Job Market for Experienced Psych RN in Chicago?

by PSYCHEE Member

Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric. Has 3 years experience.

Hello all,

I've read quite a few topics here about the difficulties for a new grad in Boston. I'm considering relocating from Jacksonville, FL to Chicago in about 6 months. I have three years of experience in psych (acute/crisis, long term/state hospital, and current is geropsych acute) and I will have my BSN prior to moving. I plan on getting board certified prior to moving to boost my chances.

What's the job market like for someone like me?

What pay range might I expect?

(Also please don't try to talk me out of moving -- my partner & I hate florida weather, and we need to move to a major city for him to go to grad school.)

Thank you!

MrChicagoRN, RN

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience. 2,589 Posts

How many years of psych nursing do you have? Is it,all 3 years, or was part as a tech.

Job market is fairly good for experienced psych RNs. You can get salary info at Welcome to! - .

Dont forget to factor in cost of living when comparing rates between cities.


Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric. Has 3 years experience. 23 Posts

I have 3 years and 3 months experience as a psych nurse as of this very minute (I'll be just under 4 years when I'm applying for jobs). This is NOT including the 6 months of tech experience I had prior to graduating nursing school.

One of the reasons we're considering Chicago more than others (Boston, San Fran, etc) is because while the COL is definitely higher than Florida (where isn't?), it's lower than other major cities. I'm selling my house and plan to live in apartments (my boyfriend wants to teach as a professor, so for the next good while we'll be moving around a lot--no point in buying a house), so I expect to take a size downgrade in my living space, but I'd love to live in one of those luxury, high-rise lofts... :inlove:


2 Posts


Do u know of any hospitals in Chicago that do 12 hour shifts and do you know the new grad RN starting pay for these hospitals


50 Posts

I actually disagree that market is good.

Very few places do 12 hours shift for psych even though other departments in hospital do them.

New grad salary around $31.50

On a positive note about salary in Illinois, because it's not in line with California and hospitals want to try to keep this union movement that's rising out, I see new grad salary going to about $36 an hour.

For example, the January 2017 rate for new grad a UCLA is $43.15. If you do a cost of living adjustment, a comparable Chicago salary would be $35.74.

Again, union movement rising and I think you're going to see hospitals make good adjustments soon.

Edited by SuburbsGirl


Has 1 years experience. 10 Posts

I'm not sure what the job market in general is like but I know the facility I work for is desperate for psych nurses. We are under presence health and are or have the 2nd largest behavioral health department in Chicago. It is crazy up on those floors for sure. We even have a refer a psych nurse program that offers bonuses for the nurses and an incentive for psych nurses of $5,000 or $10,000 after 1 year of completing employment. I am not sure what the starting pay would be but considering how desperate they are I can see it being competitive. The issue is that it is a challenging environment for sure which is why they are so desperate.


5 Posts

Hi beezarn

I know this is an old thread but are you still working at Presence in Chicago? I am planning on applying there and wondering if you could possibly answer a few general questions please. Thanks.