5 Perks For Nurses Working Over The Holidays

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Maybe it was your first year at a hospital when they announced the holiday schedule and you saw your name on it… three times. Working over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s can initially seem like a bummer, but there are some things that make it a lot better than it seems.

For instance, you don’t have to cook -OR- clean on Thanksgiving, you can just show up and have INSTANT leftovers then party until the break of dawn (unless you are working in the morning of course). Also, you gain an instant camaraderie with co-workers who are pulling the same hours as you. Every look you give each other instantly has the subtext of “Holidays, am I right?”

So, along with all these fun, intangible perks, here’s 5 more that we think makes working holidays in your hospital worth it.

1. Overtime Pay

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Your hospital almost certainly has some sort of monetary perk to working over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Check with your department to see what kind of extra incentives are offered by working on these days. You barely remember missing the first helping of cranberry sauce when your paycheck is fatter than a stuffed turkey.

2. More 1-on-1 time with your patients.

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Because most hospitals schedule less procedures and appointments during the holidays, the patients  that you do have can benefit from more time and attention. This type of 1-on-1 time may mean a lot more to patients who don’t have the same holiday support system as others during the holidays. You can make that extra time count for a lot by making someone’s holidays brighter.

3. Chill Atmosphere

We’re not just talking temperature here. If you live somewhere that suffers from commuter traffic, you may be pleasantly surprised when you drive into work on Christmas morning. Everyone else is still in bed or preparing for the day, so you commute may be eerily peaceful. And if you stop anywhere that’s open, you can share chill holiday vibes with them.

This probably won’t be the case the day after. :/

4. You Look Really Good To Your Facility

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If you are a new to a facility, you usually have to “pay your dues” by either volunteering for holiday shifts or randomly get assigned them. If you aren’t planning on traveling for the holidays, it looks good to offer to take shifts for other nurses who may have family in town. It makes you look good and makes someone else’s holiday a little brighter for their families.

5. Free Holiday Decorations

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Ok, so this may be a stretch and you might have to tussle with others over this one – but you can probably totally score all the sweet decorations for each holiday before they get taken to the garbage! We know you’ve been spying those garlands. Or that Turkey centerpiece in the breakroom. Just as around, you don’t want to be known as the office Grinch.


Holiday work in an inevitable part of a career in travel nursing – and looking at it as a privilege rather than a burden can go a long way in making those holidays brighter for everybody.

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