Written by one of our Travel Nursing Recruiters, Pat Browne.
When starting a travel assignment during the holiday season, travel nurses should consider that most hospitals will expect them to work at least 1-2 major holidays. Requesting major holidays off can reduce options available to you for a travel assignment as most hospitals will first honor the time off for their permanent staff. Of course, one size does not fit all! There are some travel nurses who may prefer to work major holidays.
There is the incentive of extra money, a slower pace and sharing the time with dedicated staff, who often create their own holiday spirit at work. Keep in mind that some hospitals do not consider Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve holidays, as they may start their holiday shift at different times. For example, some may consider 7pm on Christmas Eve the start of the holiday, while others may consider 12am on Christmas Day the start of the holiday. It is best to ask the nurse manager during an interview since this varies and sometimes your recruiter may not have this information.
Something else to keep in mind is that not all bill rates are created equal. Some hospitals may offer a bill rate of time and half (1.5), others may offer the regular bill rate + $10, or 1.3 of the bill rates. However, all travelers will get 1.5 their pay rate for working on pre-determined holiday shift.
Overall, the holiday season can be difficult for many. Being away from the comfort of home and the warmth of family and friends can be tough, especially for first time travelers. So, look out for those who may be in a similar situation as you, or the colleagues who say “oh, I don’t have any plans”. Find something fun to do with a group after work or a day off. Try inviting a friend or family member to come visit you in the city where you are. One thing that I enjoyed when I lived away from my family, was community outreach programs like feeding the less fortunate and/or purchasing a gift for a child in need.
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!
From Pat Browne, Travel Nurse Recruiter.
Tact Medical Staffing