Become a Registered Nurse in Illinois - IL

How to Become an RN in Illinois

Keep your record clean before applying to a school offering Illinois RN programs. A felony on your record will bar you from earning an RN license. Illinois’ Division of Professional Regulation permits you to practice without direct supervision only after you have received your RN license. Once you have passed the exam, you may practice under supervision for up to three months while awaiting the arrival of your license. Note that the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) handles license verification.

After you have finished your education (detailed above) arrange to have a certificate of education sent from your school to the state.
Download the RN licensure application from the state website (idfpr.com) and set a date to take the licensing examination.

The state will conduct a background check and screen you for illegal drugs.
You can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) online. Upon passing the exam, (provided the rest of your application is in order), your license will be forthcoming.

If you already earned a license from another state, apply through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which still requires you pass the NCLEX exam, but allows you to apply for your license by endorsement. A check into your nursing and (if applicable) criminal background will be conducted.

Illinois Organizations for Registered Nurses
Illinois Nursing Association
This century-old organization speaks for nurses in Illinois. It addresses their concerns, advocates in Springfield for better legislation and helps improve working conditions, pay and contracts for RNs.

Illinois Nursing Association
105 W. Adams St., Suite 2101
Chicago, IL 60603
Ph: 312-419-2900
911 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62704

The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)

An affiliate of the American Hospital Association, this Chicago-based group with more than 6,400 members promotes nursing leadership and helps to change health care policy.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives
1 North Franklin St., Suite 2700
Chicago, IL 60606

Illinois Association of School Nurses (IASN)

Originally part of the Illinois Education Association, the IASN is now part of the Illinois Nurse Association and the National Association of School Nurses. The IASN focuses on school health programs and supporting school nurses in Illinois.

Illinois Association of School Nurses
1110 White Rock Drive
Dixon, IL 61021

Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists (IANA)
This group provides support and educational opportunities for nurses who work in this highly specialized field. It is an affiliate of the larger, national organization located in Park Ridge (see below).


American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
222 S. Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN)

For RNs who continue their training and acquire a master’s or doctorate degree, becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) may be a step towards more challenging work and better pay. The ISAPN provides continuing education courses, support and networking for APNs in the state.

Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN)
PO Box 1735
Springfield, IL 62705

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