Returning to Illinois


Hi everyone,

I'm a newly graduated nursing student and a U.S. citizen who studied in the Philippines. My home state is Illinois but they will not allow me to return and practice as a nurse unless I have a license from the country I was educated in. The Philippines will not give me a license because I'm not a Filipino citizen. So, my next step is to go to Montana and work there as a nurse for a few years.

While working, I plan to take up my master's degree to further my education but also in the hopes that such a degree will make me eligible to be licensed in Illinois and I can finally go back home.

Does anyone know if this is possible?


24 Posts

I'm curious.. what happened to you? Did you go to Montana? I'm an American Citizen who finished my nursing in the Philippines and resides in Illinois. I think there was quite some leeway back in the past. like people say that get 2 years experience and you can "reciprocate" your license. or getting a waiver was "apparently" possible. but I don't think so. And I just tried again, wasted $350 for a CES that can't even be forwarded to Illinois.

I'm at a huge stop in my life because Illinois is my state, I'd prefer not to move. I did for a while when I got my MI license but now I'm back in Illinois working as a nursing assistant which is demeaning for me because I'm a nurse but this is all I could get because someone helped me get in and all other jobs I see myself getting into say that I'm overqualified. And to tell you the truth I'm pretty sure I'm dull now because I haven't had experience ever since I graduated back in 2009

Editorial Team / Admin

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.

Talk to the BON and explain that you can not get a license as not allowed to sit the NLE. May also be worth getting letter stating the same to back your letter up. That has worked for many in the past when the state requires a local license ie license where you trained