Do Nurses Work on Holidays? 7 Reasons to Explore Holiday Shifts

smiling nurse with black hair in assisted living facility wearing blue holiday-themed scrubs and stethoscope

The holidays are about gratitude, giving, and generosity — and hardly anyone accomplishes this better than nurses during the season. Whether you’re a new nurse looking for a position or wanting to pick up extra shifts this year, you might wonder, “Do nurses work holidays?” or “Should I work holidays?” 

Of course, the answer depends on your goals and priorities. And in some instances, nurses must work on holidays. However, it can also come with unique incentives like nurses’ holiday bonuses, unparalleled team bonding, and exciting career advancement!

Do Nurses Work on Holidays? Nurses’ Holiday Commitment 

Do nurses work on holidays? Yes and no. Nurses working in clinics, some urgent care centers, school nurses, or any facility with 9-5 hours can typically have holidays off.

Other than that, nurses in traditional settings like hospitals, critical care units, and emergency rooms may work holidays at some point. In addition, bank holidays (ex. Labor Day) are often required to be worked if your facility is open.

For most nurses (especially full-time nurses), this is a part of the job: Patients need care, no matter the day, time, or season. And for new nurses committed to growing their careers, it’s not just a duty — it’s an opportunity!  

Do Nurses Get Paid More On Holidays? 

The question isn’t “Do nurses work on holidays?” It’s “How much do nurses get paid on holidays?” For some nurses, this depends on their assignment or facility. 

Simply put: In the case where your facility recognizes the holiday, depending on your schedule, the holiday hours are paid at a premium rate. On the other hand, if the facility doesn’t recognize the holiday, it could be a mix of regular and/or overtime hours worked on that day if you pick up an extra shift. 

However, for many facilities, ‘tis the season for holiday bonuses. And for nurses, the best gift isn’t always under the tree — it’s in their bank account.

For example, at CareerStaff, the days that travel nurses are eligible to receive holiday bonuses include: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, New Years Eve or New Years Day. 

7 Reasons to Work Holidays This Season as a Nurse 

For some, holidays might be all about family gatherings and feasts. But for many nurses, these days create special career opportunities to provide care to those in need. Here are just a few of the gifts working on nurses’ holidays can bring: 

1. Be There for Your Patients When They Need It Most 

The holiday season isn’t ‘holly’ and ‘ jolly’ for everyone.  

Spending the holidays in a hospital isn’t always ideal as a nurse — but it especially isn’t ideal for many sick patients. Your being there can give them the light, love, and hope they need during a difficult season. 

Beyond the presents and decorations, the holidays are about spreading joy and making a difference in people’s lives. As a nurse, you understand this, perhaps better than most. And by working during the holidays, you can extend your compassion and talents to those who need it most — when they need it most. 

2. Experience a New Level of Team Spirit 

When you and your coworkers get the holiday shift, you’re in this together — and it brings you together.  

Nurses’ holidays foster a strong sense of camaraderie among your team. Whether it’s sharing a festive potluck or strolling down the decorated hallways, working together during these times helps you make friends as a nurse, build connections, and feel closer to your team. 

3. Extra Cash Under the Tree 

May your days be merry and bright and your stocking (or bank account) full of extra cash to enjoy during the holiday season. If you’re not already scheduled to work the holiday and your facility needs the help, these extra hours can equal a holiday bonus to cheer about!

The amount you can get paid will depend on your facility. Or, in some instances it can be a set holiday bonus rate depending on the holiday.

>Pro Tip: Travel nurses can even earn up to a $1,200* holiday bonus this season. Learn more about holiday travel bonuses with CareerStaff!

As we’ve learned, most healthcare facilities offer incentives and bonuses for nurses who work on holidays. This not only recognizes their sacrifice but also provides extra financial support during the often expensive holiday season.

4. Improve and Expand Your Nursing Skills 

Holiday shifts can present unique challenges. Overcoming them accelerates your problem-solving, critical-thinking, and people skills — especially if you’re a new nurse

These experiences all contribute to your professional growth. They can help you learn how to work through challenging situations throughout your career. 

5. Stand Out and Grow Your Career 

Volunteering to work on the holidays makes you stand out! This can put you in the spotlight for career advancement opportunities, as it showcases your commitment, work ethic, and positive attitude. A resume can say you’re a team player, but sacrifices like working holidays can prove it. 

6. Enjoy More Flexibility in Your Days Off 

Everyone wants the holidays off. This makes them difficult to take off.  

Nursing schedules often include rotating shifts, including holidays. Working nurses’ holidays can give you extra flexibility in requesting other days off, especially if you prefer time off during non-holiday periods, like in the summer or on personal milestones. 

7. Working Holidays Can Be a Special Experience 

Depending on your location and facility, most holidays aren’t super hectic.  

Even if they are, the ‘vibes’ are quaint, cozy, and intimate. People tend to be nicer on holidays — almost like there’s a bit of holiday magic in the air.  

Working during the holidays gives you special time to connect with your patients and colleagues. Plus, if holidays stress you out, it’s an excuse to escape the hustle and bustle. 

> Read why working holidays is such a special experience from CareerStaff nurses! 

Get the Gift of Extra Pay this Holiday Season 

Want to get an extra holiday bonus this year? From Thanksgiving to New Years, CareerStaff is here to help connect you to full-time, part-time, and travel nursing jobs all season long! 

Explore nursing jobs and travel nursing jobs nationwide, or fill out a quick application to get connected to your CareerStaff recruiter and start planning for the holidays! 

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