We have a pretty crazy yet amazing idea to throw at you: Get yourself a mobile home and pick up PRN jobs anywhere you want to work throughout the country! If you love to travel and crave adventure, this plan is for you.
We tend to think in terms of either-or: Either I work, or I travel; either I enjoy my life, or I save for my future. What if it were truly possible to do both? We believe it is. Here is the complete guide to help you get started on your PRN-work-funded ultimate road-trip adventure.
Begin by Investing in a Recreational Vehicle
There is a wide range of options when it comes to mobile homes. There are different types of recreational vehicles (RVs) and trailers, as well as converted passenger vehicles. Each type has different pros and cons, such as affordability, drivability, size, comfort, and so on; however, for a nurse wanting to hit the road and live in as many US cities as possible, we have narrowed it down to our top two choices. If you don’t already have a towing vehicle, such as a powerful pickup, your best bet is to invest in a used Class B or Class C RV. These are the most affordable options, ranging in cost from as little as $5,000 for a used Class B RV or approximately $12,000 for a used Class C one to around $150,000 to $200,000 for a new RV.
Class B RVs
A Class B RV will cover your basic living needs, including a small kitchen and a bathroom – although not all these RVs have showers, you can find campsites that offer the missing amenities you need. This type of RV also has the best mileage and is compact enough to maneuver off-road campsites.
Class C RVs
Class C RVs are a little larger but still offer decent mileage and easy drivability. That being said, these RVs are large enough that they limit the campgrounds where you can park and even the roads that you can drive on, whereas Class B RVs are small enough to fit at any campsite and to drive on any road.
Of course, the type of mobile home you choose will depend on your personal priorities, but if affordability is at the top of your list, then your best option is to find yourself a used Class B RV.
Average Cost of Living in an RV
According to the first-hand accounts of numerous RVers, the average expense of living in RVs full time for different couples ranges from as low as $1,000 to as high as $5,000! This huge discrepancy depends mainly on the frequency of travel but also on other daily expenses, such as type of campsite, frequency of eating out, and entertainment costs. Also, keep in mind that these are averages for couples, so if you decide to RV with your partner or with a friend, you can actually split this cost of living expenses. Otherwise, if you decide to RV alone, your living expenses would naturally be lower.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the average US per capita personal consumption expenditure is $42,635 or approximately $3,553 per month. Therefore, even if you and your RV roommate spent the hefty sum of $5,000 per month, this would still amount to only $2,500 per person – $1,053 less than the average personal expense in the US.
Tips for RV Living
There are numerous ways to bring the cost of RV living down from the anxiety-producing $5,000 to a reasonable $1,500 to $2,000 per couple.
Camp for Free
Did you know that you can camp for free for up to 14 days on public land? This can help you save anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per month! Of course, staying on free camping land would require you to be completely self-sufficient, such as having your own way to produce electricity and carrying your own water, so it might not be reasonable to stay on these camping grounds all the time, but it is certainly an excellent way to reduce costs and can be done part time for some added adventure. Numerous websites, such as Free Campsites, Campendium, and iOverlander, can help you find these free campsites throughout the US.
Increase the Quality and Decrease the Cost of Your Entertainment
One way to save on entertainment is to explore national parks or museums. Each person has his or her own idea of entertainment, but if you enjoy the great outdoors, with an America the Beautiful National Parks pass ($80 per year per vehicle), you can visit more than 2,000 federal recreation sites for free. Alternatively, for approximately $100 per year, you can become a member of the Reciprocal Organization of Associated Museums, which allows you to visit 447 museums in the United States and Canada for free. This could even become part of your road-trip bucket list: Make a list of all the national parks and/or museums you would like to visit throughout the country and use this bucket list to help you decide what places you will travel to.
Stay Longer in Places You Love
Obviously, the more you travel, the more you will spend on gas, so a great way to save some money and also have the chance to truly get to know a city is to stay in one place for at least a whole week or more. Nevertheless, certainly feel free to keep your travel plans flexible. If you stop in a city that you find you absolutely detest, just finish the shifts you committed to and get out of there. On the other hand, if you find a great healthcare facility that wants you to stay on longer in a city you enjoy living in, then stay for as long as you like – maybe even a month or more.
Will I Be Able to Work Wherever I Go?
Before you begin your ultimate road-trip adventure, make sure you have a multistate license to practice nursing. If you obtained your state license in one of the original compact states before July 2017, then you most likely already have a multistate license, which allows you to work for as long as you want in any other compact state. However, if you obtained your state license in one of the newer compact states – Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia or Wyoming – after January 2018, then you probably have a single state license and must apply for a multistate license. For this, you can visit your state’s board of nursing website. Frankly, if your current residence – and your state license – is not in a compact state, you should consider establishing residence in a compact state and applying for a multistate license before you begin your PRN work/travel adventure. Also, keep in mind that you must maintain primary residence in a compact state in order to continue using your multistate license.
Ready to Rev Up That Engine?
For new graduates just starting to figure out what type of nursing work they enjoy or for experienced nurses craving a change of pace and scenery, PRN work is the perfect solution to their needs. Add to this flexible and diverse type of work the opportunity to travel across the country – seeing different sights, tasting diverse foods, experiencing a range of climes, cultures and people – and the ability to work at a host of different healthcare facilities, and what this PRN-work adventure offers is the perfect recipe for deciding where you would like to finally settle down and what type of work you would like to do long term. Isn’t this what we are all looking for?