The Mission of the Illinois Center for Nursing (ICN) is to advocate and ensure that Illinois has the appropriate nursing resources necessary to meet the healthcare needs of the citizens of Illinois.
The ICN was established as part of SB 0931 in 2006. This is part of an overall strategy to produce more highly skilled nursing professionals, and an ongoing effort to ease the nursing shortage and improve access to quality health care for Illinois families. The ICN is located within the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The Illinois Center for Nursing is working with industry professionals and educational institutions to ensure that Illinois has a nursing workforce necessary to meet the demands of a growing and aging population. The ICN website,www.nursing.illinois.gov, was created as a one-stop resource for nursing education, data and resources.
The Governor’s Sub-Cabinet of Economic Development was created in 2007. This is the first time in this state that 14 State agencies are working together to collaborate on economic and workforce development issues in Illinois. The Sub-Cabinet’s goal is to align State resources across agencies, to invest these aligned resources in solutions that have demonstrated, definable outcome measures, and to leverage these investments with private funds through a public/private partnership framework. Recognizing the critical importance of a vibrant nursing workforce, the Sub-Cabinet identified nursing shortage as their first priority.
Regional stakeholders and State agency leaders have developed frameworks that define the nature of our shortages, the barriers and challenges and the recommended regional solutions. Regional initiatives and solutions focus on four transition points in the pipeline:
- Develop a Qualified Applicant Pool
- Program Capacity, Progress and Completion
- Transition of Nursing Program Completers to Healthcare Employment
- Retention of Experienced Nurses in Healthcare Employment
Each region faces distinct challenges, and requires solutions that are unique in some cases and replicable in others. The Illinois Center for Nursing is partnering with various agencies, including the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) in the Northeast, and Connect SI in Southern Illinois.
In summary, ICNs approach is to recognize and embrace our diversity and our similarities, to identify and implement solutions that meet the specific challenges of the regions, and where appropriate, replicate those solutions across the state.