A Travel RN’s Tale: An RV Packed with Husband, Dogs & Adventure
Travel Nurse And Spouse Take Their Own Path To Adventure In Their Home On Wheels
Breanna Ficalora, RN, is a travel nurse who begins telling the story of her journeys with a simple, “Where to start?” A sign of a well-traveled adventurer!
Hers isn’t your average travel nursing story, as she has more than just a car-full of belongings to take from city to city. On every travel RN job, she is accompanied by her husband, Marty, their two dogs, and an RV that takes the family across the nation.
“It’s a crazy life, but we love it,” Breanna said. “So many opportunities. You are never just stuck.”
A quick switch to travel nursing
Breanna’s travel nurse career began in April 2015, and, from the looks of it, could go on indefinitely. After working in the PICU and the emergency department, she decided to take on a new adventure. It all began with a single question from a co-worker, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
When Breanna didn’t have a good answer, she acted on the recommendation to try travel nursing. Within a week and a half, she already had a contract assigned! She chose to work with NurseChoice, an AMN Healthcare company that specializes in critical-need, short-term travel assignments.
Because Breanna and Marty would be traveling with their dogs, a 5-year-old cur and a less-than-1-year-old Boston terrier, they felt finding appropriate housing could complicate their assignment choices. So they decided the best solution was to take their housing with them.
“When we started to research possible opportunities and combining it with traveling, we fell in love with the idea,” said Breanna. “The hubby and I have a tendency to follow our gut and make it work. Within two months, we bought an RV and a truck, and rented out our house to a friend of ours.”
Now, this family of four ventures across America in a modern, 39-foot, fifth-wheel trailer. Their home-on-the-go is complete with a full-size fridge, a king-size bed, electric fireplace, a 58-inch TV, two recliners, and a pull-out couch. As Breanna describes it, “It’s home.”
“It is so much easier to travel in it,” she explains. “No packing, all of our own furniture and belongings, kitchen, and the puppies feel more at home with us moving so much.” A housing stipend and travel reimbursements from NurseChoice also go a long way toward covering their expenses.
LEARN MORE about travel nurse pay and benefits with NurseChoice.
Road trips, side trips & other travel perks
Breanna, Marty and their dogs have taken full advantage of this mobile mode of travel, road-tripping to numerous places during and between assignments. Their journey has taken them to travel nursing jobs in North Carolina, California, and Florida, to name a few locations.
After her North Carolina assignment, the couple drove over 1,100 miles to Dallas and another 1,000 to Phoenix, enjoying the comforts of home while getting to see the country along the way. On another trip, they stopped in Yosemite National Park for a three-day vacation.
When she’s on an assignment, Breanna and her husband also try to take advantage of every second, immersing themselves in a variety of fun activities during her off time.
“We have hiked, gone whale-watching, gone on a safari, winery tours, local baseball and football games, amusement parks, famous restaurants, took trapeze classes, hugged a redwood tree, had bonfires weekly (almost nightly) … and the list continues!”
Something ventured, so much gained
The Ficaloras are excited about their chosen lifestyle, and have found much fulfillment from their travels.
“I love being a travel nurse because I would never have had these opportunities to see the U.S.A. without it,” Breanna explained. “I feel like I am living life more fully and have more appreciation for what I do have.”
Her choice to work travel nursing jobs has become an ongoing adventure that brings joy to her and her loved ones. While some nurses may be hesitant to make a change, she and her husband agree it was definitely the right choice for them.
Breanna encourages other travel RNs and prospective travelers to take a chance and make the most of their opportunities: “Always focus on the positive of this life. Also learn as much as you can and do as much as you can!”