Time is Ticking...Start A Contract Soon To Be Home For The Holidays!

Cold and flu season typically is a busier time for healthcare workers. This is especially true for travel nurses. As we approach the final 90 days of our calendar year, it is critical for travel nurses to plan their assignments around the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season.

To squeeze one more 13-week contract in this year and be back home in time to enjoy the holidays with loved ones, ask your recruiter to get you submitted ASAP! As of September 28, there are only 88 days until Christmas (December 25) and 94 days until New Year's Eve. 

However, if you find a shorter contract – like 6 weeks or 8 weeks – you’ve got a bit more time to sign the dotted line.

RTO and Holiday Pay
Not all travel nursing agencies are created equal. Before signing a fall contract, pay close attention to the sections regarding holiday pay and requested time off (RTO). For example, some hospitals or long-term care facilities will ask for candidates who have no RTO for the entire contract, while other buildings will approve several days off in advance.

It is best to be transparent about RTO before your recruiter submits you to a contract. Always ask about any mandatory requirements around holidays, especially if you are a float nurse or plan to have a rotating schedule (every other weekend or varied days each week).

Depending on your travel nursing agency, you may be paid regardless of whether or not you actually work on a holiday. For example, LeaderStat provides seven paid holidays in a calendar year. If you end up working on a federal holiday, such as Thanksgiving day, you’ll likely earn base pay plus 50% (also known as time and a half pay) or even double pay, depending on your shift and the state you're working in.

Understanding the ins and outs of holiday pay (and fully understanding what your contract states) can help travel nurses and other travel healthcare professionals make the best possible decisions when it comes to saving money, scheduling, and traveling back home.

Travel Accommodations
If you’re planning to fly out-of-state for a Q4 travel nursing contract, make sure to keep up with any changes in the airlines during the third and fourth weeks of December. Scheduled flights could end up either delayed or cancelled due to weather or staffing issues.

To save time and potential stress, find out if your airport offers a fast-pass security lane that you can schedule in advance.
According to Afar, these United States airports now give travelers an option to “make an advance “fast pass” reservation to head to the front of the security line—free of charge.”

Driving During Fall and Winter
Taking your own vehicle? Travel nurses, especially up north, should proactively prepare their vehicles for colder climates before going on the road. This can be as simple as getting an oil change and tire rotation, and putting together an emergency roadside kit. For extra peace of mind, consider investing in a AAA membership to take advantage of roadside perks like towing service, battery replacement and minor repairs.

Finding A Contract Close To Home
To enjoy the flexibility of travel nursing without the added stress of traveling around the holidays, there is always the option to consider an in-state contract. Accepting a travel nursing assignment close to home can alleviate worries about making it home in time for a special celebration. If you haven't thought about the benefits of taking a local contract, now is the time!

Ready to find your next contract?  Visit our job board to see openings across the country in a variety of specialties. 


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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.