Maybe you’re dreaming of a white Christmas but grew up in Florida. Maybe Hanukkah would be happier if you were away from family drama. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to be in Times Square when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Whatever your motivation may be, there are holiday jobs for nurses that make travel during the holiday season especially rewarding. Here are six reasons to give it a try.
1. More flexible schedules
If you’re frequently working the night shift and want to switch to day shifts, the holidays are a great time to make that request. Since staff nurses want time off from November to January, you’ll have more flexibility in the hours you work during those months. You may even be able to take some weekends off, depending on when certain holidays fall, or work only weekends so your weekdays are free.
2. Brand new holiday traditions
Did you know Keystone, Colorado, boasts the world’s largest snow fort? If the thought of tromping through the snow makes you shiver, you can step back in time at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco or check out the Surfing Santas in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The World’s Largest Menorah in Brooklyn, New York, is also worth a visit. Winter festivals and holiday celebrations are in full swing in hundreds of cities across the U.S., and a travel nursing job is your chance to check them out.
3. Opportunities to learn — and stand out
Since the hospital may be a bit quieter over a holiday weekend (if you’re lucky), you may have the chance to talk to another nurse or doctor and learn more about a skill or specialty you’re interested in. A colleague may ask for your help or strike up a conversation, and you’ll have the chance to show what you know. If you’d like to work at this facility in the future, working when other staff nurses are on vacation is a great time to prove your worth. You may even be asked to extend your contract or return to that hospital next year if you impress the manager.
4. Extra holiday pay
While it depends on the facility and your specialty, you may notice a salary boost when you take a travel nursing assignment during the holiday season. Some hospitals will pay more to ensure coverage over Christmas and New Year’s. Others offer a bonus and a higher salary. You can use that extra money for holiday gifts or paying off debts or student loans. For a more exciting option, you could take an extended vacation during the January doldrums.
5. Time for yourself
The holiday season can be stressful for many people. You may be feeling pressure to buy the right gift, host family or friends at your home, or cook the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving. Why not escape from these demands (even if you’re putting them on yourself) and head somewhere completely different for a month or two? You may find you come home after your assignment recharged and ready to start a brand-new year with different priorities.
6. A chance to give back
One of the best reasons to work the holidays is the opportunity to make your patients — and even your coworkers — happy. No one wants to be stuck in a hospital bed while the rest of their family is celebrating, and holidays make it hard for friends to visit, too. Brighten someone’s day with a cheerful attitude and a smile. You’ll find that you feel better and that the holiday may mean more because you spent it with someone who really needed you there. Many hospitals also have giving trees or charities to support, and you may be able to volunteer on a holiday committee as well.
If you’d like to see what holiday jobs for nurses might be available this season, you can browse a few here. Though it may not seem like working over the holidays would be a good idea, your patients and the staff members you fill in for will thank you. And who knows? You may start a new holiday tradition of your own while you’re there that turns out to be the best ever.