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Everybody has a slightly different learning style, so when you research different colleges it’s important to take the size of the student body into consideration. Knowing your learning style can help you to pick a nursing program that capitalizes on your strengths. Large public universities such as Illinois State University boast a wide range of exciting events and cater to their diverse student population. Smaller private colleges, on the other hand, offer low student-to-faculty ratios that provide significant individual attention. Regardless of what type of learner you are, there are over 120 different schools with nursing programs in Illinois, so there is truly something for everyone.

Whether it’s a large public school or small private school, there are plenty of employment opportunities for nurses at all levels in Illinois. There are currently around 200,000 nurses employed in the state, and according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession is projected to have extremely high job growth in the years ahead. Major employers such as Tenet Health System and Northwest Community Hospital are always looking for highly qualified nurses to help satisfy their growing need for healthcare professionals.

Find a school

If you are interested in learning more about starting your nursing career in Illinois, take a look at the below list of the best nursing schools in the state. The list is organized in each city from largest to smallest school, to help you find the program that is best suited to your learning style and preferences.

Featured Schools

Chicagoland metro area

Chamberlain College of Nursing - Chicago
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 931 students during the 2017 period
Resurrection University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 242 students during the 2017 period
Loyola University Chicago
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 232 students during the 2017 period
City Colleges of Chicago
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 169 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 20 students during the 2017 period
DePaul University
Direct Entry MSN: 159 students during the 2017 period
University of Illinois at Chicago
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 156 students during the 2017 period
Direct Entry MSN: 41 students during the 2017 period
Saint Xavier University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 155 students during the 2017 period
Joliet Junior College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 141 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 59 students during the 2017 period
Rush University
Direct Entry MSN: 136 students during the 2017 period
Rasmussen College - Romeoville / Joliet
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 127 students during the 2017 period
Northern Illinois University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 125 students during the 2017 period
Lewis University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 116 students during the 2017 period
College of DuPage
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 113 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 18 students during the 2017 period
Aurora University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 104 students during the 2017 period
Elgin Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 97 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 12 students during the 2017 period
ATS Institute of Technology - Chicago
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 94 students during the 2017 period
University of St. Francis
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88 students during the 2017 period
Harper College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 40 students during the 2017 period
North Park University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83 students during the 2017 period
Northbrook College of Health Care
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 82 students during the 2017 period
Ambria College of Nursing
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 78 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 50 students during the 2017 period
Triton College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 77 students during the 2017 period
Waubonsee Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 76 students during the 2017 period
College of Lake County
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 71 students during the 2017 period
Elmhurst College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 67 students during the 2017 period
Direct Entry MSN: 12 students during the 2017 period
Northwestern College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 67 students during the 2017 period
Moraine Valley Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 64 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 8 students during the 2017 period
Kishwaukee College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 62 students during the 2017 period
J'Renee College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 61 students during the 2017 period
Professional Career Certification and Training Institute
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 55 students during the 2017 period
Morton College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 52 students during the 2017 period
Oakton Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 51 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 7 students during the 2017 period
Prairie State College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 46 students during the 2017 period
Americare Technical School
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 34 students during the 2017 period
Trinity Christian College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 32 students during the 2017 period
Dominican University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 30 students during the 2017 period
McHenry County College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 24 students during the 2017 period
Chicago State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 22 students during the 2017 period
Adonis College of Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 17 students during the 2017 period
Great Paragon Healthcare
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 14 students during the 2017 period
Illinois College of Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2017 period
CAAN Academy of Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 12 students during the 2017 period
Robert Morris University Illinois
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 11 students during the 2017 period
South Suburban College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 7 students during the 2017 period
School Program Class size
Chamberlain College of Nursing - Chicago Bachelor of Science in Nursing 931 students
Resurrection University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 242 students
Loyola University Chicago Bachelor of Science in Nursing 232 students
City Colleges of Chicago Associate's Degree in Nursing 169 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 20 students
DePaul University Direct Entry MSN 159 students
University of Illinois at Chicago Bachelor of Science in Nursing 156 students
Direct Entry MSN 41 students
Saint Xavier University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 155 students
Joliet Junior College Associate's Degree in Nursing 141 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 59 students
Rush University Direct Entry MSN 136 students
Rasmussen College - Romeoville / Joliet Associate's Degree in Nursing 127 students
Northern Illinois University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 125 students
Lewis University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 116 students
College of DuPage Associate's Degree in Nursing 113 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 18 students
Aurora University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 104 students
Elgin Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 97 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 12 students
ATS Institute of Technology - Chicago Certificate in Practical Nursing 94 students
University of St. Francis Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88 students
Harper College Associate's Degree in Nursing 87 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 40 students
North Park University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83 students
Northbrook College of Health Care Certificate in Practical Nursing 82 students
Ambria College of Nursing Associate's Degree in Nursing 78 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 50 students
Triton College Associate's Degree in Nursing 77 students
Waubonsee Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 76 students
College of Lake County Associate's Degree in Nursing 71 students
Elmhurst College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 67 students
Direct Entry MSN 12 students
Northwestern College Associate's Degree in Nursing 67 students
Moraine Valley Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 64 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 8 students
Kishwaukee College Associate's Degree in Nursing 62 students
J'Renee College Certificate in Practical Nursing 61 students
Professional Career Certification and Training Institute Certificate in Practical Nursing 55 students
Morton College Associate's Degree in Nursing 52 students
Oakton Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 51 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 7 students
Prairie State College Associate's Degree in Nursing 46 students
Americare Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 34 students
Trinity Christian College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 32 students
Dominican University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 30 students
McHenry County College Associate's Degree in Nursing 24 students
Chicago State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 22 students
Adonis College of Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 17 students
Great Paragon Healthcare Certificate in Practical Nursing 14 students
Illinois College of Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 13 students
CAAN Academy of Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 12 students
Robert Morris University Illinois Bachelor of Science in Nursing 11 students
South Suburban College Associate's Degree in Nursing 7 students

Peoria

Methodist College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 165 students during the 2017 period
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 142 students during the 2017 period
Bradley University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90 students during the 2017 period
Illinois Central College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 74 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 16 students during the 2017 period
School Program Class size
Methodist College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 165 students
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing 142 students
Bradley University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90 students
Illinois Central College Associate's Degree in Nursing 74 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 16 students

Rockford

Saint Anthony College of Nursing
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87 students during the 2017 period
Rockford University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 72 students during the 2017 period
Rock Valley College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 40 students during the 2017 period
School Program Class size
Saint Anthony College of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87 students
Rockford University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 72 students
Rock Valley College Associate's Degree in Nursing 40 students

Springfield

Capital Area School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 115 students during the 2017 period
Lincoln Land Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 96 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 22 students during the 2017 period
St. John's College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 57 students during the 2017 period
School Program Class size
Capital Area School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 115 students
Lincoln Land Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 96 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 22 students
St. John's College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 57 students

St. Louis suburbs

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 245 students during the 2017 period
Lewis and Clark Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 100 students during the 2017 period
Southwestern Illinois College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 80 students during the 2017 period
Kaskaskia College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 53 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 25 students during the 2017 period
Beck School of Practical Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 45 students during the 2017 period
CALC Institute of Technology
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 14 students during the 2017 period
School Program Class size
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Bachelor of Science in Nursing 245 students
Lewis and Clark Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 100 students
Southwestern Illinois College Associate's Degree in Nursing 80 students
Kaskaskia College Associate's Degree in Nursing 53 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 25 students
Beck School of Practical Nursing Certificate in Practical Nursing 45 students
CALC Institute of Technology Certificate in Practical Nursing 14 students

Other Illinois cities

Illinois State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 163 students during the 2017 period
Lakeview College of Nursing
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 158 students during the 2017 period
Olivet Nazarene University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 137 students during the 2017 period
Illinois Eastern Community Colleges
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 50 students during the 2017 period
John A. Logan College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 69 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 48 students during the 2017 period
Lake Land College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 69 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 44 students during the 2017 period
Parkland College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 65 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 26 students during the 2017 period
Illinois Valley Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 61 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2017 period
Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 60 students during the 2017 period
Rend Lake College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 59 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 16 students during the 2017 period
Millikin University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 55 students during the 2017 period
Direct Entry MSN: 4 students during the 2017 period
Kankakee Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 54 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2017 period
Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 54 students during the 2017 period
Black Hawk College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 49 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 22 students during the 2017 period
Carl Sandburg College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 48 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2017 period
Richland Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 46 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 8 students during the 2017 period
Illinois Wesleyan University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 41 students during the 2017 period
Shawnee Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 38 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 22 students during the 2017 period
Danville Area Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 32 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 29 students during the 2017 period
Sauk Valley Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 32 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 22 students during the 2017 period
Southeastern Illinois College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 31 students during the 2017 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 29 students during the 2017 period
Highland Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 27 students during the 2017 period
Heartland Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 26 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 11 students during the 2017 period
MacMurray College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 22 students during the 2017 period
Graham Hospital School of Nursing
Diploma in Nursing: 19 students during the 2017 period
John Wood Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 19 students during the 2017 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 16 students during the 2017 period
Western Illinois University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 18 students during the 2017 period
Spoon River College
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program): 15 students during the 2017 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 15 students during the 2017 period
School Program Class size
Illinois State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 163 students
Lakeview College of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing 158 students
Olivet Nazarene University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 137 students
Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Associate's Degree in Nursing 89 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 50 students
John A. Logan College Associate's Degree in Nursing 69 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 48 students
Lake Land College Associate's Degree in Nursing 69 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 44 students
Parkland College Associate's Degree in Nursing 65 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 26 students
Illinois Valley Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 61 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 15 students
Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Nursing 60 students
Rend Lake College Associate's Degree in Nursing 59 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 16 students
Millikin University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 55 students
Direct Entry MSN 4 students
Kankakee Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 54 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 13 students
Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Nursing 54 students
Black Hawk College Associate's Degree in Nursing 49 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 22 students
Carl Sandburg College Associate's Degree in Nursing 48 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 13 students
Richland Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 46 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 8 students
Illinois Wesleyan University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 41 students
Shawnee Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 38 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 22 students
Danville Area Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 32 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 29 students
Sauk Valley Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 32 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 22 students
Southeastern Illinois College Certificate in Practical Nursing 31 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 29 students
Highland Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 27 students
Heartland Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 26 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 11 students
MacMurray College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 22 students
Graham Hospital School of Nursing Diploma in Nursing 19 students
John Wood Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 19 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 16 students
Western Illinois University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 18 students
Spoon River College Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN Exit from RN Ladder Program) 15 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 15 students