Last updated July 28, 2017.
As a registered nurse in Illinois, you now have an extraordinary opportunity to receive advanced training as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and contribute to the health of your communities by returning to school. With the shortage of a primary care workforce, an aging population and a new era of healthcare reform, Family and Primary Care NPs are needed more than ever to provide a solution to delivering care for Illinoisans throughout the state. As an FNP in Illinois, you may be offered numerous positions that provide the rewards and lucrative opportunities as a vital healthcare provider.
At BestNursingDegree.com we are dedicated to helping nurses like you connect with the educational and degree programs you need to advance your career. We have compiled a complete listing of all the schools that offer a Family Nurse Practitioner program to Illinois residents, including the featured schools directly below, which offer online options for completion. To learn more, request information from all of the schools that interest you, taking time to amass enough information to make a well informed decision about your future.
Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Illinois
As outlined by the National Conference of State Legislators, Illinois is striving to build a primary care workforce that provides preventative care and treatment to residents in a timely manner that ultimately saves the high costs of emergency room care. Delayed access to treatment increases acute disease and the health risks of unmanaged chronic conditions. As an FNP, your contributions as a diagnostician and patient educator are essential to the treatment of approximately two million patients seen annually in community-based medical centers, clinics and outreach centers in Illinois.
As an incentive to increase the number of primary care health providers (PCPs), the Affordable Care act empowered the Health Resources and Services Administration to offer numerous loans and tuition reimbursement opportunities to encourage nurses to pursue an advanced degree in primary care and family health. In Illinois, it is an optimal point in time to become an FNP.
Aspiring PCPs must attend a state-approved program that provides the support, education and training for the advanced role of the nurse practitioner. A master's degree or graduate program is mandatory in Illinois and may be satisfied by several course schedule tracks such as:
- RN to FNP master's program
- MSN to graduate certificate of FNP
- MSN to doctoral degree in advanced nurse practitioner
- Non-nursing degree to master's degree FNP program
Family Nurse Practitioner Program Curriculum in Illinois
Your classes in an FNP program are designed to prepare you for independent practice as an advanced practitioner. As you learn to perform diagnostics, interpret lab values and manage drug therapy, your courses build on your current knowledge and experience in nursing care.
Courses in your curriculum may include learning modules such as:
- Concepts of client-centered care: introduce you to the individual's experience of health as related to their medical history, environment and belief system
- Nursing research and theories: provides a foundation for evidence-based treatment and follow up care for acute and chronic conditions
- Advanced pharmacology: prepares you for prescription authority and drug therapy management.
- Advanced pathophysiology: assists you with the identification of disease and evidence-based health interventions.
- Integration of theoretical and clinical practice: provides three to four semesters of simulated and actual clinical practice to prepare you for advanced practice in diagnostic and treatment settings.
As a full time student, you may complete your FNP program in two to three years of study. Post graduation, the Division of Professional Licensing requires you to pass a national certification examination that applies to your area of study, such as family health.
Career Opportunities for FNP Graduates in Illinois
FNPs in Illinois have limitless opportunities to specialize in an area of care, select a position in medical or pharmacological research or choose a rural area that deserves expert care and treatment. As reported in the Huffington Post, the expanding role of the nurse is providing communities with a healthier aging process, successful management of chronic disease and enacting effective preventative care.
As an FNP, opportunities in Illinois are vast and can include areas of care such as:
- Community-based nursing clinics
- Hospitals and medical centers
- Retail healthcare and occupational health settings
- Education in universities and hospitals
- Primary care and outreach centers
- Physician office setting and medical groups
- Home healthcare agencies
- Nurse-run clinics
According to the The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017), nurse practitioners enjoy a median annual salary of $98,300 in Illinois. Although the majority of FNPs work with physicians in an office setting, opportunities to work in governmental healthcare facilities, community oriented hospitals and rural health clinics may provide an optimal situation for independent practice. A recent study by Medscape performed a patient satisfaction survey that showed most patients preferred the approach of advanced practice nurses as compared to primary care physicians. As an FNP in Illinois, you may discover the broad benefits of shaping the future of advanced practice nursing while enjoying a fulfilling career.