Nurses are an integral part of the team of health care professionals responsible for the treatment, safety, and recovery of moderately, acutely, chronically ill or injured people, health maintenance of the healthy, and treatment of life-threatening emergencies in a wide range of health care settings. Nurses may also be involved in medical and nursing research and education, and perform a wide range of non-clinical functions necessary to the delivery of health care.
Top of Page
How do I become a nurse?
To become a nurse, you will need to apply to a nursing program. Each program is different in its requirements for application. Since nursing is a science based program, you will need to consider the following essential coursework in your undergraduate studies: chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition and statistics, lifespan development, and other general courses which could include English composition, sociology and psychology. The number and types of courses you will be required to take will depend on the type of degree that you are seeking.
If you would like more information about nursing programs in Illinois visit our education opportunities page.
If you would like more information about what a nurse is and/or becoming a nurse, click on the following link for Nursing: The Ultimate Adventure Download PDF Reader - The information found in this link will be provided in a new browser window. or “Is Nursing For You” Download PDF Reader - The information found in this link will be provided in a new browser window. from the National Student Nurses Association. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Top of Page
What are the types of nurses?
There are three types of nurses specifically educated and trained to provide nursing care in Illinois. They are classified as follows:
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
An LPN is a person who is specifically prepared in the techniques of nursing, who is a graduate of an accredited school of practical nursing and whose qualifications have been examined by a state board of nursing, and who has been legally authorized to practice as a licensed practical nurse must have the basic nursing knowledge, judgment, and skill acquired by means of completion of an approved practical nursing education program. Practical nursing includes assisting in the nursing process as delegated by and under the direction of a registered professional nurse. The practical nurse may work under the direction of a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, or other health care professional.
Registered Nurse (RN)
A RN is specifically prepared and promotes health and the prevention of disease, and helps patients cope with illness. When providing direct patient care they observe, assess and record symptoms, reactions and progress, assist physicians during surgery, treatments, and examinations, administer medications and help in the convalescence and rehabilitation of patients. Advanced Practice Nurse(APN)
An APN is licensed as a registered professional nurse and meets the requirements for licensure as an advanced practice nurse. An APN cares for patients by using advanced diagnostic skills, the results of diagnostic tests and procedures ordered by the advanced practice nurse, a physician assistant, a dentist, a podiatrist, or a physician, and professional judgment to initiate and coordinate the care of patient. An APN can also order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and drugs, and administer medications and drugs. Categories include certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified nurse practitioner (CNP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and certified clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
Top of Page
If I study to be a nurse, what are my career