Illinois Board of Nursing

Illinois Board of Nursing

Did you know that the Illinois Board of Nursing has been overseeing nursing licensure and regulations in the state since 1917? With over a century of experience, this regulatory body plays a crucial role in maintaining high standards of nursing practice and ensuring public safety in Illinois.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Illinois Board of Nursing was established in 1917 and is responsible for overseeing nursing licensure and regulations in the state.
  • The board consists of thirteen members appointed by the Secretary, representing different specialties within nursing.
  • Nurses in Illinois must apply for an Illinois nursing license through an online application process.
  • License renewal requires completing 20 hours of continuing education every two years, including a sexual harassment prevention training course.
  • The job outlook for nurses in Illinois is promising, with a projected 5% growth in employment through 2030.

Applying for an Illinois Nursing License

To become a nurse in Illinois, individuals need to apply for an Illinois nursing license. The application process involves several steps and requirements:

  1. Submit an online application through Continental Testing Services (CTS), the testing vendor used by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
  2. Complete the CTS online RN application.
  3. Register for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®).
  4. Certify education from the nursing school.
  5. Submit an original fingerprint receipt from an approved vendor.

Once the application is complete, the IDFPR will review it to determine eligibility for a nursing license. If approved, the applicant will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson VUE, which is valid for 90 days. This ATT allows the applicant to schedule and take the Illinois nursing license exam.

Illinois Nursing License Exam

The Illinois nursing license exam, also known as the NCLEX®, is a standardized exam that measures the competencies necessary for entry-level nursing practice. It is a computer-based exam administered by Pearson VUE. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess the knowledge and skills required to provide safe and effective nursing care.

Passing the NCLEX® is a crucial step in obtaining an Illinois nursing license. It is important for applicants to prepare adequately by studying nursing concepts, practicing test questions, and familiarizing themselves with the exam format.


Illinois Nursing License Renewal and Continuing Education

Nurses in Illinois are required to renew their nursing license every two years. This process ensures that nurses maintain their knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective patient care. As part of the renewal requirements, nurses must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) during the renewal period.

Beginning January 1, 2020, one of the required 20 CE hours must be dedicated to a sexual harassment prevention training course. This initiative aims to promote a safe and respectful healthcare environment for both patients and healthcare professionals.

The 20 CE hours must be obtained from an approved CE sponsor. These sponsors are recognized by the Illinois Board of Nursing and are responsible for delivering high-quality educational programs that meet the state’s standards.

It is important to note that first-time renewals do not require the completion of the CE hours. However, nurses are encouraged to engage in lifelong learning and take advantage of the available educational opportunities to enhance their professional development.

For more detailed information regarding Illinois nursing license renewal and continuing education requirements, nurses can visit the IDFPR Renewals page and the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center website.


Job Outlook for Nurses in Illinois

The job outlook for nurses in Illinois is promising. According to projections by O*NET, employment of registered nurses (RNs) in Illinois is expected to grow by 5% through 2030, which is the average growth rate for all occupations in the state.
This translates to approximately 7,870 annual projected job openings for nurses in Illinois.

The growth rate for nursing jobs in Illinois is similar to the national average, with a 6% projected growth in employment of registered nurses in the United States from 2021 to 2031.

These positive job prospects indicate a steady demand for nurses in Illinois, providing excellent opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in the field. The healthcare industry continues to expand, and nurses play a vital role in delivering quality patient care and meeting the growing healthcare needs of the population.

To further explore the job outlook and employment opportunities for nurses in Illinois, let’s take a look at the following table:

Year Projected RN Employment in Illinois Projected Annual Job Openings in Illinois
2022 150,000 4,500
2023 157,500 4,725
2024 165,375 4,961
2025 173,644 5,209
2026 182,326 5,470

The projected growth in nursing employment in Illinois showcases the continuous demand for skilled healthcare professionals in the state. As the population ages and healthcare needs increase, nurses will be at the forefront of providing healthcare services and contributing to the overall well-being of the community.


With a favorable job outlook and increasing employment opportunities, pursuing a nursing career in Illinois can be a rewarding choice. Whether you are a newly licensed nurse or an experienced practitioner, the state offers a range of healthcare settings and specialties to explore.

By staying informed about the latest trends and advancements in nursing practice, as well as actively engaging in professional development opportunities, nurses in Illinois can position themselves for continued success and growth throughout their careers.


In conclusion, the Illinois Board of Nursing (IBN) serves as the pivotal authority in overseeing nursing licensure, regulations, and practice standards in Illinois. Aspiring nurses in the state must navigate a comprehensive application process to obtain their Illinois nursing license. This process involves submitting an online application through the designated testing vendor, Continental Testing Services (CTS), and completing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®). Adhering to the requirements set by the IBN ensures that nurses in Illinois possess the necessary qualifications and competencies to provide safe and high-quality care.

Continuing education plays a vital role in the professional development of Illinois nurses. By participating in approved continuing education programs, nurses stay updated on the latest advancements and best practices in their field. The IBN mandates that nurses complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years, with a focus on important topics such as sexual harassment prevention. This commitment to ongoing learning helps nurses maintain their skills, adapt to evolving healthcare needs, and deliver optimal patient care.

The job outlook for nurses in Illinois is promising, with a projected 5% growth in employment for registered nurses through 2030. This aligns with the national average and translates to numerous employment opportunities for nursing professionals in the state. The demand for skilled and compassionate nurses underscores the importance of the IBN’s role in ensuring that nursing practice in Illinois adheres to the highest standards of quality and professionalism. Aspiring nurses and those seeking employment in Illinois can refer to the IBN’s website for comprehensive information on licensure, regulations, and practice guidelines.


Overall, the Illinois Board of Nursing serves as a steadfast advocate for nursing excellence, safeguarding the public’s health and well-being by upholding the highest standards in nursing licensure and practice. By adhering to the regulatory framework set by the IBN, nurses in Illinois can thrive in their careers and contribute to the ever-evolving healthcare landscape while providing safe and effective care to their patients.

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