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Nursing - What Sets Us Apart



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Nurses are valued members of our interdisciplinary patient-care teams. Their expertise is essential to our collaborative environment, and they contribute enormously to our innovative and positive culture.

As the first-ever translational research rehabilitation hospital, we offer you opportunities and a culture that can’t be found elsewhere. Here you are valued, respected and have a meaningful voice in not only patient care, but also in shaping your own career, including sharing research ideas for improving patient outcomes.


Each of our nurses has dedicated her or his life’s work to helping people advance ability — ability of the mind, body and spirit. Our reputation for excellence and breakthroughs enables us to attract the best clinicians and scientists, giving our nurses the opportunity to team with other best-in-class colleagues.

Longer Stays Mean Deeper Relationships


In a rehabilitation hospital, patient stays are typically longer than they would be in an acute-care facility.

In this setting, you’re able to build strong, warm bonds with individual patients and families. You work side-by-side with patients and individual care teams and share in witnessing the exciting progress and outcomes your patients achieve.


Nursing Quote

Intriguing Patient Mix


We are the global leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation for adults and children with the most severe, complex conditions. Patient diagnoses include traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neuromuscular injuries and conditions (e.g., cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease), amputation and cancer-related impairment, among many others.

Because of this range, you have the opportunity to participate in teams that care for patients with diagnoses many clinicians rarely see or treat. You will have the opportunity to meet and personally care for patients with complex or rare diagnoses. As part of the patient’s team, you will collaborate in developing care plans for many of the most severe, unusual or unique medical cases.

Be part of a team that’s been leading the field for a reason.


A Magnet Distinction Among Magnet Hospitals

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab has earned 4 consecutive Magnet designations from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Only 2.5% of all U.S. hospitals (of any kind) share our record of 4 consecutive designations — putting us in elite company.

As a Magnet organization, you can have an active voice in decision-making through our shared governance structure. Our Professional Nursing Advancement Program provides opportunities for nurses to learn and grow as leaders, while also benefiting from a financial incentive.

Magnet logo

Nursing Employee Benefits


Paid Time Off (PTO)

It’s important to take time away from work to rest and recharge. We are proud to provide: 

  • Up to 25 days PTO annually. 
  • An increased PTO accrual up to 30 days annually at four years of service. 
  • Six floating holidays to be used any time within 90 days of the holiday.

Employer 401K Contributions

We contribute up to 6% of your income, deposited on a biweekly basis, toward your retirement. This includes:

  • A contribution of 3% of your eligible income regardless of your contribution.
  • Up to an additional 3% as a 50% match of your contribution. 
  • Your contributions are 100% vested at 2 years of service.

Weekender & FLEX Nursing Employment Programs


Nurses enjoy flexible schedules to suit their lifestyles. Balancing work, life and family can be a never-ending challenge. Our nursing team provides full-time, part-time, FLEX and weekend options to help you find the right best fit for your lifestyle.

FLEX Program

Our FLEX department consists of registered nurses (RN), patient care technicians (PCT), nursing rehab aides (RA) and administrative staff who provide support throughout the entire hospital. Nurses who work in FLEX can float between multiple areas rather than only a dedicated floor/unit.

Through the FLEX Program, RNs and PCTs will:

  • Have the opportunity to learn additional advanced skills by virtue of working on all floors in the hospital
  • Receive an additional percentage of pay as full- or part-time staff

Weekender Program

RNs participating in the Weekender Program can be unit-based employees or part of our FLEX team. Participants in the Weekender Program must be part or full-time benefited employees. You may choose from a variety of shift options. All shifts will receive a bonus stipend equivalent to an additional 8 hours of pay.

Weekender Program benefits include:

  • Shift Premiums: weekend staff are eligible for shift differentials and are eligible for other programs/premium (i.e., proactive bonus). Additional shifts for the bonus will be based on the manager’s approval.
  • Weekend staff are eligible for all benefits including holiday pay, accruing paid time off (PTO), and may be able to take one weekend of PTO during a 12-week period.

Nursing Research


Richard L. Lieber, PhD Chief Scientific Officer Quote


One recent innovative nurse-scientist team explored use of a smart pressure-mapping device to identify pressure points where the patient’s skin contacts the surface of the bed. The results guided nurses in positioning patients to reduce incidence of pressure injuries.

Another team explored a better way to secure the tracheostomy circuit for patients on ventilators. The team partnered with engineers to improve the device to make it less bulky and more reliable — reducing patient discomfort and distress. They tested alternative materials and created prototypes for a newly designed anti-disconnect device.

Our abundant opportunities for you to participate in research represent a true differentiator.

Enjoy a stunning work environment


Even in our urban environment in the heart of downtown Chicago, team members, patients and family are welcome to enjoy the hospital's 10th floor winding outdoor paths. Within the hospital, there are soaring floor-to-ceiling windows with beautiful views.

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Hear From Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Nurses

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