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Travel Nursing in an RV

by Epstein LaRue, RN, BS

With the nursing shortage getting greater and greater, it's no wonder that nurses are choosing travel nursing. With the problems surrounding housing and getting a three- month lease, it's no wonder that more and more nurses are choosing to travel in an RV.

Trailer

One of the biggest advantages to traveling in an RV is the fact that you have the same bed night after night, and no lumpy rental mattresses! Now-a-days, you can even get an RV with a sleep number mattress.

Traveling nurses are always on the move. By having an RV there is no packing and unpacking every thirteen to twenty-fix weeks. You just unhook the electricity and roll in the sewer hose, and away you go.

Life as a traveling nurse can be lonely at times. You might see a person or two in your apartment complex, but I made a lot more friends when I was traveling in my RV. Full-timers are friendlier, and at most RV parks it doesn't take long to find a friend or two. There is so much more comradery in an RV park than at an apartment complex.

Another big advantage to traveling in an RV is the cost of housing. The most we ever had to pay per month for an RV space was $500. It's nothing now to pay $1200 a month for housing, electricity, and furniture rental when you go the apartment route!

With an RV, you will never have to worry about having to pay for the rest of a three-month lease if your contract is cancelled for some reason. You may have to stay until the end of the month at the RV Park, but that is a much smaller sacrifice than having to pay three months rent at $1200 per month.

Yes, you do have the increase in expense of gasoline when traveling in an RV, but it's a one-time expense, and it's not like you're driving around for months. You just drive to the assignment and park it for a few months.

The biggest problem with traveling in an RV is that most traveling nurses work the night shift. This can be tricky if you live in an RV. I have a sign that says, Day Sleeper, please knock lightly. But still, you'd be amazed at the people who can't read or say, Oh, I didn't see the sign.

The noise level in an RV can be greater than in an apartment also for us day sleepers. It never fails that as soon as you get to sleep, the guy next door with the rambling diesel truck will show up. Then, you have to remember that quiet time is at 10pm, just when youre getting up and having your second cup of coffee.

I've always said that Fulltime RVing has a tendency to strengthen strong families and tear apart weak ones. A balance between family and self is soon obtained. Don't hesitate to tell that family that you just need some space for a while. I always went to play golf by myself, and that got me out of the RV, by myself for a little bit of piece and quiet, and gives my family a break from me also.

As a nurse traveling in an RV, you will have to check out RV parks before you take an assignment. There was only one that I had to decline because there was no where to park my RV.

Also, you will have to adjust your timing. Traveling in a car, my husband and I can travel about 600 miles a days, but in the RV we could only make comfortable 400 to 500 miles, depending on if we were on the Interstate.

If you have to travel from Washington State to Florida, it will take you a few more days to make that trek across the country.

RVing and Travel Nursing are a perfect combination, and I would definitely recommend any nurse looking into traveling full-time to sincerely take a good look at traveling in an RV. It's really not as hard as you might think!

Epstein LaRue, RN, BS is a travel nurse.They travel in a a 35ft. Dutchman bumper pull, pulled by a 2002 Lincoln Blackwood. She is the author of "Highway Hypodermics; Travel Nursing 2007" and "Crazy Thoughts Of An Online Romance." For more information on travel nursing, check out her Web site at HighwayHypodermics.com

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