Have you ever considered taking a travel nursing assignment during the holidays? While staff nurses often view the holidays as a difficult and undesirable time to work, if you are taking assignments as a travel nurse, there are many exciting opportunities to advance your nursing career that come with handsome perks this time of the year.

Join us as we review some of the different benefits you should know about if you are considering taking a travel nursing assignment over the holidays.

1. Holidays Bring Tons of Travel Nursing Assignments

There are several reasons why the amount of travel nursing jobs available is on the rise during the holiday season.

  1. Hospital patient census numbers are higher during the winter months. Automatically you might be thinking this trend only applies to the states that experience cold temperatures during the winter, but this phenomenon is pretty consistent nationwide.
  2. It’s true that people get sick more often in the winter, but also in states such as Florida where the temperatures do not drop very low, there are still more patients in the hospitals during these months because of the influx of seasonal residents, often called “snowbirds”. Because most of these people who travel during the winter months of the year are senior-aged, they are more likely than younger people to end up hospitalized.
  3. There are people who plan elective surgeries during their time off work during the holidays.
  4. Many staff nurses take time off work during the holidays, which means the hospitals have greater staffing needs to cover the holes in the schedule. This also means that there are more opportunities to pick up short-term assignments that last anywhere from four to eight weeks in length. You can secure these types of short-term assignments through a trusted travel nursing agency, such as Elite Specialty Staffing. If you are a bit unsure about travel nursing but want to give it a try, then a short-term assignment might be right for you.

2. Travel Nurses can Earn More Money During the Holidays

Looking for the highest-paying travel nursing jobs? How about sign-on bonuses? Completion bonuses? If you are looking for the most lucrative opportunities as a travel nurse, you’ll find that because of the increased demand for travel nurses during the holidays, there may be additional incentives offered, such as bonuses or even higher rates of pay.

Another financial point to consider when thinking about travel nursing over the holidays is that sweet holiday pay. This is an important point that you should discuss with your recruiter beforehand because each assignment is unique and you might be required to work all holidays, some holidays, or no holidays.

Find out whether you are allowed to pick up some extra shifts on the holidays and what your pay rate will be. Also, be sure to have the specific days defined, as many hospitals and healthcare facilities offer time and a half for days such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, and then double time on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Just be sure you know exactly what you are and aren’t entitled to so that there are no disappointments later. If you plan on working through those dates, consider making yourself available to work as many of those shifts as possible to earn that killer holiday pay. Your willingness to work on those days is also a great selling point to a potential healthcare facility or hospital that is interested in hiring you.

3. You Can Snag the Job You Want Before the New Year

Tons of travel nurses enter the job pool during the first month of the year. Because of the flexibility that comes with being a travel nurse, many of them will take the entire holiday season off and then be ready to hit the floor after the new year. This makes for a ton of competition during the month of January.

If you take a travel nursing assignment during the months of November or December, you will have an advantage because you will be already working. Then, when January rolls around, you will already have your recent experience and possibly be given the opportunity to extend your current assignment. When I took a travel nursing assignment that started the first week of December, when the January nurses showed up the census did not rise as the hospital expected and a lot of them were sent back home because there was no longer a need. I stayed until March and was given the opportunity to extend for as long as I wanted.

4. You Can Bring Joy to Your Patients During the Holidays

Nobody wants to be sick or stuck in the hospital during the holidays. Nobody. It’s easy to feel down or depressed when you are not well and away from your family in a strange environment as a patient. When you are working as a travel nurse during this time of the year, you have the opportunity to uplift the spirits of your patients and bring them some joy.

5. Healthcare Facilities Let the Good Stuff Roll During the Holidays

I am going to let you in on a little secret, if you are working the holidays at a hospital or other healthcare facility, chances are you will be well fed. From the different boxes of cookies and goodies brought to the nurses from the physicians’ practices to the unit potlucks and dinners hosted by the nurses to the staff dinners provided by management – there’s a very good chance that you will be eating well even though you’re stuck working.

6. Use the Season to Knock One Off the Bucket List

Have you always dreamt of spending a winter away from the cold and laying out on the beach? Conversely, are you from a warmer climate and want to indulge in a snowy winter wonderland? Perhaps there is an event you’ve always wanted to go to, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Maybe you have been working as a travel nurse all year and want to land an assignment near home for the holidays. If there is anything like that you’d like to do this time of the year, search the many open travel nursing assignments to see if there are opportunities to make your dreams reality.

If you’re looking for the right travel nursing job this holiday season, we want to hear from you! Give us a call today at 208-378-1338.


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Written by Miranda Booher, RN

As a twelve-year Registered Nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and healthcare marketing, Miranda brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has a impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Uruguay, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her hanging out on the beach with her loyal husband, three crazy kids, and their beautiful German Shepherd-Husky dog.

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