Any info/advice for moving to Chicago?



I am looking to get tips and advice for living in Chicago as a nurse. I don't plan to move there until next year, but want to be informed in advance. I've looked for answers on forums and sites for reviews but would like to ask the people of allnurses :).

My current situation:

I am a new grad BSN from San Francisco but went to school in North Carolina. I've been offered a job at Duke/UNC-Chapel Hill l in the Medical ICU. I am staying in NC for another year as I landed a dream position. As much as I would like to move to Chicago straight as a new grad, I am thinking it may be smarter for me to stay in NC for 1 more year. Have not been considered for interviews at any hospital in Chicago :/.


How manageable is it to live on a nurse's salary in the City of Chicago?

Where do most young professionals or college grads live in Chicago?

What are the Hospital culture of these Hospitals: UChicago vs. Northwestern vs. Rush?

What is the pay for nurses with 0-1 year of experience for the 3 hospitals mentioned for 0-1 year of experience?

How do you like or dislike living in Chicago?

Any tips or advice for nursing, living in Chicago, etc?

Edited by bayarea123

Hi! I think you will find many opportunities for RNs in Chicago and it's a great city to live in (I might be biased, I've lived here my whole life). As a new grad in Chicago, you can expect to make around $28-33 per hour before night shift and weekend differentials. This is a good wage for Chicago, our cost of living is high because it's a big city but not anywhere near as high as San Fran or NYC. I recommend staying in NC and working in the ICU for a year to gain experience because it will be much easier to get a job here.

It's a fun city for young people. On the north side, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Old Town, and Uptown are all popular. There are some great neighborhoods on the West Side closer to Rush/UIC Hospitals including Wicker Park. There are lots of great hospitals in Chicago including Rush, UChicago, and Northwestern and they all have good reputations. UChicago pays the most, has the most benefits including 100% tuition reimbursement for MSN, and most diversity in nursing staff but the location is the south side and you will have to get a car to drive. Northwestern is right downtown, the location is very appealing to young people, and there's lots of young nurses. The pay and benefits are not as good at Rush and UChicago. Rush is a happy medium between the two. It has good pay and benefits and is near public transportation. But don't limit yourself to those hospitals! Look at UIC which is union and pays great. Another Magnet hospital worth looking into is Loyola, which is in the near Chicago suburbs. Good luck!

Hi there! I'm starting nursing school hopefully January 2020 in Chicago, so I don't have SO much to tell you about nursing here other than all of my friends love it haha but I've been here for 10 years and I echo the previous response with the way Chicago is a really fun, livable city! We have an awesome food scene, with all kinds of great cuisines across the city but my favorite part is that even the "hottest restaurant in town" (whatever that may be at the time) becomes financially accessible for the average person during things like restaurant week. My favorite part of the city is the lake ūüėä If you have any questions about where to live, I'm making the career change from realtor to nursing so I would be happy to help you find the right hood for you!


Specializes in nursing ethics.

Loyola UMC in Maywood (a west suburb) is huge and recently purchased MacNeal Hosp in nearby Berwyn,  small and very good. No visitors allowed. As a patient, I have been told or implied that they are reorganizing departments. The north suburbs have very large leading hospitals.

  Living here with a car, the traffic can be very bad on streets and expressways, day and evenings.  Now most movies are closed, theatre and music venues closed, dining in is iffy and much more  closed. Stay on the north side. Northwest Chicago is  okay but mostly families, residential and business.  City Data forum is where relocators visit, but it only helps with very specific questions. (They will not talk about  high  crime here esp. in the summers.) Beware. The north, west, possibly south suburbs are an option, though not much to do in evenings.