Starting salaries for staff RNs on med-surg units in Chicago hospitals can range from $19.00-26.00/hr, more if you work on ICU,CCU, or for an agency.
Many area hospitals are offering $2,000-4,000 signing bonuses. Avoid the smaller hospitals under 200-250 beds and those in the underserved areas like Cook County, Loretto, Holy Cross,etc. Stick with the Medical Centers and teaching hospitals such as Rush/Pres, University of Chicago, and Northwestern. Swedish Covenant,Weiss and St. Francis (Evanston) use to be pretty good institutions to work in. Days is still the most popular shift but it is doable to obtain a position on 7-3pm. Length of orientation will depend on your previous experience,the institution's policies and their current staffing needs.
I suggest you utilize the Nursing Spectrum
for job opportunities in the Chicago area: www.nursingspectrum.com
I have worked in Chicago my entire Nursing career(15 yrs)if you have more questions let me know.