2017 Job Market Nursing in Illinois.. good, bad, ugly?

  1. If there is anyone that can give honest information on the job market (specifically for Chicago Suburbs) for new grad nurses, or have any tips or suggestions I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    *** This is just background and context for those that wish to read it *** I am a 3-year high-school Science teacher looking to switch careers. Having a Biology degree, experience in service, and finding a passion for health care I landed on nursing. This was mostly due to talking to nurses that were treating my mother at different times over the past couple of years. I know what you are thinking and I can assure you that I am not leaving my teaching career behind because of changes in education (common-core) or the pay alone. I love teaching and plan on doing so later in my career again, perhaps nursing! If I go this direction I would certainly go for advanced-nursing with a DNP in order to teach.

    The most important reason for my change of heart is that finding a full-time teaching job even with connections is seemingly impossible. After 3 years I have been close to landing that dream job, only to be told I did not quite get it. This is understandable as there are often 200+ quality applicants with more experience per job posting. I have only been able to teach at a private school with no benefits and stagnant, sub-par salary pay... and I have learned that I do not want to "climb the ladder" into administration as I once thought I did. All of this worries me that my job is not secure and that there is no room for me to grow.

    I have tested and been accepted into a BSN-accelerated Nursing program in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois where I live. I have just started online classes and while in-person I have been told that nursing and health care is "always a good choice" and "always will be in-demand", I have seen more and more comments here or there that the job market is not good. The problem - I can't find recent data or comments. Can anyone help me?
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    About Brad_Student_Nurse

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 1

    9 Comments

  3. by   SaltySarcasticSally
    Its improved from what it was, I am a few states over from you though. The hotter the living area in terms of desirability, the harder to get the job you want.

    I would shadow a nurse for a shift before you go all in here. And find nurses in you area to gauge the job market. I know teaching is an overcrowded field but new grad nurses are in surplus as well.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I'm in central IL and they can't get enough teachers here - lots and lots of subs because they can't get qualified teachers.

    Not sure of job market in Chicago - they have lots of nursing schools though so not sure if job market is saturated or not. I often see ads for Adventist Hospital and know its in a suburb of Chicago - they even offer sign on bonuses.
  5. by   AJJKRN
    Chicago (from my experience living in central Illinois as well) is over saturated with new grades so much so that they often have to move down south (AKA central Illinois areas) to get their first jobs.

    The issue with this happens to be where they get an expensive orientation proved by the more southern entities but then leave within their first year when they finally have some experience and can land a job back in the Chicago area.

    This has led to my hospital in particular not hiring any new BSN grads from the Chicago area and to also start offering "sign on bonuses" that have to be paid back with interest if the new grad leaves early.

    Just food for thought about the good old Chicago area.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    Come on down and join us in the real Illinois - lol!
  7. by   LovingLife123
    I'm not that far from you and teachers are needed desperately here. They can't even find subs around here.

    You have to look at if Chicago is hiring new grads. Not just are there nursing positions available. And realize if you do find a job, most likely you will start on night shift. The larger metro areas are the ones that seem to be most saturated.

    Do your research and try to shadow a nurse. So, so many people make this career switch, then come back posting how it's not what they thought it would be. And now they are in debt because most financial aid is no longer available due to previous degrees.
  8. by   thatgirl2478
    Quote from AJJKRN
    This has led to my hospital in particular not hiring any new BSN grads from the Chicago area and to also start offering "sign on bonuses" that have to be paid back with interest if the new grad leaves early.
    I'm in Central IL (pretty much as Central as you can get) and I'm glad that they're doing this! LOL It's already hard enough to get into the better (and limited in number) Nursing School programs in this area, but adding in the competition from Chicago for the jobs just makes it that much worse. I want to go to school AND work here in the area because that's where we live.

    And OP, Central IL has MASSIVE numbers of open teaching positions! And not just in the 'bad' districts. You might consider moving before changing careers if that's the biggest factor behind your job change.
  9. by   Lisacar130
    You will always find people, other nurses and non-nurses, trying to talk you out of being a nurse. It's a common phenomenon.
    The job market for nurses is much better than most fields and is no where near as competitive as trying to get into a public school as a teacher. For example, Advocate has a new graduate nurse residency program. Google it. Is there anything like this for teachers? Does the local public school by you have a new grad teacher residency program? No, because the job market for nurses is a lot better than for teachers.
    The worst thing that could happen is you'd have to start in a non hospital nursing job for 6 months to a year before landing a hospital job, but I highly doubt that you won't be able to get a hospital job from the start. The salaries are good either way, not like private school teachers.
    People had trouble in 2009 when the market crashed but even the ones I know who graduated from that time found something... one in home Heath and the other did nursing home/rehab for a bit and is now a school nurse.
    Getting a BSN helps a lot as far as getting into a hospital right away as a new grad. I don't know what school you're wanting to go to but going to a school that is affiliated with a hospital (Rush, UIC) gives an even bigger advantage because they like to hire their own students. I know Rush does at least. Rush has an accelerated program but you cannot work at all because it is insane. Rush will also give you a free ride if you maintain a B average the last I heard.
    Another thing that helps is getting a job as a CNA or nurse assistant sometime during your schooling. That puts you at a big advantage in getting hired as a nurse later on.
    Good luck!
  10. by   Bumex
    I'm in Chicago. New grad job market is saturated, but I wouldn't say impossible to land a job. Most of my students find jobs quickly, many in the specialties they want others settle for something else for the interim. The big problem is pay vs cost of living. Many hospitals have job openings, but since there is a high population density, the hospitals tend to low ball salary because they know someone will take it. This is not true of all places in chicago, but I have seen it in several systems.
  11. by   Bumex
    I'm in Chicago. New grad job market is saturated, but I wouldn't say impossible to land a job. Most of my students find jobs quickly, many in the specialties they want others settle for something else for the interim. The big problem is pay vs cost of living. Many hospitals have job openings, but since there is a high population density, the hospitals tend to low ball salary because they know someone will take it. This is not true of all places in chicago, but I have seen it in several systems.

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