Pinching Pennies on a New Grad Salary-Will it work?

  1. I'd appreciate any advice I can get on this topic.

    I am a senior nursing student and will be graduating with my BSN in May '06. My intention is to live and work in Chicago. In addition to graduation in May, I'm getting married in early June. I will be the sole bread winner for the next 2.5 years while my fiancee completes grad school. I'm beginning to grow concerned about the budgeting! I have no undergraduate debts, but my fiancee has a consolidated loan. I'll be pulling off a graduation, wedding, move, and possibly first school payment all before my first paycheck.

    Are there any city hospitals offering sign-on bonuses? Also, do any of you have experience with living in the city and providing for another adult on your salary? Is OT available at any of the hospitals? And finally, what is shift differential in the city? Here in Peoria it is only $1.

    I'll take any advice you have to offer! Thank you!
  2. Visit chellebelle profile page

    About chellebelle

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 20; Likes: 7
    Nursing Informatics Specialist at University of Chicago
    Specialty: Cardiac Stepdown, Informatics, Quality


  3. by   KatieBell
    I'm not in Illinois, but I'll say Sign on bonuses are getting more rare, and almost unheard of these days for new grads. The "new thing" is a retention bonus given after you are there for a few years...
    Some hospitals offer moving assistance. and you can get an extra differential sometimes for working weekends.
    Good Luck.
  4. by   chellebelle
    Another question, while I'm full of them:

    I've been researching hospitals through their websites. Rush has a spreadsheet of shift options for RNs on their career page, at This spreadshet shows a base rate of pay of 41.50/hr. This is far more than I have had any other hospital offer me. Where is this number coming from? Are they seriously offering staff nurses this much, or are they adding differentials and OT into their estimation?
  5. by   KrisRNwannabe
    It is coming from the fact that the city of chicago is very expensive to live in. Go to or and research some apartments in the area. i just did a quick search and a 500 square foot studio apartment was 850 per month! i reccomend doing lots of research before moving. figure out what bills you would have per month. don't forget things like car maintance.
  6. by   Brickman
    I think it would be easier if your fiancé paid for his own grad school through loans. Student loans usually have very reasonable payments that wouldn't even need to start until he graduated and started earning a paycheck. With you paying most of your living expenses, loans could be kept to a minimum.
  7. by   suebird3
    i don't live in chicago, but went to school at one of the schools (sxu). from what i understand, cook co. taxes are obscene.....have you considered commuting from the suburbs? just an idea.

    as for loans.....i wish yer dh to be luck. i couldn't qualify for some of that stuff....soooo....alotta mac-n-cheese!

    good luck on the wedding. i was told by my grandma to just elope... was driving us nuts.