Illinois Center for Nursing
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Governor Bruce Rauner
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Nursing Initiatives


  • The Illinois Center for Nursing 's Central Challenge is to optimize ICN's influence as the leader for nursing workforce development that impacts quality healthcare policy, practice and education in the era of change, please click here.

  • Nurses support Governor Quinn as he launches Get Covered Illinois – the official health marketplace for affordable healthcare in Illinois. Pam Robbins, RN and Lisa Young, APN were with Governor Pat Quinn during the launch of Get Covered Illinois, the state's comprehensive education and enrollment online platform for uninsured residents to sign up for health coverage under the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), please click here. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of    the people of Illinois.  Open enrollment is October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014, only qualified health plans can be sold on the marketplace, for additional information, please click here.
  • The ICN Advisory Board elects a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson during the September 2013 meeting.  Congratulations to Chairperson Donna Hartweg, PhD, RN and Maureen Shekleton, PhD, RN, FAAN, Vice-Chairperson. The Nurse Practice Act was changed in 2013 by the Illinois legislators to make the ICN Advisory Board operations consistent with those of other state boards (Public Act 098-0247).  With that action, the ICN Chair is now chosen from within the volunteer board members who have been appointed by the Governor, rather than having the IDFPR Nursing Coordinator as a member and chair. For more information about ICN Board members, please click here.
  • Presented during the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, a poster/brochure entitled “Use of High-fidelity Simulation in Nursing Education: Four State Stories, June 2012”.  Four state Nursing Workforce Centers, Florida, Ohio, North Dakota and Illinois collaborated on this brochure, which presents each state’s efforts to quantify the use of simulation technology in the preparation of new and continuing education of nurses, to view the poster/brochure please click here.
  • Participating in the National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners (NPs). The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring the National Sample Survey of NPs.  This is the first nationally representative survey of NPs to be conducted by the federal government.  The data will provide invaluable insights into NP education, demographics, employment, scope of practice and critical roles played by NPs in the healthcare delivery system.  HRSA needs to obtain information from every NP selected for the study, even those who are no longer working as NPs.  Please note that not all NPs will receive the survey, only a portion of NPs in each state. For those who have already completed and returned the survey, thank you very much!  If you have not completed the survey, please do this as soon as possible. If you received the survey and have any questions, please call 1-888-478-2484 or send an email to

  • Participating in the Educational Advancement of Registered Nurses Summit II, April 2011.  Nursing leaders from every region of Illinois gathered in April 1st in Normal, Illinois to work out strategies to bring to life recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Nursing.  Susan Hassmiller, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Senior Advisor to Nursing, was the keynote speaker.  Illinois was selected as a Regional Action Coalition for Nursing to turn growing momentum and nationwide interest in the healthcare workforce into action.  The state Action Coalition, now titled the IL Healthcare Action Coalition (IL HAC) has been convened to advance key issues at the local, state and national levels.  For more information on this educational summit, click here.

  • Convening with IL DCEO the IL State Healthcare Action Coalition (IL HAC).  State Action Coalitions (SACs) are the driving force of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action (CFA), a broad, national effort to drive implementation of the Institute of Medicine’s blueprint for ensuring that all Americans have access to high quality, patient-centered care in a health care system where nurses contribute as essential partners in achieving success.  SACs are built to effect long-term sustainable change in moving the recommendations into action.  Comprised of diverse groups of stakeholders from a variety of sectors, their mission is to develop an issue strategy plan that will be the basis for coalition implementation efforts.  SACs will further the overall initiative by capturing best practices, determining research needs, tracking lessons learned and identifying replicable models.  The Illinois State Healthcare Action Coalition was convened to advance The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action™, a collaboration created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP Foundation. (click here)
  • Selected to participate in NCSBN’s longitudinal study of Transition to Practice in Nursing.   The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) selected Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina to participate in this groundbreaking study of a standardized transition to practice program for newly licensed nurses.  These three states mounted enormous statewide efforts to identify hospitals for phase I of the study. This is the first study of a transition program to compare patient outcomes in sites that use a standardized transition model to those that don’t.  Each site will be randomized to either the study group or the control group.  The control group will use its usual practice of transitioning new nurses to practice.  The study group will participate in NCSBN’s Transition to Practice Model. (click here)
  • Testifying before the Illinois Health Reform Implementation Council (click here) on the present supply and demand of the Illinois RN workforce. Licensed nurses are the cornerstone of health promotion and disease prevention in all settings: acute, long-term and in the home. Although the number of licensed nurses in Illinois is growing, and the number of nursing students enrolled in approved nursing education programs is growing, there is still a nursing shortage in Illinois. (click here)

  • Expanding Education Capacity: Illinois Simulation Lab Survey and Asset Mapping Report: There is a growing demand for healthcare professionals in Illinois.  Expanding educational capacity is vital to ensuring the supply of a well qualified and highly skilled workforce. One area of focus has been to develop a plan for expansion of clinical simulation opportunities in Illinois.   An on-line survey was distributed in June 2009 to map out clinical simulation lab space in the state of Illinois; identify ways programs are using simulation for teaching; identify resources facilities need to utilize simulation laboratories for education; and determine needs and collect data for potential future collaboration and funding.  Results indicate that there is interest in developing a simulation consortium for expansion and coordination of healthcare sibmulation opportunities in Illinois with hospitals, health care institutions, and education - in nursing, medical and allied health schools. click here

  • Participating in the development of national standards for Nursing Minimum Data Sets:   In 2008 the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, of which the IDFPR Illinois Center for Nursing (ICN) is a member, began compiling and comparing data that is collected in individual states about licensed nurses.  States consistently collect three categories of information: nursing workforce supply and demand and nursing education.  In 2009 the Florida Center for Nursing received a grant from the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) to review and set standards for states to use when collecting nursing data.  The goal is to establish standardized datasets to be collected by individual states as part of a larger effort to effectively quantify and compare information regarding the nursing shortage.  The IL Center for Nursing anticipates integrating the nursing minimum data sets into the next State nursing workforce survey.   For more information about the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, click here.

  • Collaborating with the Team IL/Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA): in 2008 Illinois was chosen as one of 18 lead states by CCNA to not only address the nursing shortage, but to create solutions. Team IL/CCNA is a joint initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources Services Administration and the U.S. Department of labor. In Illinois, the Center for Nursing, regional stakeholders and state agency leaders have developed frameworks that define the nature of our shortages, and are working to create solutions. CCNA now has 30 state teams and continues to move forward in local and national efforts to expand nursing education capacity and ease the nursing shortage. For more information about CCNA, click here.

  • Creating a Nursing Workforce Supply Survey: In 2007 the first nursing workforce supply survey since 2000 was conducted. The survey tool was designed and implemented with the input of the ICN Advisory Board to identify the demographics, employment settings, satisfaction with nursing as a career and retirement issues for the nursing workforce. IL licensed nurses included in the survey: Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Registered Nurses (RN) and Advanced Practice Nurses (APN). Categories of APN include certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified nurse practitioner (CNP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and certified clinical nurse specialist (CNS). For results of the workforce survey, click here.

  • Establishing the Nursing Education Scholarship Program: Just last month the Governor signed into law SB931, a bill that included a number of provisions to reduce the nursing shortage. The bill primarily focuses on two strategies: increasing the number of nursing faculty and creating a state center for nursing to be a “home” for data, strategies and initiatives that will elevate the field of nursing and ensure that Illinois has enough nurses to care for its residents.

  • Establishing a first-in-the-nation externship program: Nurses who are licensed under the laws of another state or territory of the U.S., primarily from Puerto Rico, who wish to practice in Illinois and are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination, are now allowed to work under the direct supervision of a registered professional nurse licensed in Illinois while they are enrolled in a course which prepares them for the licensure exam and acclimates them to nursing and health care delivery in our state. This increases diversity within the nursing profession and prepares nurses educated in a U.S. territory for practice in Illinois.

  • Keeping nurses in Illinois: A new law enables advanced practice nurses to be licensed in more than one specialty without having multiple graduate degrees as long as they have the educational and clinical experience to be nationally certified.  This encourages highly trained advanced practice nurses to stay in Illinois by making it easier for them to advance in their careers. 

  • Critical Skills Shortage Initiative (CSSI): The Governor made a commitment in his 2005 State of the State speech to address the shortage of health care workers through his Critical Skills Shortage Initiative (CSSI).  Eighteen million dollars is being invested statewide to ensure that every region of the state has a well-trained and equipped workforce in the health care industry.  Through an innovative approach that is currently being replicated by Indiana, Local Workforce Investment Boards, area employers, economic development professionals, educators and service providers are developing individualized strategies to address local employment needs and to get more health care professionals into the workforce. 

  • Streamlining the license process:  Through a coordinated effort by the Governor’s Office, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Illinois State Police (ISP), 800 nurse-licensing applications were reviewed and approved since the Governor’s announcement in the State of the State address.  Since 2001, Illinois has required nursing professionals to submit to a background check as part of the application process.  A backlog of more than 1,800 applications had built up since the law was enacted.  Both IDFPR and ISP have developed comprehensive guidelines for dealing with licensed fingerprint vendors to ensure that backlogs do not recur in the future.