Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Illinois

Known as the “Land of Lincoln”, home to the first McDonald’s, the Chicago Bears, Cubs and Bulls and trendy shopping street Michigan AVE, Illinois has a lot to offer.  Except for favorable nurse practitioner scope of practice laws that is.  Illinois falls at the lower end of the spectrum of legislation surrounding nurse practitioners.  What regulations govern NP’s in the Prairie State?

Illinois Nurse Practitioner Supervision Laws

Sorry, folks.  Nurse practitioners practicing in Illinois do not enjoy the freedom to practice independently.  NP’s in Illinois must work under a collaborative practice agreement with a physician.  What needs to be included in a collaborative practice agreement?  The nurse practitioner- physician collaborative practice agreement outlines the working relationship of the NP and physician.  It describes the categories of care, treatment and procedures the NP expects to perform.

In Illinois, physicians are not required to be physically present with the NP.  The physician must simply be available for consultation whether in person or by phone.  A collaborating physician and NP are required to meet at least once a month.  Although Illinois does require physician collaboration for nurse practitioners, their collaborative practice agreements are quite liberal.

Illinois Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws

Are You Ready to Thrive?

Learn more about our online residency program; we pair clinical and professional development to take advanced practice providers to the next level. Get More Info>>

In order to write prescriptions as a nurse practitioner in Illinois, a bit of paperwork must be completed and a few legal requirements met.

  1. Your collaborating physician must specifically delegate you, the advanced practice nurse, prescriptive authority within your collaborative practice agreement.  The physician must specifically outline which schedule of controlled substances, II, III, IV and/or V, you will be prescribing.  The collaborative practice agreement must be signed by the doctor and the NP.  A copy of the agreement is to be maintained at all practice locations.
  2. Nurse practitioners in Illinois must complete 45 hours of continuing education in pharmacology before obtaining schedule II prescriptive authority.
  3. In Illinois, NP’s are only allowed to prescribe up to a 30 day supply of controlled substances.  Further refills may be given but only with authorization or prior approval of the collaborating physician.
  4. NP’s practicing in the Land of Lincoln must submit an application to the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation before they are officially allowed to write prescriptions.  You can find the application here.

Other Illinois NP Scope of Practice Laws

You may have to go through a lot of hassle to write prescriptions in Illinois, however as a NP in this state you are allowed to sign handicap parking permits.  Death certificates are a different story.  Nurse practitioners in Illinois cannot officially declare someone dead.

NP’s in Illinois do not enjoy as many freedoms as nurse practitioners in other states.  The loose nature of the required collaborative practice requirement however still allows for some degree of independence.  Overall, Illinois a moderately desirable place to practice.


Looking for NP Jobs in Illinois?  Check out the ThriveAP Job Board.

26 thoughts on “Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Illinois”

  1. Hi Mary,

    The author is myself, Erin Tolbert, RN, FNP-C.  Original sources for the information are linked throughout the post.  Good luck on your paper!

  2. Do you know if there are limits in Illinois as to how many nurse practitioners a physician can have a collaborative agreement with at the same time?

  3. Hi,
    Does this mean that a psychiatric DNP would be able to practice psychotherapy and prescribe medication independently?

  4. the reference to Collaborative Agreements no longer needed. So they do not have to send one into the state any longer?

  5. According to the Illinois Nurse Practice Act, a collaborative agreement with a physician is required for NPs working outside the hospital setting.  The NP does not need to be employed by the collaborating physician.  So, you can practice and prescribe without a physician onsite but would need an MD lined up who is willing to consult with you if questions or concerns arise. 

  6. When an NP is working in the hospital does the covering physician still have to co-sign the orders and documentation.
    Thank you,

  7. What is typical compensation for a psychiatrist to provide supervision as part of a collaborative agreement to an NP who is in private practice? What about if NP is new grad (I assume that might be higher)?

  8. Does the collaborating physician need to be in the same specialty in Illinois? In other words, can a general surgeon collaborate with a nurse practitioner providing primary care?

  9. Hi Carol,

    Generally, the physician must be board certified in the area where the nurse practitioner is practicing. For example, a general surgeon could collaborate with an FNP working in surgery but not with an FNP working in a primary care practice. 

  10. Hello – How have you seen other billing departments for hospitals handle the “Attending” physician when a NP has acted as the attending the entire patient stay, but isn’t technically a physician? Since a collaborative agreement is no longer required in the hospital setting, who would they report out as the “Attending Physician”?

  11. I’m in Illinois, working as ANCC certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. My present license is from Fl. I have made application to the state of Illinois for Nursing/ARNP license. They refused it because the supervising physician is not licensed in the state of Illinois. Any written prescriptions I have written for fill in private/outside pharmacy has been denied. The pharmacy states I’m not on the list of endorsed prescribers in Illinois. I I am trying to explain this to the supervising physician, she continues to state that I can write to outside pharmacies and they will honor them. I am looking for some type of official regulation regarding this. Can you help? thanks

  12. Hi Nancy,

    I believe is it standard in nearly every state that your supervising physician be licensed in the state and specialty in which you are practicing. So, you will need to find a collaborating psychiatrist in Illinois in order to practice/prescribe in the state. 

  13. Hello,

    I love your posts! They are so helpful. I recently graduated from an MSN/FNP program in Illinois and had a few concerns about scope of practice. I am trying to do as much research as I can before accepting a job as a hospitalist NP. I wondered if I would be legally covered as a Hospitalist NP being family nurse practitioner. I have heard both sides and I am waiting to hear back from the Illinois board of nursing. I was told since I do not have training in tertiary care, IVF administration, and am not allowed to prescribe injectable pain medications, that I will not be covered if something came up legally. Do you have any advice?

    Thank you!

  14. Hi Jessica, 

    As a Family Nurse Practitioner you are able to practice as a hospitalist unless your state scope of practice guidelines state otherwise. You will need medical malpractice coverage as well which is typically provided by your employer as part of your employment agreement. 

  15. Hey Erin-

    This was very helpful to me, I am a new grad for MSN- FNP in Ohio and I will be moving to Illinois as a new FNP and I am very nervous (as I know OHio law and not very familiar with Illinois law). Does Illinois have a CTP-E once you pass your boards you apply through the state, and then you have to get 1500 observed hours of prescribing- 200 direct physician hours, 300 direct on site NP hours, and then 500 offsite preceptor hours?
    Do you guys still have the SCA in a private practice , or no?
    AS far as Schedule II goes- are APRNs in Illinois allowed to prescribe, or do I need to go through more hours of class to get certified (I did 60 hours if schedule II in Ohio but I do not know if that crosses over to Illinois as well?)
    Thanks! Sorry for the long note I am very nervous about the laws, and the Illinois BON website is not very helpful, and I have tried to call but, they were very short with me.

  16. I am looking to open a clinic just doing Botox, fillers, & laser hair removal. I know I need a collaborative agreement, but can it be with a family medicine Doctor, chiropractor, dermatologists, or plastic surgeon?

  17. When billing the NP would you use the collaborative provider as a supervising provider? When there is an agreement in place; can you bill under the provider and not the NP. Even if the provider was not onsite

  18. IT is frightening that IL is even considering allowing APRNs to be autonomous! They receive 4000 hours(2 years) of training in diagnosis and treatment, a family practice MD receives well over 28,000! I teach nursing students. APRNs are an important piece of the healthcare puzzle, but not autonomous. My wife, a physician, has caught several errors by her APRN. And luckily my wife also caught two potentially fatal prescription errors by two different APRNs treating my father. They just didnt know interaction effects.

    How someone can think that 2 years of 40 hours a week training puts them on par with 7 years of 80 hour per week training is beyond me and it is dangerous.

  19. In regards to John’s comment on APRNs. John please pull your head and wife’s head out of your butt! I am a doctor. There are doctors who make mistakes as do most any human. Surgeons are cutting off wrong extremities after YEARS of training. So please, if you are going to rant about APRNs, no sympathy here. You sound like an idiot!

  20. Hello,
    Its been a while since anyone posted here. Hope it’s still monitored. Can nurse practitioners perform endoscopic procedures in IL (under the supervision of a GI of course)?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Are you ready to Thrive?

Support + education for early career nurse practitioners.

Have you signed up for our newsletter?

Stay up to date with the latest advanced practice news!

Are you struggling as an early career NP or PA?

Learn more about ThriveAP, the program designed to boost primary care clinical knowledge.

Support and education for early career NPs & PAs

Download the ThriveAP info
packet for more information!

Are You Employed
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.