Taking on a travel nurse assignment between October to early January means you may end up working on a holiday or two. Because of that fact, travelers have to start thinking about the holidays earlier than most and plan ahead. It can be difficult to get it right, especially if you are newer or still struggling to find a happy medium in your schedule. To lend a helping hand, here’s what you should know and how you can make the best out of the holiday season even while you’re on assignment.
Are Travel Nurses Required To Work Holidays?
Depending on your location and contract terms, your facility may require you to work two of the three major holidays. In some cases, you can choose which holiday you want to have off so you can make plans ahead of time. However, you are never obligated to work during the holiday season unless you want to. If you do want to work, try seeking out short-term contracts that take place before and after the holidays to get some time in between longer ones.
The most guaranteed way to avoid working a holiday is to not take a contract that will overlap with your desired holiday breaks. Travel nurses can request all of the holidays off during an assignment if the facility allows it. Some travelers work over the holiday season but never actually work on a holiday. Of course, this stipulation will reduce the number of available options, but it’s still possible nonetheless. It is always best to review the contract holiday requirements before signing and inquire if anything is negotiable.
How To Navigate Holiday Assignments
If you’re thinking about holiday travel nursing, there are a few ways to make it work in your favor:
- Pick your climate. Traveling allows you to experience the holiday season any way you like. Whether you want to ski and have fun in the snow, enjoy the holidays on the beach, or just watch the snowfall from the safety of your home. Work in Florida or Arizona if you want warmer weather or travel to colder states like Washington and Oregon for a winter wonderland. You have complete control over where you want to celebrate this time of year.
- Find Holiday Events. Have you ever wanted to attend some of the events you see on television? On par with choosing your climate, you can choose an area with tons of unforgettable holiday events and experience them in person. Find an assignment in New York City to participate in the Thanksgiving Day Parade; join the celebration at Winterfest in Seattle, Washington; or personally watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting in D.C.—there’s so much to do!
- Choose shorter assignments close to home. Seeing our family and friends is one of the things we all love about the holidays. Just because you’re a travel nurse on assignment doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun and traditions. Talk to your recruiter to see if there are available assignments close to home or even at home.
Working over the holidays can come with many exciting perks and be very rewarding. If you are contemplating taking an assignment during the holidays, here are a few benefits to think about.
- Holiday pay. One incentive of working the holidays is increased pay, a great initiative if you are money-motivated. There is more demand for travel nurses during the holiday season, so there are more opportunities for overtime, bonuses, and higher pay rates. Check with your recruiter to discuss holiday rates and if the assignment is for you.
- Advance your career. Since there is a higher demand for travel nurses, it is a perfect time to go out there and showcase your skills and dedication as a healthcare professional. Not many nurses are willing to work over the holidays, so showing up tells your employer that you are a team player and are eager to do your duty to keep up with hospital needs.
- Bring joy to patients. No one wants to be stuck in a hospital during the holidays, especially your patients. By taking on a holiday assignment, you can impact patients’ lives for the better and lighten up their time. Being with patients during the holidays also allows you to provide them with more comprehensive care and connect on a deeper level.
Whether you’re uplifting your patients with holiday cheer or bonding with your coworkers, holidays at work can still become a good memory for everyone, including yourself. Not to mention, you’ll also rake in on all the holiday treats and goodies for healthcare staff at your hospital or facility!
It’s always important to ask what the policy is if the holidays are important to you. If you are interested in becoming a travel nurse or want to find your next assignment, contact us or view our job board for more opportunities.