One of the states with the largest predicted deficit of registered nurses is the state of Illinois. Labor experts are predicting that there will be a shortage of 21,000 RNs in Illinois by the year 2020 which is why now is an excellent time to learn how to become a registered nurse in Illinois.

Things You Will Need

RN License

Step 1

Complete an RN program. Most RN programs in Illinois are offered as two or four year programs depending upon whether or not you attend a community college or a four-year university. The Illinois Center for Nursing keeps on their website a list of approved programs within the state of Illinois in order to help you find the right RN program for you.

Step 2

Apply for your RN license. The state of Illinois requires that all registered nurses make application for their license. In addition they are required to pay an $85 fee and submit additional forms included with the application packet.

Step 3

Submit education certification form. One form included with the application packet is the certification of education form. The dean of nursing or the director of your program will need to complete the form and stamp it with the school seal before you can return it with your application.

Step 4

Submit fingerprints and undergo a criminal background check. All applicants for an RN license in Illinois must visit a livescan facility ran by the Illinois State Police to have their fingerprints taken and a background check conducted. While the fingerprints will automatically be entered into a computer database, applicants will receive a receipt showing proof they've submitted their fingerprints, and they will need this to register for their NCLEX exam.

Step 5

Apply for the NCLEX exam. You must submit an application along with a $200 testing fee in order to take the NCLEX. Once you have been approved to take the test you will receive an "authorization to test" (ATT) letter. This will provide you with information on how to schedule a date to take the exam.

Step 6

Take and pass the exam. The final step in getting your license as an RN in Illinois is to take and pass the NCLEX exam. Once this is complete you can expect to receive your license in 1-2 months and begin working full-time as a registered nurse in Illinois.


Tips & Warnings

You have three years to complete the application process to become a registered nurse in Illinois. This span of a few years gives you time to retake the NCLEX if you didn't pass it previously. However once the three years have passed you will forfeit your application fee and have to start the application process all over again.