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Illinois will witness a 10% increase in nursing jobs over the coming decade as the local healthcare industry expands. Rockford offers several accredited programs for local students interested in pursuing a nursing career. It is critical for nursing students to find training that best fits their long-term career aspirations.

Types of nursing jobs
Rockford has three categories of nursing professionals: certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), and registered nurse (RN). CNAs provide basic nursing and rehabilitation care for patients in hospitals and nursing facilities. LPNs have an expanded job scope that includes wound dressing, collecting samples for laboratory tests, and monitoring vital signs. RNs play the most independent role in administrating critical patient care, and they often manage LPNs and CNAs.

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Study options
Aspiring CNAs must complete a brief certificate program at a local community or technical college. Prospective LPNs must complete a lengthier certificate program that typically requires 12 to 18 months of fulltime study. RNs have four potential pathways in Illinois: hospital diploma, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or direct-entry master’s degree. The variety of options makes it possible for students to fit classes into busy work schedules and tight budgets. Rockford has several notable colleges and universities with accredited nursing programs, including Saint Anthony College of Nursing and Rockford University.

Job prospects
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 1,600 CNAs, 700 LPNs, and 3,600 RNs working in the Rockford metropolitan area. Local salaries are very competitive: the median annual salary for each role is roughly $26,000, $43,000, and $58,000, respectively. Graduates can seek employment with the city’s major healthcare providers, such as Swedish American Health System, Rockford Health System, and Presence Health.

To help Rockford’s prospective nursing students, we have compiled below a comprehensive list of accredited local schools that offer state-approved nursing programs.

Featured Schools

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Rockford nursing schools by NCLEX score

Saint Anthony College of Nursing
5658 East State Street | Rockford, Illinois 61108
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 95.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2017)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Rock Valley College
3301 North Mulford Road | Rockford, Illinois 61114
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2017)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Rockford University
5050 East State Street | Rockford, Illinois 61108
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 84.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2017)
Rasmussen College - Rockford
6000 East State Street, Fourth Floor | Rockford, Illinois 61108
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 76.6% NCLEX pass rate (2015 through 2017)
Rockford Career College
1130 South Alpine Road | Rockford, Illinois 61108
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Saint Anthony College of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing 95.3% 2008 to 2017
Doctor of Nursing Practice
MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Rock Valley College Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.5% 2008 to 2017
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Rockford University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 84.0% 2008 to 2017
Rasmussen College - Rockford Associate's Degree in Nursing 76.6% 2015 to 2017
Rockford Career College Nursing Assistant Certificate