Andrew Wettengel / Thursday, October 27, 2022 / Categories: Work World


Too soon? NEVER. The holidays are a time of joy and happiness, and many of us are looking forward to a little time away from work to spend with our families. However, the life of a travel nurse doesn’t always lend itself to the typical holiday lifestyle. Still, many travel nurses consider the holiday season a time full of cheer—even if they aren’t spending it with their families.

Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits that travel nurses report when they work through the holiday season.

  1. It’s a Great Opportunity to Advance Your Career

Career advancement is huge for travel nurses, but it can be challenging for many to break out of their normal skill set. Around the holidays, however, there are typically travel nursing shortages with many travelers deciding to spend more time with family back at home. This can provide opportunities for those who wish to travel more and expand their skill set since many hospitals will take on nurses that may not have all of the experience they want to fill positions.

For example, a nurse who typically works in the ICU might want to try a position in the NICU for the holiday season. If a facility can’t find someone with NICU experience, they may take a chance on the traveling nurse with regular ICU experience. This gives the nurse a chance to learn valuable skills that may be difficult to obtain otherwise.

  1. You Can Make Extra Money

Some facilities offer their staff extra money to work over the holidays. For traveling nurses who are far from home, this is the perfect opportunity to cash in on some extra money. Money-motivated travelers might choose to take on holidays to earn extra cash for savings, a vacation, a new car, or another large purchase. Plus, that extra holiday pay always comes in handy when purchasing gifts for those you love at Christmas.

It is also important to remember that some facilities may choose to divide holidays to allow every nurse time off on those special days. If you are willing to work over all the holidays, you will want to let your supervisor know as soon as possible to allow other nurses to have time off and get yourself on the schedule. In fact, we have heard that some nurses actually prefer to work on holidays, because the pace tends to be slower, and they get to spend more time with each patient.

Your recruiter will be a great resource in finding a holiday travel nursing assignment that offers a higher-than-average pay, so be sure to share your intentions prior to making arrangements for a holiday assignment.

  1. You Have the Chance to Bring Joy to Your Patients

The holiday season is all about spreading joy. Nobody wants to spend any part of the holidays in the hospital, but having happy nurses providing care can bring a lot of holiday cheer to patients, especially those who have long-term stays. Many traveling nurses experience an immense sense of purpose when they can bring happiness to patients during the hardest times of their lives.

Working over the holidays can be incredibly rewarding for many travel nurses. These nurses love having more one-on-one time with their patients, and the holiday season offers a great opportunity to do just that. Plus, there is more time to spend with the other nurses, allowing for deeper connections with coworkers.

To make the holidays even more fun at the nurses’ station, you could bring along goodies to share with the other staff and maybe even patients, when appropriate. Some hospitals, patients, or visiting family members may also drop off treats for the staff working over the holidays.

  1. You Can Experience the Holidays Somewhere New

Not everyone has the chance to experience the holiday season in a new or exciting location. While others are dreaming of a holiday at home, maybe you are looking for a new adventure in a location full of holiday wonder—or maybe you are trying to find someplace warm to hide out for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Many of our travelers use this to their advantage and pick prime destinations for their holiday assignments, allowing them to spend time in places they highly desire but may otherwise have difficulty getting placed in during other times of the year.

If you are working over the holidays away from home, here are a few tips for still feeling connected to your family while you are away:

  • Schedule a Call Home: Set up a phone or video call with loved ones at a time that works best for everyone involved. You may be able to chat with family during a large celebration, but even individual calls to family members can help you feel connected to them.
  • Send Holiday Cards: Send family members updates via Christmas cards or emails, and request that they do the same back. This will allow you to catch up with everyone personally without being physically present at holiday events.
  • Celebrate Before or After Your Assignment: It isn’t the day that is important, so many traveling nurses may decide to celebrate the holidays with family and friends on a different day. If your assignment starts soon before or ends shortly after Christmas, maybe you can still find a convenient time for everyone to gather to celebrate.
  1. You May Have More Assignment Options to Choose From

Many healthcare professionals take time off around the holidays. With nurses often wanting to spend holiday time with their families, there are more openings for travel nurses around Thanksgiving and Christmas, leaving you with more opportunities to snag a job in a location of your choosing.

Additionally, many facilities understand that nurses are looking for extra time off during the holiday season, so they offer even shorter-term contracts that may allow you to test the waters in a location you aren’t sure about or try for a position that you normally may not typically consider based on your experience. The additional assignment options available provide a lot of flexibility for travelers during the holiday season.

  1. You May Be Able to Work Near Home

Plus, while some nurses may want to experience a new location over the holiday season, you might decide to take a position a little closer to home than normal. An assignment close to home might allow you to still get all the benefits of traveling over the holiday season, while still having ample time with your family.

  1. Get Ahead on Post-Holiday Assignments

With so many traveling nurses taking a break during this time of year, there is a bit of a phenomenon that occurs immediately following the holiday season: the post-holiday contract competition. This happens when all those nurses who took the holidays off suddenly start looking for new contracts. If you are already working a contract through the holiday season, you are ahead of the game. You will already have a job, while others are competing for new openings.

For those nurses that have contracts ending shortly after the holidays, there is an option to request an extension. This could allow you to secure a contract through the end of January or even later into the year, bypassing the intense competition that other nurses are facing as they look into beginning-of-the-year assignments.

If you are looking for a holiday assignment, OneStaff Medical is here to help. Our team of dedicated recruiters can help place you in your dream holiday assignment. Contact us today at 877-783-1483.

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