classes
  • The Leadership & Management program at North Park University graduates nurses who are skilled in fulfilling leadership and executive roles within the health care system. The program is accredited and offers flexible class schedules.
Northern Illinois University
Dekalb
CCNE
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing
  • The M.S. program at NIU assists nurses to develop knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. The program offers concentrations in Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Education.
Olivet Nazarene University
Bourbonnais
CCNE
  • Master of Science in Nursing (RN-MSN) 
  • The RN-MSN program at Olivet Nazarene University prepares nurses with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. The program is entirely online.
Resurrection University
Chicago
CCNE
  • Nurse Practitioner (MSN)
  • The MSN Nurse Practitioner program at Resurrection University offers students the skills they need to function in health care delivery, management and education. The program is accredited and completed both in-class and online.
Rush University
Chicago
CCNE
  • Clinical Nurse Leader for RNs (MSN)
  • The Clinical Nurse Leader for RNs program at Rush University teaches advanced-practice nursing knowledge to manage patient-centered primary care and health and illness of patients of all ages. This program is accredited by the CCNE and completed online.
Saint Anthony College of Nursing
Rockford
CCNE
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - College of Nursing
  • The MSN program at Saint Anthony College of Nursing prepares nurses with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. The program is accredited by the CCNE and concentrations include Clinical Nurse Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Educators, and Family Nurse Practitioner.
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Peoria
ACEN
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Wegmans School of Nursing
  • The MSN program at Saint Francis Medical Center prepares nurses with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. The program is accredited by the HLC and concentrations include Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and more.
Saint Xavier University
Chicago
CCNE
  • MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • The Family Nurse Practitioner program at Saint Xavier University offers students the skills they need to function in health care delivery, management and education. The program is accredited and completed online and on campus.
  • MSN in Executive Leadership
  • The Executive Leadership program at Saint Xavier University graduates nurses who are skilled in fulfilling leadership and executive roles within the health care system.
  • MSN in Clinical Leadership 
  • The Clinical Leadership program at Saint Xavier University teaches advanced-practice nursing knowledge to manage patient-centered primary care and health and illness of patients of all ages. This program is accredited by the NLN.
  • Nurse Educator Certificate 
  • The Nurse Educator program at Saint Xavier University prepares nurses for teaching positions in schools of nursing, staff development, and patient education.
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Edwardsville
CCNE
  • Master of Science, Health Care & Nursing Administration (HCNA) - School of Nursing
  • Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville offers a Master in Health Care & Nursing Administration program for nurses interested in becoming leaders in organizational and administrative roles.
  • Master of Science, Nurse Educator (NE) Specialization
  • The Nurse Educator program at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville prepares nurses for teaching positions in schools of nursing, staff development, and patient education.
Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Rock Island
NA
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing
  • The Nursing Program at Trinity College prepares nurses with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. The program is accredited by the CCNE and offers concentrations in Nursing Education and Nurse Leadership in Health Care Systems.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago
CCNE
  • MS Advanced Generalist Master of Science (AGMS)
  • The Advanced Generalist Nursing Program at UIC prepares nurses to work in illness care and management through the patient life cycle. The program is accredited by the CCNE.
University of St Francis
Joliet
CCNE
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • The MSN program at St. Francis prepares nurses with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the health care system. The program offers concentrations in Nursing Education, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and more.
  • MS in Health Administration  - Cecily and John Leach College of Nursing
  • St. Francis offers a Health Administration program for nurses interested in becoming leaders in organizational and administrative roles. The program is completed on campus.