How Much Does Nursing School Cost in Illinois

So, you’re considering going to nursing school and wondering how much nursing school costs in Illinois. There’s no hard answer for this, as the cost of nursing school in Illinois is highly dependent on the program you choose and where you go to school.  

That being said, Illinois has a wide variety of nursing programs you can choose from, making it possible for you to find the most affordable option for you. The important thing to remember is that there are plenty of opportunities for financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and in some cases, even student loan forgiveness.

If you’re interested in seeing how much aid you could be eligible before you decide which program to enroll in, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The FAFSA® will be your first step to securing additional funds to help you with your education.

Once you know how much aid is coming your way from various schools, you can dive in and see which school offers the best package.

What Nursing Programs Are Offered in Illinois?

Illinois has tons of colleges and universities for you to choose from, and many offer several different nursing programs depending on what your goals are. With so many programs available, it’s hard to list every possibility throughout the state, but we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular nursing programs for you to look at.

This list also tells you the degree or certificate that is usually required if you decide to pursue that area of focus. This should give you a general idea of how long the program might take you to complete.

Nursing Programs in Illinois

Registered Nurse

Required Education: ADN or BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing)
Nurse Practitioner

Required Education: MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing)
Nurse Midwife

Required Education: MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing)
Licensed Practical / Vocational Nurse

Required Education: Post-secondary non-degree awards
Clinical Nurse Specialist

Required Education: MSN or DSN (Doctor’s of Science in Nursing)
Intensive Care Unit RN

Required Education: ADN or BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing)
Travel Registered Nurse

Required Education: ADN or BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing)
Dental Hygienist

Required Education: ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Required Education: ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing)
Physician Assistant

Required Education: MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing)
Pediatric Nurse

Required Education: ASN or BSN
Obstetric Nurse

Required Education: ASN or BSN

One important thing to keep in mind as you begin looking at nursing schools is to ensure that the schools you’re considering are accredited. To complete your nursing education, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX. Only nurses that were educated through accredited programs will be allowed to sit the exam.

The Illinois Board of Nursing is responsible for regulating school accreditation. To see if the schools you’re considering are included in their list, check out their website.

Average Cost Per Nursing Program
in Illinois

Nursing schools in Illinois range significantly in cost depending on a lot of factors. You’ll need to narrow down what schools you’re considering and the program you want to enroll in to get a better estimate of how much it will cost you.

With variations in the length of a program and the type of degree it will get you, it’s hard to give an accurate estimate of how much it will cost. However, we’ve compiled some data based on nationwide costs to determine how much the most popular programs could cost you.

Nursing Programs

Length: Depends

Total Cost:
$18K – $40K
Nursing Assistant
(NA) Program

Length: 6 Months

Total Cost:
Bachelor’s of Science
in Nursing (BSN)

Length: 4 Years

Total Cost:
$40k – $200k
Licensed Practical Nurse

Length: 13 Months

Public Costs:
$5k – $25k
Private Costs:
$20k – $40k
Associates Degree in
Nursing (ADN)

Length: 13 Months

Public Costs:
Private Costs:

The most accurate estimate for the cost of attendance is to file your FAFSA® as soon as possible. When the schools you’re considering have your FAFSA® information on file, they can begin putting together your financial aid package.

Listing all the schools you’re considering on your FAFSA® application will ensure you get an awards package from all of them. Then you can compare the Cost of Attendance to how much award aid you’ll be getting to see which school is your most affordable option.

Top 5 Nursing Schools in Illinois
& Their Costs

To offer a more accurate picture of the potential cost of nursing schools in Illinois, we’ve compiled data from some of the top schools in the state. A quick reminder that the costs below do not factor in any financial aid or state tuition discounts.

Illinois Wesleyan University

Annual Tuition: $30,147
Programs Offered:
Loyola University Chicago

Annual Tuition: $34,526
Programs Offered:
Certificates, BSN, ABSN, RN to BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD
University of St. Francis – Illinois

Annual Tuition: $18,766
Programs Offered:

Bradley University

Annual Tuition: $25,857
Programs Offered:

Lewis University

Annual Tuition: $19,967
Programs Offered: 

Certificates, BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD

Average Illinois Nursing
Salary by Speciality

Once you’ve nailed down which nursing school you want to go to, you might be wondering how much a nursing salary is in Illinois. It’s normal to be concerned about your earning potential when you’re investing so much money in your education.

Your salary, much like the cost of your education, varies depending on many things. Everything from where you are in your career to where you’re living can have an impact on how much you’ll make.

We took some of the most popular nursing careers and compiled data on their salary estimates for Illinois. Check out the charts below to get a salary range for specific nursing specialties.

Licensed Practical / Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)
Illinois k Salary Estimate:
$41k – $60k
Registered Nurse (RN)
Illinois  Salary Estimate:
$48k – $82k
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Illinois Salary Estimate:
$75k – $109k
Nurse Midwife
Illinois  Salary Estimate:
$99k – $141k
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Illinois Salary Estimate:
$100k – $121k
Intensive Care Unit RN 
Illinois Salary Estimate:
$55k – $89k
Physician Assistant
Illinois Salary Estimate:
$67k – $98k
Obstetrics Nurse
Illinois Salary Estimate:
$67k – 83k

When it comes to your nursing salary, you should realize that your location has a lot to do on the potential for growth. With nursing, your license is only valid in one state unless you take the NCLEX in another state. So, if you’re hoping for higher salary opportunities, it might be beneficial to decide on which state will afford you the highest salary opportunity.

However, it’s worth mentioning that in areas with higher salaries, the cost of living is usually higher as well as the cost of an education. While your salary should factor into the decision you make as far as program and area of focus, it should not be your only consideration.

When you factor in financial aid, there are a lot of affordable nursing programs throughout the state of Illinois. Take a look at your options and make the best financial decision for you and your future.