EVERYBODY IN! need info on average vacation time use

  1. I have been reading some threads and a common theme running seems to be how hard it is to get a day off or to actually use the promised vacation time that is owed to you. I was hoping to get some real world experiences from the nurses out there. How much vacation time per year is owed to you and do you get to use it with a minimum of fuss?
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    About smk1

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 4,001; Likes: 542
    CDU nurse


  3. by   everthesame
    Personally, I have not had any difficulty getting time off when I want it. My experience has been that if I asked for time as far in advance as I could, I would get the days off. I know a lot of people who complain about not getting days off at the last minute or after the current schedule is posted. Once a schedule is posted, don't expect to get any days off unless you find someone to trade days with you. Also, don't expect to get "high demand" times off every time you request it. High demand request times would be holidays, Spring break, Fall break, etc... Where I have worked, if you got Spring break week off one year, you probably won't get it the next year. They keep track year to year to be fair to everyone.
    Overall, I have been fortunate enough to work on units where they do try to accommodate all requests. Also, I have heard others on this board say they have had previously approved requests revoked. I couldn't imagine working somewhere like that. Once I have the official approval for time off, I buy plane tickets and start booking hotel rooms. If that ever happened to me, I'd be looking for a new job.
  4. by   suzanne4
    Depends on where you are working and what the policy is. Things are different in different parts of the country.

    Vacation usually kicks in after you have been there for a year, you can accumulate PTO or sick time from when you start working, but if actual vacation time that is issued, then it is a year before you get it.

    The amount of time off goes up as does length of stay at that facility.

    Usually maxs out about 5 weeks off per year, and some have limits with how many weeks can be used together.
  5. by   suzanne4
    Rarely have I seen anyone have issues with getting time off for vacation time. The only time that is hard to get off is at school holiday time such as over Christmas and New Year's and some have problems with the summer weeks as many that have kids put in for time off then well in advance.

    Can you be more specific as to what you are having issues with?
  6. by   SharonH, RN
    Well to be pefectly honest, I would not work at a job where I had difficulty getting a day off or vacation. Seriously. I've never had that problem in 16 years as a nurse. I'm not sure how helpful that is to you but there are so many options for working as a nurse, I see no reason to tie yourself to a job with those types of circumstances. Although there are many disadvantages of nursing, the abundance of opportunities is a huge advantage, it never fails to amaze me how many (opportunities) there are.

    Oh and forgot to add that in my current position, I get 12 vacation days a year in addition to all the major holidays and two "floating" holidays.
  7. by   smk1
    Hi all, I will be graduating in March and have been looking over all of the benefits and info from the packets from several area hospitals and the vacation time looks decent 2-3 paid weeks for a new grad + personal days. I have been on quite a few threads lately where I see people being denied time off even when asked far in advance. I certainly don't expect to get high demand times off right away, but we are a family who loves to travel and I can't imagine not getting my promised vacation time or having to cancel plans at the last minute because of staffing issues. I'm flexible, but once I've bought my tickets, I'm going on the trip. I am in the Pacific NW currently and plan to work here for a few years, but there is a possibility that we may move away at some point (DFW area of Texas, sacramento greater area of Cali, or NYC are the top areas of the list). I just wanted to get a general idea from some of you to see if this is really an issue.
  8. by   Tweety
    I've never had a vacation denied in 15 years at my current facility.

    With my charge nurse position I do have to work around my manager's vacation schedule but we seem to do fine. I just took two weeks and two days and am looking to take another couple in March 2008.

    If we ask for a day off and the schedules already made, we have to find our own replacement and that's a pain. I don't need a whole lot of days off. Getting off at 3pm I can usually schedule vet, eye and dentists appoints at 4pm.
  9. by   TooterIA
    My vacation time is based on # of years worked for the facility. I have worked here for 4 years and get about 7 hours per paycheck. My sick time is included in that. You are only allowed to take 1 day of time off in the month of December. Other than that it is fairly easy to get granted, provided you give a few days notice. If you are taking longer than 2 consecutive days they require 30 days notice. It only gets denied if we actually dont have the staff to cover the PTO.
  10. by   FNimuaeMae
    I work 3 12 hour shifts... And I am on vacation right now. I squished everything together...and got 20 days in a row off for taking 2 weeks off. Its been great.:spin:

  11. by   kittagirl
    wow I had always heard that you didn't get much paid holiday time in the US but never really realised it. Anyway it is about the one thing the NHS get right in regards to nurses. over here it's

    On appointment 27days + 8 (the 8 are bank holidays)=35
    after 5 years service it's 29 + 8 = 37
    And after 10yrs service it's 33 + 8 = 41
    it's normally calcuated in hours and it refers to 7.5hr days.
    the working week is considered to be 37.5hrs.

    When it says years service it means in any NHS hospital etc, and if you leave the NHS you retain the holiday ie: work for 5 years leave for a year or two if you return you go back to 29 + 8.

    It's about the only thing I miss.......................
  12. by   BrnEyedGirl
    Our hospital uses ETO time (earned time off) and we accrue ETO based on FT/PT employment, and hours worked. I've been at this hospital just over 10 years and depending on where I was working at the time and when I wanted off, sometimes it was a problem,.sometimes not. For instance,.if I wanted to take two weeks off starting 12/22 that could be a problem,..I have recently transfered to ED and we are better staffed,.my solution has actually been to take my time off a little at a time,...we self schedule for a 6 week period,..I work FT, 3 12hr shifts,....I've made it a habit to take two 12hr shifts of ETO time most 6 week schedules,..that way I have 8 or 9 days off in a row every schedule,..makes me a happier person!!!
  13. by   Logos
    I'm not working as a nurse yet, but I do work for a healthcare company as a social worker type- I get 12 sick days a year-they never expire, just keep adding; 21 vacation days and five personal days a year. The pay is not great, but I love my benefit time. We also get a couple holdiays- I think 6 holidays- but not Easter-When I graduate I may stay on and work for this company as a nurse just for the benefit time.

    I have a staff of about 15 who do work direct care in group homes and it is very hard to scheudle them off when they request it. One of the things I am worried about working as a nurse, it is direct care work- which means you can't just call in sick, who will take care of your patients? As a manager I can call off when ever and just know that their will be more work on my desk when I get back. But no problem getting the time off.