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By November 23, 2009 4 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What if I want to work during the holidays as a travel nurse?


This week I wanted to add a bit to the post that Jeff (the site moderator) made in regard to the Holiday season.

Jeff brings up a good point about securing an assignment for the new year, but what about those that are willing to work through the Holiday season?

Let’s face it, no one likes working on what some call the “Big Three” (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years), but we also work in a profession that does not close its doors just because of a holiday. However, those that are willing to work on these days, or accept a travel contract just prior to the Holiday season, might be able to take home a little extra cash by doing so.

I recently heard from a traveler that just accepted an assignment with an early December start date. She received an upfront bonus for signing up prior to the Holidays. Keep in mind that if you do receive such a bonus, you are almost certainly saying that you will be willing to work each holiday shift. For some with families, this just does not work. But, if you do not mind working Holiday shifts, this could be an opportunity to make an extra $500 or even $1000.

Some travel nursing companies will also pay double time or added incentives for working on Holiday shifts. I recall a past year when one of the companies I was working for paid an extra $1000 for the traveler that worked the most overtime in the month of December.

If you are currently coming to the end of your assignment, you can do as Jeff suggests and secure your next contract beginning in the new year, or you can try cashing in by signing a contract starting prior to the often “hard-to-cover” Holiday shifts.

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.

4 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: What if I want to work during the holidays as a travel nurse?"

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  1. crneprep says:

    I have a lot of nurses that I train and interact with on a daily basis who are interested in travel nursing. I live in Canada and would love to get your educated opinion on what the best ways to get into the business are. If you could also email me about salary potential for a travel nurse it would be very much appreciated. My email is or get me at my website at
    I would love to get an idea about the salary expectations and potentials. I wasn’t able to find it on your blog!

  2. Jeff says:

    Do you mean how do you get started as a travel nurse or how do you start a travel nursing company?

  3. crneprep says:

    I think both would be the best answer. Travel nursing seems to be a bit nonexistent in my opinion in Canada, aside from working in the far up north. I would like to establish myself as a recruiter here in Toronto Canada for companies who wish to recruit nurses. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do in terms of networking or obtaining any initial research related to getting into this kind of recruitment. Thanks again. We presently provide local recruitment and agency work, but nothing in terms of travel nursing.

  4. Jeff says:

    I don’t have a lot of background in that. I would suggest reaching out to some exisiting companies that already offer travel nursing jobs for Canadian nurses and see if they would be willing to help you out, or at the very least poke around their websites and see if there are organizations or associations they are a part of that can help you. Here are some I found: and

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