Actually for those that think that a pay rate of $26.75 for new grad is good you are fooling yourselves. Especially at Advocate Il Masonic which sits in one of the most expensive areas of Chicago. To be honest the pay for the whole of Chicago and the midwest is depressed and intentionally held down by all the hospitals in Chicago and the surrounding areas (except the University of Chicago, county and VA hospitals.... to a degree because they are the only ones unionized or forced to keep up with cost of living). After graduating from a BSN program in Chicago proper, working in the City for 6 years then pursuing travel nursing on the West coast and now I have returned to Chicago eight years later (I have been a nurse for almost 14 years) I am appalled to see the wages stagnant and pathetic. The reason for this is that hospital systems are not accountable to anyone. They set the pay rates, they do not negotiate, they charge for parking!!!, decide whether to hold raises for a year or two (which most have here in Chicago because of the economic downturn), continue to increase the amount the nurses have to shoulder for their medical, dental, and vision, and increase the workload w/ unsafe staffing levels. You want to see fair or decent pay practices???........... look where unions exist. The East Coast (NY, MA, etc) and the West Coast (WA, OR, CA). You will realize that the pay in those areas are $28,000-60,000. more than Chicago. Remember Chicago has the highest tax rate in the country and the fact that we are the third largest City in the country, the cost of living here is brutal. Keep this in mind people, when you see a Union trying to form at your local hospital show an interest and get involved. They are only trying to improve work conditions, nurse: patient ratios, wages and benefits, decrease the politics of the hospital, and give the nurse a more level playing field. It is sad for me to see how well the nurses are treated on the West Coast to come back to Chicago to see nothing has changed. It unfortunately is part of the culture here: Crooked politics, graft, corruption, theft, violence, and an unhealthy view of formed labor. Also, new grads and people that never thought out this fact: whenever you hear a hospital is Magnet or has good "health grades," ask yourself what does that have to do with you???? Has that improved your pay or work conditions.......it is a gimmick! While I am not saying all hospitals are bad and there are good ones here like Rush but the majority stink and try to make it look like they are on your side......they are not and don't be fooled. WAKEUP CHICAGO!