14 Accelerated Nursing Programs in Illinois (BSN & MSN) – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Want to be an Illinois nurse but don’t think you can because you weren’t a nursing major in college? Accelerated Nursing programs in Illinois can help you transition into a lucrative and fulfilling nursing career. Many of these programs can be completed online so that you can continue meeting your present job and work responsibilities. BSN-prepared RNs in Illinois make $82,220 a year on average and their employment opportunities are expected to soar by more than 5 percent in the next decade. One of the best Accelerated Nursing programs in Illinois for 2024 could be your entrée to a new career.


Following is the List of 9 Accelerated BSN Programs in Illinois for 2024

1. Illinois State University, Normal

Mennonite College of Nursing Illinois State University has an experience of 100 years in training more than a generation of professional nurses. The college has continuously evolved with changing times, keeping its various nursing programs current. It is armed with a faculty that is compassionate and experts in their respective field. It keeps its faculty-student ratio of 1:8 at clinical sites, allowing students to gain the maximum out of their clinical experience.

The 15-month Accelerated BSN starting in May and ending in August is aimed at training students with a non-nursing degree for a career as a registered nurse. Limited number of students are accepted to this program and factors such as GPA, CNA certification, healthcare experience, and quality of essays play a role in the selection process. As part of the curriculum you will have to complete 8 courses which include a clinical component at sites within 75-miles of the Bloomington-Normal area.

2. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville

The SIUE School of Nursing provides a conducive learning environment with its innovative teaching, quality research, community service and compassionate care where students thrive and exhibit positive academic outcomes. Students are given ample opportunities to sharpen their knowledge and skills with an array of clinical experiences. It’s WE CARE Clinic, which is a nurse-managed primary care clinic allows real-time learning, where nurse practitioners work hand in hand with a pharmacist and a medical social worker. Additionally, to promote personal and professional growth the college provides students with opportunities to serve patients in Guatemala, Haiti, Costa Rica and Australia.

The post-baccalaureate Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an intensive program, where within 3 regular semesters (Fall, Spring & Fall) and a summer semester you will complete 65 credit hours of coursework which will include clinical practice sessions and classroom learning in areas such as Care of Women and Childbearing Families, Transition to Professional Practice Role and Nursing Leadership and Management. This full-time program begins in the August each year and concludes in December the following year. You will be required to attend classes 5 days a week.

3. Loyola University Chicago, Downers Grove (Online) & Maywood (On-Campus)

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is part of Loyola, the largest Jesuit Catholic university in the country. Catering to a diverse student population, the nursing school follows the philosophy of academic excellence, service and leadership, thereby fostering intellectual, professional, moral as well as spiritual growth of its students. The school believes in providing a well-rounded learning experience to its students and hence offers interdisciplinary education opportunities where nursing students are encouraged to engage with students of medicine, dietetics, exercise science and health system management.

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, in around 16-months you can fulfill your ambition of becoming an RN by pursuing the second-degree ABSN program. Admission is quite competitive due to a very high demand for this program, so you are advised to have a minimum 3.0 GPA in your non-nursing degree. The Maywood campus offers an on-campus program and the Downers Grove campus offers an online program. If you enroll into the online program, then please note that you will have to attend lab session on-site and visit healthcare facilities for your clinical rotations.

The program involves 3 stages:

Stage 1: Nursing coursework provides you with a strong foundation.
Stage 2: You will practice skills and knowledge in state-of-the-art Simulation labs.
Stage 3: You will gain real-world experience through Clinical training.

4. Lewis University, Romeoville

Lewis University College of Nursing and Health Professions has 40 years of experience in training nurses. Enriched by the diversity in its student population, the college offers a perfect blend of Catholic values and modern education. Its nurses learn to practice with compassion and adopt a more holistic approach, caring for the heart, mind and soul of their patients. The college boasts of currently having the largest bachelor’s program in the state, amongst the private and not-for profit universities.

The two–year Accelerated BSN program with its low student-to-faculty ratio and dedicated group of teachers will prepare you to become care-givers and leaders in specialized nursing fields such as labor and delivery nursing, flight nursing and ER nursing. The program has two start dates (Fall & Spring). One of the main requirements to be considered for admission into this program is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a 2.75 GPA. Post program completion you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

5. Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Quincy

The Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing has been around since 1891 and since then proved its commitment towards nursing education with its programs and various student opportunities that are improving community health outcomes.

Nursing faculty for the 2-year Second Degree BSN program is MSN and Ph.D. prepared and are also members of organizations such as American Nurses Association and the Oncology Nursing Society. The curriculum is basically divided into 3 parts:

General Education Coursework: You can transfer courses like math, science and writing but will have to take additional courses such as Anatomy and Physiology.

Nursing Coursework: This part will include core nursing related courses such as advanced nursing concepts and gerontology and chronic illness.

Clinical Experience: You will apply the knowledge and skills gained during the course to real life situations and settings at clinical sites such as Blessing Hospital.

6. Saint John's College, Springfield

Established in 1886 with a mission to provide care for the sick and needy in the community, even today at St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, its faculty and students, single-mindedly work towards the same goal. Providing the most comprehensive learning experience, its students are exposed to a variety of clinicals ranging from birth and wellness to care of a patient on the death bed.

The Accelerated BSN program students begin their classes simultaneously with the regular BSN students but will take two additional classes during the first year. In total during the first year you will complete 36 credits. You will continue your education in the summer semester to complete 12 hours and finally during the fall semester which will be your last semester complete 15 credit hours. Within four semesters which includes a summer semester you will graduate and be able to take the NCLEX-RN. You need to note acceptance into this program is based on you fulfilling all the pre-requisite course requirements.

7. Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Rock Island

The Trinity College of Nursing has been offering nursing programs in the Quad cities region for more than 100 years now. Its affiliation with Trinity Regional Heath System allows its students enhance their nursing skills in a technologically advanced clinical setting. Taking the curriculum beyond classroom, students participate in various community service activities such as helping at blood drives, working at flu and vaccination clinics.

The 15-month full-time Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN-A) begins in the end of May and concludes by August the following year. You will receive 52 credit hours of advance standing credit for your non-nursing bachelor's degree. Pre-requisite course requirements include Anatomy & Physiology (I & II), Microbiology, Advanced Science, Human Growth and Development and Statistics. To graduate, you will need to complete 69 credit hours of nursing coursework with a minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA.

8. Methodist College, Peoria (Online and Weekend Program)

Methodist College is private, not for profit college that is affiliated with UnityPoint Health. It started with a humble beginning in 1900, training nurses with its nurse training program. Today it is recognized nationally for its various nursing programs and the education opportunities it offers to its nursing students in terms of clinical opportunities throughout the Peoria region at the UnityPoint Health hospitals and clinics. Most often theses translate into employment for most of its graduates.

If you are a working in a non-nursing field but are interested in taking up nursing as a career, then Methodist provides a very convenient two-year Second-Degree Accelerated BSN degree in Illinois. The program has 2 start dates - Fall & Spring. Enrollment to this program is limited to 30 per semester. You can pursue the program as either a full-time or part-time student. Classroom instruction is 100% through the online medium and clinical sessions are scheduled on the weekends. Upon graduation you can take the NCLEX-RN and start working as a registered nurse.

9. Lakeview College of Nursing, Danville

A nursing college that has been around, improving health outcomes, since 1894, Lakeview has been able to create an environment where students learn nursing skills, adapt to different situations and flourish professionally as well as personally. Recognized nationally for excellence in nursing, Lakeview’s proud graduates demonstrate patient centered care while being culturally sensitive, incorporate technology into nursing practice and use clinical judgment that is based on evidence for patients. To facilitate this positive student outcome the college offers world class amenities such as classrooms equipped with the latest technology, a simulation lab, and an auxiliary clinic where students further practice their practical skills.

Lakeview offers an ABSN program in IL for students interested in a career shift to nursing. This program starts twice every year, once in Fall and the other in Spring and is spread over 4 semesters which includes a summer semester. Coursework will include subjects such as Infant, Child & Adolescent Health, Population & Global Health and Older Adult Health.

Following is the List of 5 Accelerated MSN/Entry-level Masters Programs in Illinois for 2024

1. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago

The School of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago had its first batch of nursing students graduate in 1957. Since then, it has grown from strength to strength adding several feathers to its cap. It offers state-of-art facilities to keep learning engaging and invigorating. Apart from academics, students are provided with umpteen opportunities to participate in purposeful events and organizations where they collaborate and learn along with their peers.

The Master of Science (Graduate-Entry) is a fast-paced career changing track that is offered in Fall each year. Available at two of its campuses in Chicago and Urbana, it is a full-time program that takes seven consecutive semesters to complete. A combination of online and classroom learning, this program will prepare you for the licensure exam. To gain a thorough understanding of what to expect at a patient’s bedside, you will take five clinical courses during the course of this program. What’s more, with the largest simulation lab in any nursing school in the nation, opening in September 2019, you will have access to the best lab facilities to hone your professional skills.

2. Rush University, Chicago

Rush University College of Nursing awarded its first bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1975. With its roots of origin dating back to 1885, the college has come a long way, leading in transforming health outcomes with its innovative education and path breaking research. It caters to its growing student population with an array of nursing degrees. Armed with a faculty that is doctorally prepared, students gain from their mentorship in its small sized classes.

The Master’s Entry in Nursing is 2 year full-time on-campus program that will prepare you to successfully take the NCLEX-RN and the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification exam. The program is offered twice a year and is ideal for those who come from a non-nursing background and keen on pursuing a high-level role as a nurse. To be eligible you must complete the pre-requisite coursework with a grade C or higher in General Chemistry, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology and Microbiology. You will complete a minimum of 74 term hours of theory and 1,140 clock hours of clinical instruction. Additionally, the program also requires you to complete at least 100 professional development hours. In the last term you will take a preparation exam that will help you successfully pass the NCLEX-RN.

3. DePaul University, Chicago

DePaul University School of Nursing offers an unparalleled educational experience to it students. Its 2,000 strong alumni network, playing key roles in respected healthcare centers such as the Lurie Children’s Hospital, Northshore University Health System and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, is testament to the quality of education it provides. Its 65 years of history has led to fruitful partnerships with more than 75 clinical sites where students hone their skills and build up a professional network, that later often translate into employment opportunities.

The accelerated two-year Master’s Entry to Nursing Practice will prepare you with the skills and knowledge to shine in any nursing specialty. You will also be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. The school offers courses at Lincoln Park and the Rosalind Franklin University campuses. Coursework offers a perfect blend of arts and sciences, enabling you to develop a deeper understanding of nursing theories, concepts and research. You will be well prepared to take up leadership roles and work towards effective and affordable healthcare for everyone. The program is offered thrice a year in, Fall, Spring and Summer.

4. Millikin University, Decatur

Millikin University has been around for 110 years and since then believed in the fact that combining theory with practice is the way to truly enrich a student’s professional life. The school of nursing follows suit with a curriculum that incorporates experiential learning. Striving to give a strong grounding, its faculty teaches evidence-based practice that eventually helps in improving health outcomes.

The Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice is a 26-month program that is ideal for those who hold a non-nursing degree and are interested in pursuing nursing. The program prepares you for the NCLEX-RN and the Nurse Educator Certification exam. To enter into this program, you must have a college degree with a minimum of 3.0 and complete your coursework in Organic Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Math and Lifespan Development. Once enrolled, you will be attending classes, Monday through Friday. The program is a mix of online and classroom teaching. On completion of the program, you will earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing with specialization as a Nurse Educator. You can then go on to play a teaching role in nursing schools or continuing education programs.

5. Elmhurst College, Elmhurst

Elmhurst College Department of Nursing is located just 16 miles from downtown Chicago, a vibrant hub that offers the best of entertainment and healthcare options. This location gives students an advantage when it comes to experiential learning as there is availability of abundant opportunities in pediatrics, maternity units, operating room and public schools, to name just a few. Moreover, the world class simulation lab where students practice nursing skills in a non-risky environment and a supportive faculty facilitate excellence in learning.

The Department of Nursing offers a two-year Direct Entry MSN program in Illinois, starting Fall each year. A perfect blend of on-campus and online mode of instruction, you will attend classes Monday through Friday. The coursework prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN as well as a Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam. You will master the subject with its well-rounded curriculum that takes you through professional nursing fundamentals, moving on to advanced courses such as adult nursing across the lifespan and nursing leadership and management. To be eligible you must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.20 in your first degree along with a C grade or better in the pre-requisite coursework.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Nearby States
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