As a travel nurse, navigating the holidays can be a unique experience. With stores already stocking up on Christmas decorations and nurses preparing for the juggle between work and family, it’s important to have the right strategies in place. Whether you’re looking for ways to stay connected with loved ones or seeking new ways to enjoy the season while on assignment, we’ve got you covered.
For those new to travel nursing, the upcoming holiday season will mark their first year away from loved ones. On the other hand, experienced nurses are all too familiar with balancing their nurse life and the festive spirit. Regardless of your level of experience, travel nursing can take a toll on your mental health and overall well-being. In light of this, we can take steps to ensure we are prepared and set up for success during this time away from home. Is accepting travel nursing assignments during the holiday season worth it?
Travel nursing is a popular job in the healthcare industry, with contracts lasting up to 13 weeks and the potential for extension or a new contract. As a travel nurse, you could have the opportunity to explore new and exciting destinations, while honing your skills and gaining experience in a variety of hospital settings. Plus, being in high demand means you can enjoy a higher pay rate than full-time nurses, making for a rewarding and fulfilling career.
Pros Of Working As A Travel Nurse During The Holiday
1. Customizing Your Contract To Your Specific Needs
As a travel nurse, you have the advantage of being able to customize your continuous short-term contracts according to your specific needs. For instance, if you wish to spend the holidays with your family, you can request time off. Alternatively, if you’re looking to meet your financial goals, you can opt to work extra holiday shifts. However, it is essential to have a conversation with the facility beforehand, as each institution has its own holiday requirements. This way, you can ensure that your holiday time as a travel nurse is tailored to meet your needs and preferences.
In addition to customizing your holiday schedule, travel nursing allows you to prioritize working in states where you can experience the magic of the holiday season on your terms. Whether you dream of a white Christmas in Utah, Colorado, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia, or crave some warmth in Florida, Texas, South Carolina, or Louisiana, you can tailor your work experience to your exact desires. With the flexibility and freedom offered by travel nursing, you can make your holiday season as a travel nurse truly unforgettable.
2. Meeting Your Financial Goals
Working as a travel nurse during the holiday season offers a chance to boost your earnings and meet your financial goals. While compensation packages vary depending on the facility’s staffing budget, the holiday season typically brings an influx of patients due to the colder weather and COVID-19, creating more opportunities for overtime and guaranteed hours. Additionally, hospitals and facilities often offer incentives to secure travel nurses during the holidays. So, whether you’re looking to pay off debt, save up for a vacation, or simply increase your income, the holidays as a travel nurse can be a lucrative time.
3. Creating New Holiday Traditions
Being on assignment during the holiday season can be bittersweet as it often means being away from home and missing out on your usual family traditions. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t create new and exciting experiences during the holidays. Many hospitals and facilities go out of their way to participate in familiar holiday traditions such as decorating the area, wearing festive attire or jewelry, organizing Secret Santa gift exchanges, and indulging in potluck meals.
Even though you may only be in the role for a short time, participating in these activities is a great way to form new connections and gain fresh perspectives. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to bond with other travel nurses who are also seeking to establish new holiday traditions and make the most of their experiences.
While it’s important to focus on the benefits of working as a travel nurse during the holiday season, we must also acknowledge the challenges of being away from our usual support system of family and friends. This time of year can be difficult and can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. However, by taking proactive steps to prioritize our mental and spiritual health, we can thrive during the holiday season as travel nurses.
Preparing Travel Nurses For The Holiday Season
1. Don’t Isolate Yourself
Isolation during the holiday season is a common tendency for many of us when we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation or feeling down. It can be tempting to shut ourselves in, close the blinds, and disconnect from the world while working away from home. However, this is not the time to be alone. As a travel nurse, you will have opportunities to connect with other travel nurses and permanent staff who may invite you into their homes to share traditions such as food, movies, or experiences. Don’t miss out on the chance to form new relationships and make meaningful connections during the holiday season.
2. Remember Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing
It is important to remember the purpose behind your decision to work during the holiday season as a travel nurse, whether it is to achieve a financial goal or to assist those in need during this time of year. By keeping yourself occupied with work, you not only benefit but also help permanent staff who may find it difficult to take time off throughout the year to spend time with their families during the holiday season. Your selflessness and strength enable you to contribute towards making patients and fellow staff happy during the holiday season. Maintaining an optimistic and positive mindset will help you appreciate the opportunity you have and enable you to thrive.
3. Have Resources
It is important to have access to various resources to maintain your mental health during the holiday season. This may involve engaging in spiritual practices like meditation, journaling, and expressing gratitude. Alternatively, you could seek out online mental wellness resources, try online therapy, or create a routine with fellow staff members like sharing holiday treats or trying new coffee flavors at Starbucks. Consider incorporating a combination of these activities to boost your well-being and share the experience with others. Research supports the benefits of some of these practices, while others can simply provide fun and enjoyable ways to maintain your mental health.
TheraEx Staffing Services
Travel nursing during the holiday season presents an array of benefits. You’ll provide crucial assistance to hospitals and facilities experiencing a surge of patients, allowing permanent staff to take necessary time off to reunite with loved ones. In the process, you’ll learn new traditions and potentially achieve a lucrative income. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season in a state of your choice with your desired climate. It’s a wonderful time of the year, and with TheraEx Staffing you can customize your holiday season to best suit your needs and preferences. Stay prepared and make the most of your holiday season!