Advanced Practice Nursing Illinois

Illinois advanced practice nurses are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDPR). Illinois recognizes the following advance practice roles:

  • Certified Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

An Illinois advanced practice nurse must hold RN and APN licensing. The National Council for State Boards of Nursing lists Illinois as a state with pending nurse compact legislature. Currently, however, a nurse must hold his or her primary RN licensure in Illinois.

Select an Illinois Advanced Practice Nurse Topic:

APN Educational Requirements

A prospective advanced practice nurse must earn a graduate degree or post-master certificate. The individual must complete a program that offers preparation for advanced practice certification (Nurse Practitioner Programs in Illinois).

An APN who seeks licensing in a second advanced practice specialty will not need to complete a second graduate degree but will need to complete whatever additional education is necessary to qualify for the desired certification.

APN Certification Requirementsin IL

A prospective advanced practice nurse will need to pursue an examination-based certification (

Nurse anesthetists may be certified by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Council on Certification or the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Council on Recertification. Nurse midwives may be certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board or the American College of Nurse Midwives. Nurse practitioners may hold NP certification through any of the following organizations:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Certification Board for Urologic Nurses and Associates
  • National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties
  • Pediatric Nurse Certification Board

Clinical nurse specialists may hold certification through any of a number of organizations, including the following:

  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center*
  • Certification Board for Urologic Nurses and Associates
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
  • Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board

In many cases, a certification issued by one of the above organizations will be designated as ‘Clinical Nurse Specialist’. A clinical nurse specialist certified by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, however, will be an ‘Advanced Oncology Nurse’. A clinical nurse specialist certified by the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board will be a ‘Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse-Advanced’.

Appendix A of lists other certifying agencies that may be accepted for clinical nurse specialists ( Included are specialty nursing organizations such as the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, the National Board of Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses, the Nephrology Nursing Certification Board, and the Orthopedic Nurses Certification Board. Organizations listed in this document do not, in some cases, offer certification designed specifically for advanced practice. The licensing division notes that if an advanced practice certification becomes available in a particular specialty area, it will become the Illinois-approved certification; the generalist exam would no longer be accepted.

*Appendix A also notes which of the many specialty certifications offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Association can be accepted for Illinois CNS.

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Temporary Authorization Pending Certification

An Illinois RN who has graduated from an advanced practice program and has applied to take a qualifying national certification examination may be authorized to practice pending certification. The graduate will need to apply for a temporary permit. The licensing agency will need documentation from the certifying agency, identifying the date that the nurse will sit for examination.

Out-of-State Nurse Anesthetists

There are provisions in place for nurse anesthetists who were credentialed without graduate degrees but who have maintained certification. The nurse anesthetist will need to document having completed post-basic advanced practice nurse anesthetist education prior to 1999.

According to the current version of the Nurse Practice Act, application must be made before July 1, 2018.

The Application Process for Illinois APN’s

APRN applications can be found on the IDPR website (

The licensing agency will require official graduate transcripts and a copy of the qualifying certification.

A nurse midwife who earned his or her certification outside the context of a graduate degree program or post-graduate program will provide transcripts for both the certification-qualifying coursework and the required graduate degree or post-graduate certificate.

Applicants who have held licensing in other states will need to provide official verification. The licensing agency will require official verification from the original state of licensure, the current state, and any other state where the individual has practiced during the previous five years.

Individuals may call 800-560-6420 for application assistance.

There is a $125 application fee. An individual who applies for credentialing in more than one category will need to pay fees for each.

Illinois Collaborative Agreements/ Prescriptive Authority

Illinois APNs must have collaborative agreements unless they are working in exempt settings. Prescriptive authority can be granted by collaborative agreement. The licensing agency makes a distinction between legend drugs and controlled substances. There is no separate application for prescriptive authority of legend drugs. Applications for Advanced Practice Nurse Mid-level Practitioner Controlled Substances License are available on the IDPR website; the collaborating physician will sign the document.

APN Renewal

APN and RN licenses are renewed every two years ( APN renewal is dependent on maintaining certification.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The IDPR can be contacted by email contact form (

Licensure is governed by statute and administrative code. Both are subject to change. A licensee can check the “what’s new” link from the main page of the licensing section to see updates.

State professional associations include the following:

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing

Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Illinois Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives

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