2007 Sunset

Illinois nursing act coordinator Maryann Alexander, RN, PhD, was rummaging through boxes left by her predecessors last year when she came across the first Illinois Nurse Practice Act dated 1907. Alexander, new to her position as nursing act coordinator for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), looked through the 98-year-old document for any pearls of wisdom it might hold. As the new coordinator, she knew one of her most important responsibilities would be updating the law and rules that govern nursing practice in the state in 2007.

Every 10 years the Illinois Nurse Practice and Advanced Practice Nursing Act comes up for revision, which is referred to as the “sunset”of the act. At that time, the state’s nurses can propose changes to the document, such as expanding the scope of nursing practice or narrowing the definition of who can call themselves nurses. Those changes must then be approved by the Illinois legislature and the governor.

On August 31, Alexander led a meeting of nursing leaders who had gathered in the offices of the IDFPR at the James Thompson Government Center to begin planning for the sunset of the practice act two years from now. It is the first time in the history of the state that the IDFPR has taken the lead in revising the act. In previous years, the act was revised by various nursing organizations working loosely, but not always cooperatively, together.

Alexander told the group that in the early 1900s, a small group of forward-thinking nurses, led by Harriet Fulmer and Adda Eldredge, fashioned the first nurse practice act. But the first piece of nursing act legislation died because nurses weren’t interested in being regulated, Alexander said. Eldredge and Fulmer didn’t give up. Eldredge lobbied anyone who would listen to her talk about the value of regulating the nursing profession. Eldredge and Fulmer “understood the big picture,” Alexander said. “We can carry on the legacy of these nurses.”

In reading the 1907 document, Alexander learned nurse leaders a century ago were concerned with the number of nurses in the state, entrance requirements for nursing schools, and the amount of clinical and didactic teaching done in nursing schools — ironically many of the same concerns nursing leaders have today, she told the group.

The nurses who met with Alexander last month make up the Nurse Practice Act Task Force. The group includes 155 nurses from across the state — including LPNs, RNs, and APNs, and representatives from 12 professional organizations, 29 nursing schools, 27 hospitals, and 24 specialty nursing areas.

Alexander told the task force its mission is to promote the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Illinois, promote better nursing outcomes, and provide leadership to advance nursing excellence. The task force will achieve that mission by evaluating current law and regulations, proposing changes to the act as necessary, working together, and leading nurses in Illinois into the next decade through revisions to the act.

Sections of the act that need to reexamined, Alexander said, include —

  • General provisions/introduction, and definitions, which encompass the definitions of nursing, supervision, and delegation
  • Licensure, which will address requirements for licensure for internationally educated APNs, collaborative practice agreements, and certifications and licensing exams for APNs.
  • Education, which entails ensuring nursing education standards are met by examining nursing programs, faculty, and curriculum requirements
  • Scope of practice, which includes reviewing and clarifying the roles of RNs, APNs, and LPNs and standards of practice, APN collaborative agreements with physicians, medical direction, and prescriptive authority
  • Violations of the act, which describe the consequences of engaging in unprofessional/unethical conduct, violating the standards of practice, practicing outside of one’s scope of practice, or practicing nursing without a license. Also, the current program for nurses suffering from substance abuse will be evaluated.
  • Continued competency, which includes examining the question of whether there will be continued competency requirements in Illinois for RNs and LPNs; and, if so, what they will entail; nursing certification; and competency requirements beyond CEUs for APNs.

The Nurse Practice Act Task Force is divided into seven working groups that will have specific areas of the act to address, such as education. But everyone will have the opportunity to give input regarding the entire act, Alexander said. The initial changes suggested for the act will go before a review panel that will determine if the proposed changes will protect the public and promote better nursing outcomes and nursing excellence.

The deadline for the task force to finish its work is September 2006.

The task force and the process for developing the new Illinois Nurse Practice and Advanced Practice Nursing Act of 2007 will hopefully be a fitting way to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Nurse Practice Act.


Steering Committee


  • Margaret Faut-Callahan, Chair
  • Jane Pond, Co-Chair
  • Pat Duffield, Co-Chair
  • Ann O’Sullivan
  • Claudia Jorgenson
  • Donna Hartweg
  • Doris Nay
  • Maryanne Locklin
  • Michelle Buck
  • Renta Hornick


  • Agatha Gallo
  • Becky Stewart
  • Karen Klienhaus
  • Sue Clark


  • Bonnie Elliot Zahorik, Chair
  • Linda Roberts
  • Alma Labunski
  • Ann Mostofi
  • Barbara Gaffke
  • Beth Nussbaum
  • Kathleen Ahern-Gray
  • Debra Bryars
  • Debra Daly-Gawenda
  • Donna Meyer
  • Jane Kiley
  • Karen Filipowski
  • Marie Burris
  • Marilyn Noetti
  • Sandy Evans
  • Sara Wheeler
  • Susan Richmond


  • Edith Matesic, Chair
  • Baura Ferrio, Co-Chair
  • Bonnie Robertson
  • Charlotte Powell
  • Darlene O’Callaghan
  • Fredrick Brown Jr
  • Jann Marks
  • Judith Murphy
  • Karen Sikoraki
  • Karla Nacion
  • Margaret Feller
  • Maria Connolly
  • Marie Lindsey
  • Marsha Mulbarger
  • Mary Beth Voights
  • Nancy Krier
  • Roberta Furth
  • Susan Huerta


  • Pam Brown, Chair
  • Lois Halstead, Co-Chair
  • Betty Gammon
  • Carmella Moran
  • Carol Eckert
  • Carrol Rae Gold
  • Catherine Miller
  • Donna Meyer
  • Gloria Bouxsein
  • Cindy Steury-Lattz
  • Janet Engstrom
  • Janet Haggerty Davis
  • Jean Lytle
  • Karen Kelly
  • karen Nelson
  • Laura Samson
  • Marcia C. Maurer
  • Margaret Faut-Callahan
  • Marlene Sefton (Smith)
  • Martha Siomos
  • Michele Paradzisz
  • Nada Williamson
  • Nancy McMullen
  • Nancy Spector
  • Pam Mammano
  • Patricia Ryan Lewis
  • Peg Gallagher
  • Rose Goss
  • Sandy Kubala
  • Sarah Dick
  • Sharon Beasley
  • Shiphrah WIlliams_Evans
  • Sheila A. Haas


  • Margaret Hickey, Chair
  • Ruby Reese, Co-Chair
  • Ann Cho, Co-Chair
  • Arlene M Sperhac
  • Beth Bolick
  • Bridget Cahill
  • Bridgid Lusk
  • Candice Moore
  • Carol Yukich
  • Carole Bomba
  • Cathy N. Grossi
  • Cheri Moran
  • Claire Dobbins
  • Elaine Williams
  • Franciska Staszewski
  • Jackie Pullins
  • janet Stifler
  • Karen Hildreth
  • Kathryn Vigen
  • Kathy Perry
  • Kimberly Johnston
  • Maureen E. Shekleton
  • Maureen Mathews
  • Monica Heenan
  • Patty Piasecki


  • Pam Robbins, Chair
  • Rosemary F. Maganck, Co-Chair
  • Carol Wilson
  • Connie Hardy
  • Dale Betty
  • Faith Roberts
  • Jeremiah Loch Rev. Fr
  • Julie Adkins
  • Kathleen Pankau
  • Lanise A. Sanders
  • Linda Olson
  • Lois Hamilton
  • Lori Anderson
  • Lynn Lenker
  • Marion Summage
  • Marjorie Maurer
  • Mary Muse
  • Pete Pollachek
  • Rosemaire Suhayda
  • Sandra Pfantz
  • Sandra Webb
  • Susan Duda Gardiner
  • Tamara Wojciechowski
  • Teresa Garcia
  • Teri Berriman
  • Mildred Taylor


  • Catherine Neuman, Chair
  • Alyse Helton, Co-Chair
  • Julio Santiago, Co-Chair
  • Jane Stenske
  • Alethea Craig
  • Catherine Ferrario
  • Colleen Hirst
  • Daniel W. Borvan
  • Deborah Lynn Jezuit
  • Diane Acton
  • Diane Zuiblius
  • Evelyn Collier-Dixon
  • Jan Migon
  • Liz Chillon
  • Mary Skoglund
  • Melissa Ilg
  • Monica Ryan
  • Pam Para
  • Pat O’Leary
  • Paul Darr
  • Ruth Matthei
  • Sue Durgurg
  • Virginia Rodriquez Balanoff
  • W. Keith Barnhill