Chicago vs. Pennsylvania??

  1. Well more specifically Chicago vs. Philly/Pittsburg/Scranton?? Where would you go and why? Houses are equally as $$ in all places i THINK, so i'm just curious who would choose where.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   SnowymtnRN
    anyone??
  4. by   Stitchie
    Hi Dawn,

    Chicagoland RN here -- I'm a little partial! Chicago has some great areas, good area for families, beautiful lakefront, housing in all price ranges. You can live / work in complete urban settings or in Cowtown, USA, and you'll still find a job. There's lots to do and the people are friendly, but the winters are ferocious and in summer you can count on 98% humidity with 95 degree temperatures -- it isn't pretty. And IL is FLAT -- you won't see much in the ways of hills until you get south of Springfield or north of WI border.

    I don't know much about PA; I've driven thru it and it's pretty. What is your deciding factor? Job? Family life? Outdoor lifestyle? Relatives in either state? Tough decision.

    there's lots of jobs here for nurses, though, in just about every setting, practice type, hospital trauma level imaginable.

    Good luck!
  5. by   Jolie
    Quote from SnowymtnRN
    Well more specifically Chicago vs. Philly/Pittsburg/Scranton?? Where would you go and why? Houses are equally as $$ in all places i THINK, so i'm just curious who would choose where.

    I vote for Chicago, too. I was born and raised in northern IL, and spent many a summer day at Wrigley Field, Grant Park, the Art Institute, etc. Chicago is a wonderful city, with only Kansas City coming a close second in my mind. But forget working there...the wages stink!

    Hubby and I spent 7-1/2 years in suburban Philly, and never really warmed up to it. Philadelphia is un-matched for its history but that's about as far as my interests went. The restaurants, sports, and culture just didn't compare. We lived in the Philly area longer than we've ever lived anywhere (he gets transferred a lot), and both our girls were born there, so we do have some affection for the area, but not enough to ever seriously consider going back. Also, at the risk of inciting a riot, I will tell you that there is a difference in the lifestyles and attitudes of the people in Philly versus Chicago. We called it the "East Coast Mentality". I'm not bashing it, but it is a different way of life than the good-old midwest.

    You are right that the cost of living and wages are comparable, as are the working environments. Both Chicago and Philly are home to numerous well-respected medical centers and both offer plenty of nursing opportunities in urban and suburban settings.

    One final thought, I do miss the milder weather and early spring that Philly offers!

    Would you consider the Bethlehem area? Plenty of jobs there, too, and a much lower cost of living.
  6. by   alk3rainbow
    The wages in Chicago aren't too bad. A lady I know works in the ER at northwestern hospital and pulls in about 80k a year. Not bad wages for a nurse in my opinion...specially if you live in the suburbs and don't mind the commute.
  7. by   Havin' A Party!
    Scranton -- A lot of New York influence without the high cost of living and other bigger, older city prob's.
  8. by   Altra
    Granted, I'm biased , but Pittsburgh was recently named the second best place in the country to raise a family - again.

    One thing about the original post stuck out at me though - make sure you do your research - different urban/suburban areas vary, but there is a considerable difference in the price of houses between Pittsburgh and Philly. You'll have to make sure that your income compensates for the difference.

    I've enjoyed visiting Philadelphia, but as another poster pointed out, it is definitely more "East Coast." More of a midwestern feel here in Da Burgh.

    Good luck in your search!
  9. by   beckymcrn
    I'd vote for Pittsburgh. Only because Pgh is home for me. I know I do live here in sunny SC but when I think of home it is always Pittsburgh. There are lots of suburbs around the city where you can live if you choose to work in the city. If you want a little more rural areas I'd suggest Butler, PA; there is a little town before you get there called Saxonburg it is a great little place to raise kids. Schools good and a few private schools in the area are great too.

    If my husbands job hadn't sent me here that is where I would be.
  10. by   angel337
    Quote from SnowymtnRN
    Well more specifically Chicago vs. Philly/Pittsburg/Scranton?? Where would you go and why? Houses are equally as $$ in all places i THINK, so i'm just curious who would choose where.
    i always say "if you can't find a job in chicago, it's because you're not lookin'" chicago has great job opportunities. i think the wages for chicago RN's are excellent. most nurses here make over 65k and there is a nice variety of neighborhoods to choose from (especially if you don't mind commuting) it's a great city, lots to do all the time and you can never get bored here. the weather is what sucks. too hot or too cold. actually for the past 5 years the weather has been pretty decent. come join us!!!!!!!!!
  11. by   SnowymtnRN
    Ok here's why i ask.

    DH used to work at the University of Chicago, we lived in Aurora/Naperville for about a year. So the commute was L*O*N*G. They do 12's there, so with the commute he would work a 14 hour day. Our rent was also TERRIBLE imo. $1269 for a townhome style apartment. BUT i know that the prices in the city are just that way, no sense in complaining about it. lol So the commute really wore him down, etc...and we took this transfer to Wyoming. We LOVE it here, but he is so bored with his job. Its not the high level intensity ICU like he was accustomed to with the U of C. If we go back to Chicago, he wants to go back to the U of C cuz of their benefits, the unit he worked on, etc....I*F he can get more $$ per hour. he was only making base rate about $21/hr there cuz he was a med surg nurse, they trained him in their program for ICU, etc...

    The reason i ask about Pennsylvania is his long term goal is to go to CRNA school. PA has 11 schools, and he will be applying more than likely to some of them. That would be the biggest reason we'd go to the East coast, for his grad school. We need to live in an area where i can work and have options as opposed to here, where there's only one hospital in town, one 40 miles away, then anywhere in any given direction about 2.5-4 hours. So if we live in Chicago OR one of the cities in PA, we'd be ok for me to work and support us while he finishes school. KWIM?

    The weather is no biggie for us. We are snow people. All be it we prefer the mountains, its hard to maintain a living here, and we are a little more cosmopolitan than we care to admit. lol I've heard of the Philly "mentality" and to be honest that worries me some. We are southern born, would talk to the wall if it would talk back, and generally are very social and friendly. Makes the decision hard! lol

    SO no matter where we go, we want to have a plethora of hospitals to choose from, decent salaries, live within a decent commute (idealistically 30 minutes give or take from where we could live)and decent place to raise our 3 kids. Plus either place we would have plenty to do entertainment and fun wise it sounds (sports, concerts, shopping, restaurants). ALTHOUGH nothing beats GIordano's pizza in Chicago! lol I am wondering what kind of area Tinley Park/Orland Park is. Their housing seems to be pretty reasonable. Not sure of the commute or even how the area measures up just yet. I've got LOTS of time to make up my mind, we wouldn't move before next year at the soonest.

    SO what do you think??? lol Clear as mud??
  12. by   alk3rainbow
    I grew up in Oak forest and New lenox, and Orland park and Tinley are VERY good areas. There is however a lot of traffic because of the mall in Orland. I know Orland schools are great though and its a low crime area. Still a bit of a commute to Chicago though. At least an hour there by train. Research the areas a bit and I'm sure you will find a place that fits you.
  13. by   SnowymtnRN
    Quote from alk3rainbow
    I grew up in Oak forest and New lenox, and Orland park and Tinley are VERY good areas. There is however a lot of traffic because of the mall in Orland. I know Orland schools are great though and its a low crime area. Still a bit of a commute to Chicago though. At least an hour there by train. Research the areas a bit and I'm sure you will find a place that fits you.
    Well the train is out cuz there's no way to get to work on time, so he'd be driving. They have buses that bus staff members from Union Station to the hospital, but they don't run til 730am. :angryfire So if you were driving from the Orland/Tinley area, what would you say the commute is??

    Thanks everyone, when i have more time i'll reply to those of you nice enough to pm me or post to me specifically!
  14. by   EmeraldNYL
    I love Philly, I have lived here since college. So what do you guys mean by an "East Coast mentality"?? I'd love it if someone could enlighten me cause I've never lived anywhere but the east coast.

    I agree though, that Philadelphians are an interesting bunch of people who are often opinionated and maybe are a little wary around outsiders. I love living here though, besides the freezing cold winters.

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