Advice for Chicago new grad nurse

Nurses Job Hunt


I am a university of Michigan nursing student who is graduating in may with my BSN. I want to live in Chicago next year, and ideally work in the ICU. I had an externship at U of M in the MICU and completed 288 hours in the CVICU for clinical. Right now I am looking at Rush, northwestern, U of Chicago, and advocate Illinois Masonic medical center for their new grad residency program. I have read that northwestern cut their orientation for new grads which is somewhat scary... What hospitals hire new grads/would one recommend working at that provides a supportive working and learning environment? Do any of these hire new grads into ICUs and how competitive is it/what are they looking for? Any personal experience from someone who has done the residency program at advocate and how is it? Thank you!

MrChicagoRN, RN

2,597 Posts

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care.

You've selected the high profile facilities that will attract the most candidates & competition. Local graduates and current employees will often have the inside edge.

To to find all the local hospitals, including community or safety net hospitals go to the official U.S. government site for Medicare

scroll down to find a hospital. Enter zip code 60612, which includes the west side medical district. It will give you all the hospitals in a 25 mile radius.

this will help you to include the lower profile facilities in and around Chicago.

Good Luck

Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Telemetry/ICU Stepdown.

Chicago is one of the toughest job markets in the country because it's economy has stagnated compared to other parts of the country. It's a very expensive city and there are complains of very low wages being offered when people from distant parts of the country interview for positions in Chicago.

Most of the medical centers in Chicago have had nurse layoffs, sometimes in several rounds, but most did a pretty good job keeping it quiet.

Chicago has a very large college-educated population but a mediocre job market. This creates a situation where even BSNs are a dime a dozen in Chicago.

In Chicago the medical centers will not even look at your application if you have no experience. This creates a situation where even entry-level units like med-surg are coveted in Chicago. This is ridiculous, med-surg in a sandbox for babies compared to what you can achieve in nursing.

I went to some interviews in Chicago and felt the job climate in the city was toxic. Most of my buddies there are doing nursing homes or home health because nothing else is available. At this point in time, if I wanted to, I could probably live and work there, but given the choice, I'll take Madison, WI any time. Madison is a booming city, Chicago is not.

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