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Nursing in Illinois

The interesting mix of metropolitan commerce amidst spacious farm land is characteristic of the Midwestern state of Illinois. The state’s largest urban area Chicago supports key financial and manufacturing activities for the nation, and the city gets many of its raw materials from the abundant fields of the surrounding agricultural areas. Although the “prairie state” is known for its flat farm land, Illinois is also home to some notable lakes and rivers that give the state some of its natural scenic beauty and recreational spots. During the recent years of economic sluggishness, Illinois was one of the hardest hit areas, and the state’s unemployment rate was an entire percentage point higher than the national average. However, the employment numbers appear more positive in regional pockets, and a recent Chicago Tribune article noted that certain sectors like health care are projected to experience job growth.

Illinois Job Outlook For Careers In Nursing

According to industry reports, there are job vacancies within the health care sector that remain unfilled because of a lack of skilled professionals. These job vacancies are typically found within the nursing career field. For example, a Manpower Group survey found that registered nurse jobs had some of the highest occupational vacancy rates in the state. The whole industry is undergoing reform, and some job functions that used to belong solely with physicians are now being reallocated to other qualified individuals. The key to maintaining gainful employment within this growing industry is to understand the impacts of healthcare reform changes and to identify industry skill gaps exacerbated by the reforms. Those able to do these things successfully usually seek training that will help them successfully fill needed positions.

State Financial Aid For Nursing Programs

Illinois is committed to helping fill the skills gap in nursing for their state which is evidenced by the state sponsored grant that gives qualified nursing schools funding to create better clinical programs, modernize facilities, and establish student retention programs. The state also offers financial aid and special scholarships for nursing students in addition to federal financial aid packages the students would normally receive. The Illinois Nurse Educator Scholarships are just one example of the funds available to nursing school students who wish to fill an identified skills gap within nursing education.

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