Are you thinking about becoming a medical professional such as a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator, certified nurse midwife, physician, or a physician assistant ? Want to make sure it's right for you? There are probably a lot of things you're wondering about, like what you'll need to do to become licensed, what the salaries are, and how you can pay for college and other medical professional programs. Use the information below to find the answers to your questions. The academic advisor at the college you're planning to attend can also counsel you about which classes to take to prepare you for your career as a medical professional.
Nursing License Preparation and Certification
Before you decide to enter the nursing profession, review the information offered by the Illinois Center for Nursing. This Web site provides information on the nursing profession, educational opportunities, licensing requirements, testing preparation and other valuable information about becoming a nurse. Use the Handbook of Illinois Postsecondary Institutions to locate Illinois colleges that offer degrees in nursing.
State of Illinois/ISAC Nursing Programs
There are several programs designed specifically for students studying to become nurses, to help pay for college, including:
- Nurse Educator Scholarship Program (NESP)
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) provides scholarships and stipend for graduate level nursing students who commit to teaching at a nursing school in Illinois following graduation.
- Nursing Education Scholarship Program
Provides scholarship to individuals pursuing a certificate in practical nursing, an associate degree in nursing, a hospital-based nursing diploma, a baccalaureate degree in nursing or a graduate degree in nursing.This program is offered by the Illinois Department of Public Health's Center for Rural Health.
- Nurse Educator Fellowship Program
Provides $10,000 fellowships to outstanding nursing faculty teaching at Illinois institutions of higher learning that award degrees in nursing. The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) administers this grant program.
Loan Repayment Programs
- Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program
ISAC will award grants of up to $5,000 per year to nurse educators in order to help them repay their educational loans. Serves as an incentive to keep nurse educators teaching within the State of Illinois.
- Veterans' Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program
ISAC offers a loan repayment assistance program for nurses working in state veterans' homes. Grants of up to $5,000 per year will be awarded to nurses who have worked or expect to work in state veterans' homes in Illinois for twelve consecutive months.
- Illinois National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program
The Illinois Department of Public Health provides funds to repay educational loans for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, dentists and psychiatrists who agree to serve in federally designated health professional shortage areas.
Military Programs for Nursing
The U.S. Military offers several college help initiatives to assist servicemen and women seeking financial assistance for nursing and other career programs.
Other Financial Aid for Nursing
There are listings of civic and private organizations that provide funding for nursing students as well as for minority nursing students on the Illinois Center for Nursing Web site.
Allied Health Programs
- Allied Health Care Professional Scholarship Program
The Illinois Department of Public Health's Center for Rural Health offers grants of up to $7,500 per year to a limited number of eligible students. The program serves as an incentive to increase number of nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives practicing in designated health professional shortage areas within Illinois.
- Medical Student Scholarship Program
The Illinois Department of Public Health's Center for Rural Health via this program, offers payment of tuition, mandatory fees and a monthly stipend of $950 for eligible Illinois students enrolled at an approved allopathic or osteopathic medical school in Illinois. The program is an incentive to increase the number of physicians practicing in designated physician-shortage areas in Illinois.