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Holiday Rotation

by JuneBug04 JuneBug04 (New) New

Was just wandering what other hospital/floor nurses are required to do for holidays. We've had a recent change that's really got me down. Here's the story:

We used to have 3 rotations; A, B, and C. Each nurse worked 3 holidays of 9 designated holidays in a year. We had Christmas Eve, NY eve and Easter as well as the 6 major holidays. Things were good (or as good as they can be being a nurse over the holidays)...then we were switched to 2 rotations, A and B. Now we have 6 designated holidays. But we are also required to work Christmas Eve if we don't work Christmas Day and New Years Eve if we don't work New Years Day (even though they aren't technically on the holiday rotation.) We now have to work every other Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc., instead of every third. We always have to work either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. And the only holiday pay we get is for Christmas and Thanksgiving (1.6 X's base pay), so there's not much incentive for anyone to switch.

This year I am working Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Years Day. If I were doing 8 hour shifts I might be okay with it, but we all do 12 hour shifts. And the only way to get off is by calling the request-off line 30 days beforehand. It's first-come, first-served. And you still have to be on-call if you do get the day off.

When I voiced my concern to my manager about losing Easter as a holiday I was told this is a business and we have to treat it as such and follow the 6 recognized holidays. But isn't a holiday rotation in existance only because those are the days people want off and if we didn't have it then very few people would work the holidays. It's not about whether they are recognized as being holidays, they are days our staff (at least here) want off and we have to take our turns.

So, am I just a naive nurse who was spoiled with my old holiday rotation and who should just except things as they are? I would appreciate any feedback.

Why did they make the change?! Did things work well under the old plan?! Going from working 3 holidays to 6 is a big deal. Totally demoralizing. Not paying holiday pay for all of them just adds insult to injury. Did the change just occur?! 12 hour shifts on a holiday stinks. Maybe all of you could ban together and get some changes in place.


Specializes in Medical Surgical. Has 15 years experience.

This is the way we do it, and it was the worst thing about my nursing career. My family all lives 5 to 10 hour drives away, so we could never spend holidays with them, especially Christmas. My kids grew up never spending much time with their cousins, aunts or uncles. If I had it to do all over again... I just wouldn't. Missed too much and now it's too late.

You're working all three of the major winter holidays. Unbelievable!

I would look around for another job.

Where I work it is either Christmas or New Years, not both, and it's every other year for the regular staff.

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

I don't know but I don't even put stock in holidays off here, and just plan alternates. On our NOC 12 hour nights it works like this:

A and B

A has Christmas off, which means you get the night BEFORE off, and then can be scheduled to work Christmas night at 7.



Specializes in Med surg, Critical Care, LTC. Has 20 years experience.

In our hospital, the staff rotate every other holiday. Christmas eve and Christmas day are treated as two holidays as are New Years Eve and New Years Day. If a person works Christmas this year, they will be given next Christmas off, etc....

While most people don't like working Holidays, your employer is correct, it's a business. As nurses, it is VERY difficult to come across a position where one is given Holidays off, and those positions IE: school nurse, Dr. office, etc... often don't have high turnover rates.

My suggestion is, it's okay to feel whatever your feeling over the changes, but I think your going to have to live with it, and it would be best to do so as graciously as possible. Good Luck


Specializes in CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

I have never put alot of energy in holdiays off. (I know I am the odd one out, just how I am )

I have been a nurse for a year but prior to that my husband and I worked jobs that were 24/7. We both accepted it. We found ways to be with family around the schedule. I find it worth having 4 days off a week year round than to worry about a few days. I guess I have always worked this way and many friends are in the same boat. We all have jobs that are 24/7.

I love the holidays and would want what I want in a perfect world. It just does not work that way for me.

I am sorry though that the change was for the worst since it worked before. Have you asked why the change occured? Maybe when you hear and it sounds logical you could put it in perspective. Just a thought.


Specializes in Med/Surg.

Our Holidays are New Year's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If Easter falls on your weekend to work, you work it-

If you have Chrismas Day or New Year's Day off, you work the Eve.

We have two rotations-A & B. We work every other holiday.

A. NY Day, Mem. day, labor day, Christmas

B. Good Fri, 4 of July, Thanksgiving

and then the next year, obviously, it will be the opposite. I like the fact that we don't have sign up sheets for holidays. No matter how much seniority you have, you have equal share in the holiday rotation.

The holiday rotation doesn't bother me--I knew hospital nursing was a 24/7 job when I started.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

working the holidays is a part of hospital nursing. suck it up and deal! that said, it would be nice if you could trade with someone so that you worked both christmas eve and christmas day this year and would have them both off next year so you could go visit your family or whatever. ditto ny day and ny eve . . . if you're working christmas, you can have a helluva celebration for santa claus on december 31! and there's nothing that says you can't visit your family for "christmas" on dec. 12 or 18 or 27!

mpccrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

i'm sorry your rotation changed but i'm afraid that what you're doing now is closer to the real world. i've worked at several institutions and it's always been every other holiday.....and that didn't include easter. if easter landed on your weekend to work, you worked. it's not a holiday in a hospital's eyes. in some places, working christmas meant working christmas eve as well, the same with new year's eve.....if the manager was nice, she'd give you off christmas eve if you worked christmas. the biggest whinning came from people who routinely work 12 hour shifts thoughout the year.....suddenly they wanted to only work 8 hours on the holidays....ummmm no! you picked your shift, live with it. the time comes out far enough ahead to shift your holiday celebrations in a way you can live with. no one wants to work holidays, especially the big ones but it's part of the job. doing so graiously and with a smile on your face just makes the shift better for all concerned. we have a decent holiday crew on.....we bring in food and have our own hospital family celebration......it's not the same but it makes a crummy situation a little better. :cheers:


Has 32 years experience.

Where I work we have the summer and winter holidays. Memorial day, 4th of July, Labor day and Thanksgiving are summer. You work 2 out of the 4.

Winter are of course Christmas and New Years eve and day. You have to work an eve and a day. I work New Years eve and day, I want ALL of Christmas off. There are plenty of people who do the opposite of me.

I never have liked the one off one on especially during the winter holidays. I always HATED working say an eve and get the day off or visa versa. You still have to work both Christmas and New Years, it never made any sense to me. You should get one off completely.

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