HI! I live in Champaign-Urbana and might be able to help.
Have you researched the hospitals here yet?
We have 2 major hospitals here, one being a Level 1 Trauma for the area. Both hospitals offer New Grad RN training programs. These programs will train you for 3 months on the floor and in the classroom. The jobs for New Grads are most plentiful at December and May (when people graduate from schools) but I have heard that some New Grads will get hired in between. It depends on the hospital, and whether they will create that position, because as you know, it costs money to train a New Grad.
The market is tight. There aren't tons of jobs. I graduated in Dec. and the students who got hired first were the ones who were already working in the hospital as Nursing Techs. Slowly, people are getting hired. We have 2 major nursing schools in town and then about 10 more in the outlying area, so New Grads are plentiful.
There are other hospitals in the area too, to consider. Some are 20 min. away and are more small and rural. Others, like in Bloomington-Normal, are bigger hospitals with ICU's and that is a 50 min. commute. I am not sure how hard it is to get on there. 1 girl from my class got hired but she was also working as a tech during school.
What else can I tell you?