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By December 10, 2009 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I increase my chances of getting time off during the holidays?


Last week we discussed taking time off during the Holiday season while on assignment. However, if you put a little forethought into taking assignments at the end of the year, you can increase the likelihood of having time off during the Holidays.

My normal routine is to take an assignment in the fall that ends sometime in December, and then take Christmas and New Years off. But, this is dependent on beginning and ending an assignment at the right times. Some people cannot afford to take time off between assignments so that their last contract of the year ends before the Holidays. If this is the case, you should try to extend the contract on any assignment that ends in the last few months of the year so that it will take you up to the time you wish to have off (for most, the week of Christmas and New Years).

For example, let’s say you were offered a thirteen week assignment starting in late August that would have you finishing up in late November. If you could not afford to take off from November until the start of the next year, you would then be forced to accept a new thirteen week contract starting in November, which would then have you working through the Holidays. Unless, you extended your assignment ending in November.

By extending your assignment ending in November by a few weeks, you would be able to work right up until the week of Christmas. Of course you would need to approach your manager about this about a month before your assignment ended to discuss this option. I don’t believe I have ever had a problem in extending my assignment by a week or two and even an extra month when I wanted.

Next week we’ll discuss a few final ways to make sure you are off for the Holiday shifts that are important to you.

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

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  1. Maya Nurse says:

    I shall be using these tips next year as I have not been granted time of this year. Ahhhh, the life of a nurse

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