It may only be July, but Christmas is fast approaching for those in the travel nurse industry. If you are a travel nurse, now is the perfect time to start thinking about where and how you want to spend the holidays. So, here’s what you need to know about travel nurse holiday contracts:
- Plan Ahead: Seasoned travel nurses know the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the ideal assignment. They also know that October, the month when most holiday contracts begin, tends to be a busy time in the industry. (Hello flu season!) However, while demand for travel nurses is high, so too is the supply. Many travel nurses like to get one more assignment into the books before the year ends. This means competition for these jobs could be intense. So, it’s wise to start your job hunt in August or September if you’re planning on working a holiday contract.
- Make Your Contract Work For You: There’s a common myth among travelers that a holiday contract means you’ll automatically be working all holidays. However, that’s not necessarily true. For example, some hospitals might not want you to work any holidays while on contract because they simply can’t afford you to do so. Then again, other hospitals may only be hiring travel nurses to help fill in during the busy holiday season. In any event, if you don’t want to work on or around certain days, simply communicate your preferences during the interview process and ensure these requests are written into your contract.
- Talk with Your Recruiter: Chances are your recruiter has had plenty of experience helping travel nurses like you find their ideal assignments. So, help them help you. Let your recruiter know which states you’d prefer to work in as well as which holidays, if any, you are willing to work. They might not always be able to get everything you’re looking for, but it is super helpful to have an industry insider’s guidance and negotiation skills when you need them.
- Competition for Post-Holiday Contracts Is High: Do you plan to skip the holiday assignment and start traveling again after the New Year? You’re certainly not alone; after all, that’s the beauty of the travel nursing career! If you do decide to take the holidays off, you might want to wait until mid-January to find your next assignment. Early January is yet another peak season for travel nurses, and competition for these jobs is high. For those already on assignment, it might be a good idea to extend your current contract, if that option is available to you. Your job hunt will certainly be less stressful!
Have you worked a holiday contract before? What other advice would you suggest? Leave your comments in the section below!