Homelessness

  1. If you graduate nursing school, assuming you were living with your parents, and you had a lot of student loans and your parents said, "You graduated, now, get out" and you found a job as an RN in a field you wanted to get into or didn't, say you had no money and you had to live in a van for awhile, how would the facility feel about your lack of address? Say you had no friends you could reach out to to allow you to utilize their address for your mail. I know companies not related to medical field who have no problem with you living in a car or van or whatever that helps you save money on rent or mortgage so you can pay off student loan debt.

    I'm not living with my parents, but I will be in this situation soon, so I'm hoping facilities would have no problem with it assuming you can prove you can maintain cleanliness.

    I'll have enough money saved up by the time I graduate where I can afford a van, preferably white cargo van, where I can avoid the stress of paying rent/mortgage bills.
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  2. 63 Comments

  3. by   Bo,RN
    You could rent a Post Office box for < $50 a year in my area. You can rent them at your closest Post Office and have a stable address. Many nurses use a P.O. Box because your address will show on the BON website if someone looks up your nursing license. Because it is so common for nurses to use a P.O. Box I don't think a facility will even notice you are not using a street address.
  4. by   elkpark
    Not only is the obvious answer to simply rent a PO box, UPS and some other private companies will rent you a mailbox that is a street address, in case it's important to have a street address.

    As long as you show up for work and maintain the employer's dress code and hygiene standards, it isn't really any of the employer's business what your living situation is. (Although an employer might legitimately object to someone living in a van parked on the employer's property.)
  5. by   Wuzzie
    In addition to renting a mailbox have you considered getting a small used camper van instead of a cargo van. Might appear a little less "skeezy" than living in a white cargo van which in my part of the world is associated with a certain criminal activity. Besides a small camper would be way more comfortable and might make you feel less "homeless".

    Found one for 12k that has a kitchenette, toilet, an actual bed and has <60k on the odometer. Park it and add a scooter/motor bike to get to your job.
    Last edit by Wuzzie on Feb 3
  6. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from Wuzzie
    In addition to renting a mailbox have you considered getting a small used camper van instead of a cargo van. Might appear a little less "skeezy" than living in a white cargo van which in my part of the world is associated with a certain criminal activity. Besides a small camper would be way more comfortable and might make you feel less "homeless".

    Found one for 12k that has a kitchenette, toilet, an actual bed and has <60k on the odometer. Park it and add a scooter/motor bike to get to your job.
    I'm living centrally in a large city and 12K would pay my rent for six months. At that point, why not just find a real place to live?
  7. by   caliotter3
    Rent a room.
  8. by   Paws2people
    What about renting just a room in someone's home? Usually you'll share a bathroom/kitchen.
  9. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Coffee Nurse
    I'm living centrally in a large city and 12K would pay my rent for six months. At that point, why not just find a real place to live?
    Because he said he wants to live in a van. And what would he do after the first 6 months? 12k and he could live in it for years! Maybe be a travel nurse. Paying rent is a lot like lighting your money on fire and watching it burn. You get nothing out of either in the end. At least this way he would actually own something.
    Last edit by Wuzzie on Feb 3
  10. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Because he said he wants to live in a van. And what would he do after the first 6 months? 12k and he could live in it for years! Maybe be a travel nurse. Paying rent is a lot like lighting your money on fire and watching it burn. You get nothing out of either in the end. At least this way he would actually own something.
    Well, he said his parents kicked him out, and that he had no money and "had [not wanted] to live in a van." so I assumed a roof over the head was the goal. And as the van situation was to enable working as an RN, presumably after six months he'd - have an income to pay rent with? I agree that rent is not an investment, but I've been paying it for ten years now and I've been far happier living in apartments than I would've been in a camper van.
  11. by   jodispamodi
    I spent last winter living in my car, not by choice but through no fault of my own. My employer was aware, did'nt care one way or the other. Just know this op, living in a car or van (unless you have a dependable place to park is expensive! More expensive than renting an apt for sure. All depends on location and circumstance, but gas, meals, having to pay to take showers or rent a hotel room to shower add up quickly, add sleep deprivation and stress to the mix, especially if you don't have a dependable place to park.
  12. by   Buckeye.nurse
    I agree with finding a room to rent. Maybe check listing on the collage board for people looking for roommates? Where I work those sort of adverts are pretty common. It's kind of the happy middle ground. Splitting rent among 2-3 roommates is much cheaper than paying for your own apartment...and your quality of life will be higher than living in a van. Keep in mind that you should have 6 months from graduation before you need to start making student loan payments. Hopefully you are earning a regular RN paycheck by then, and have a reasonable budget in place. Best of luck!
  13. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Umm. why on earth would you WANT to live in a van? I am assuming you live in a warm climate?

    Use the money to rent an apartment, even if it's a small one until you can afford a nicer apartment or a mortgage. My concern would be that you wouldn't be able to maintain your hygiene and your employer and co workers would not appreciate that.

    Annie
  14. by   KelRN215
    Quote from jodispamodi
    I spent last winter living in my car, not by choice but through no fault of my own. My employer was aware, did'nt care one way or the other. Just know this op, living in a car or van (unless you have a dependable place to park is expensive! More expensive than renting an apt for sure. All depends on location and circumstance, but gas, meals, having to pay to take showers or rent a hotel room to shower add up quickly, add sleep deprivation and stress to the mix, especially if you don't have a dependable place to park.
    This was my thought reading the OP, too. You could have a PO Box to use as your address but where are you going to park said van regularly? And where will you shower? If you plan to work in a large hospital/a city, driving to and parking at work will be an added expense. (My parking at the hospital I liaise at is over $300/month. The only reason I drive to work is that my employer reimburses my parking expenses.) Your employer might not mind you living in a van but they would mind if you came to work without showering for several days. And the expenses of having to eat out all the time would add up. I'd search craigslist for people looking for a roommate and invest in a public transportation pass. That would probably be more affordable in the long run.

    I graduated with close to $90K in student loans and my nursing salary was sufficient to rent a studio apartment, pay my student loan bills and even to save enough money for a down payment for a house in 4 years.

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