Holiday Scheduling


I am a pre-nursing student and have not worked in 6 years. I have been very spoiled when it comes to being with my family during the holidays and not having to worry about work schedules. I was wondering how the holiday schedule is determined in a hospital setting.

Do you get to pick your holidays to work?

Does the nurse manager pick them for you?

How many holiday's do you have to work in a year

Is there a limit?

When I was in the hospital last year, I asked my nurse, who worked part-time, about her holiday schedule and she said that she has to work one winter holiday and one summer holiday. She also gets to pick. I don't know if that is also true for full-time nurses. I am just curious. I have at least 4 years before I am an official RN but around this time of the year you tend to think about these things.

Any info would be great! Thanks all!;)

Altra, BSN, RN

6,255 Posts

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

This varies widely depending on where you work.

Some departments/facilities rotate who works which holidays. Some group spring/summer holidays and fall/winter holidays and give employees some control over preferences. Some schedule according to seniority. In short, it is impossible to say what situation you may find yourself working in as a nurse. It can be said though, that you will most likely find yourself working some holidays, and I have every confidence that you & your family will adjust accordingly.

Good luck in school, and happy holidays. :)


156 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PACU, Pediatrics. Has 16 years experience.

we work one summer and one winter holiday...we are assigned to a holiday team that rotates which holidays you are responsible to cover...being in pacu is good cause we actually just do call so you only have to come in if there is a case...

Specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

It depends on where you work. Some places to an A-B schedule, some go by seniority, some go by 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. We do the latter where we work, usually everyone gets at least their 1st choice, but you may have to make a deal to get work 4 hours of an off shift or work the day after the holiday. It usually works out. Just remember, when you are a nurse, hospitals don't close on holidays, weekends or in the summer.


42 Posts

Specializes in Peds M/S.

We HAVE to work every other of the 6 major holidays (memorial day, 4th of july, labor day, thanksgiving, christmas, and new years), and we are automatically scheduled for them. We work one set one year, and then switch to work the other three the next year. New Years is considered the last holiday of the year, so that people aren't stuck working two holidays that are so close together in a row when they switch (working mem day, labor day, and xmas, then switching to new years, 4th of july, and thanksgiving), which is nice, I think. Again, we are automatically scheduled for them, but you are welcome to find someone to work it for you or swap shifts. That happens a lot at my work. People will often swap thanksgiving for xmas, or xmas for new years and vice versa.

This topic is now closed to further replies.