Holiday Staffing Crisis- Hospital Setting


I am looking for staffing solutions for a med-surg unit for adequate holiday coverage. My Manager is interested in implementing a new team approach to working the holidays that will require weekenders (part-timers) to not only work every weekend of every year (with the exception of 3 weekends PTO per year) but to be assigned to come in to work holiday shifts that fall during M-F. Does anyone out there have any staffing solutions or ideas that are currently working for weekenders in your facility? Thanks so much for your input!


1 Article; 465 Posts

Specializes in PICU/NICU. Has 14 years experience.

Are you talking about sorta like a Baylor position- staff that works only weekends? If so, I think those positions sign a pretty straightforward contract- at least ours do. And the way it goes at my place and other places I have worked is that they work every weekend period! Now, if for example, Christmas is on a Sunday... looks like you are stuck with the Christmas Eve/Christmas combo. However if the holiday does not fall on the weekend, they do not work it. Seems fair to me.:twocents:

racing-mom4, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,446 Posts

Specializes in ICU/ER.

I am baylor and if I work a holiday that is not on the weekend then I get my baylor pay-time and a half. I then get to take one of my weekend nights off that week. So this year I am working Christmas night at 7pm and then back in on Sunday night at 7pm. No saturday.

Our weekday staff does an every other major/minor holiday. Off thanksgiving,on christmas. Off 4th of July, on Labor day.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

3,543 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

We alternate holidays. If you work Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, then you get Christmas Eve and Christmas off, and vice versa. The following year, you work the opposite.


1,975 Posts

If they have a contract for weekends only it will be hard to enforce. You could offer extra pay and see if that entices some to volunteer. If it's a shorter shift i.e. 8 hours versus 12 you also might have more luck.


658 Posts

Specializes in Medical Surgical. Has 15 years experience.

I think that working every week-end is enough, and the week-end option people should not have to work every other holiday too. If I recall, last year (or maybe the year before) those people got stuck with Christmas Eve and Christmas too because they were on a week-end, then New Year's Eve and New Year's. And of course they work every Easter.

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Our weekend "progam" didn't last long, since the theory is that people that work every other weekend work every other holidays, then those that work every holiday, work every weekend. That didn't fly!

We don't have weekenders only where I work, but I do know that we are SHORT for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (very short!) and no float pool on holidays. My floor is full, with 24 patients (history has shown us to drop to at or below 10 for the holiday....SOOOO not happening this year). I am off the Eve because I work Christmas Day, and have already been asked to work Christmas Eve as well. *pouts* but I don't want to! It's my *only* family day!

medicrnohio, RN

508 Posts

Specializes in Tele, Home Health, MICU, CTICU, LTC.

I work the weekend program at my hospital and we are only required to work the holidays that fall on the weekends. I wouldn't agree to also work all of the holidays that fall during the week as part of the weekend program. Why should I give up every single weekend and holiday so that everyone else can enjoy theirs? I would suggest that your unit come up with a rotating holiday schedule. You may want to offer holidays to the weekenders, with an extra bonus.

statphleb SN

60 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

Where I work we put up a list of holidays for the coming up year with a blank line beside each one--staff (first come first served) sign thier name beside the holiday that they will work. We post the list Dec. 1st and it must be filled in by the 24th. It works well!:christmastree: Good Luck and Merry Christmas!


30 Posts

I would probably like one of the weekend days off if it came to this. We have a holiday lottery and that is were someone draw a name to get the holiday off or work, but this only work on units that are exceptional with working as a team.


1,304 Posts

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

I think if people have agreed to work every weekend. That is enough. That is the terms of their agreement to work. Would that mean that those years that the holidays fall on the weekend. That your regular staff will come in on their weekends off to work holidays? Leave well enough alone.


165 Posts

Specializes in nursing student.

At my hospital we have a required holiday rotation for all staff regardless of your status. If the holiday happens to fall on a weekend, and it is your normal weekend to work but not your required holiday that year you do not work it. If it is not your weekend to work but your holiday required to work, you work. Pretty simple. All staff have a rotation that they are put into when they are hired. We have staff who work every weekend, every other weekend, every third weekend and every sixth weekend.

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