How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Illinois - IL

Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Jobs in Illinois - IL

The American Psychiatric Nurse Association defines Psychiatric-mental health nursing (PMHN) as a specialty in nursing. In addition to the functions performed by registered nurses working in PMHN at the basic level, advanced practice nurses (APNs) assess, diagnose, and treat individuals or families with current or potential psychiatric problems or disorders.

As a currently licensed registered nurse (RN), you can fulfill the requirements and become an APN. The minimum requirement to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Illinois (or clinical nurse specialist (CNS), as they are called in Illinois) is an approved graduate level degree or post master’s certificate in clinical psychiatric-mental health nursing. It is noteworthy that APNs can also earn doctoral degrees (PhD, DNSc, and EdD) and can go on to become hospital, agency or graduate program administrators, professors, or researchers.

The next requirement is passing a national level certification examination conducted by a recognized body. For the CNS–PMH specialty, this exam is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The third requirement is submitting the application to the Division of Professional Regulations for practicing in Illinois as an APN in your specialty (PMH in this case). Fulfill all the requirements of the application. You can practice in the state and use the title of CNS – PMH once your application is approved.

According to, Illinois population is 4.19% of the total US population. However, nurse practitioners in Illinois only represent 2.3% of the national total. RNs working in the state in various facilities, including Advocate Christ Medical Center, Evanston Hospital, and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County are taking advantage of approved online and offline programs and completing the first requirement for entering this amazing career.

Our Partner Listings