How are the five holidays assigned to staff?

Nurses General Nursing


How are the five holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas day, Christmas Eve, New Years day, New Years day, assigned on your unit? Do you accept requests for time off over the Holidays? Are they asigned based on seniority or on previously worked Hoidays? We work on a 35 bed med/surg unit and would like to know how other units handle the holidays. Thanks!


Around Oct. 1 we'd put up a schedule to request holiday preference. You could only choose ONE of them to work. Otherwise the manager scheduled the other days. Since we were primarily an elective surgery unit, we had very little business on holidays.

No regular vacation weeks requests were allowed between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

If you worked a holiday last year you have first option to be off this year.

If you choose to work it, then that is OK and you will have the option next year.

Thanksgiving off on the Thursday doesn't automatically guarantee The Friday or the Weekend following off. Just the holiday is the policy.

Night shift's holiday falls from Midnight not from the morning of the holiday. So for example when you come to work on Christmas Eve at 7PM or 11 PM that begins your Christmas Day workday or holiday off.

My favorite holiday is none of the above. I chose EASTER every year. It is my favorite and since it isn't one of the "big five" the number of folks wanting it off was minimal. I only worked ONE Easter in 22 years!

Until this year if you worked a holiday at time and a half you got another day off in addition to the holiday. It was like getting 2 1/2 times pay for working ONE day. The hospital was really in debt so that policy was removed.

we post a list for the big three;thanksgiving,x-mas, and new years. everyone indicates most wanted, second most wanted and least most wanted. it usually works out well as everyone has a different favorite and some people want to work all or at least two for the ot. if it comes down to it we will look to see who has worked it in the past and also seniority will be considered.

We are divided into 2 teams (a & b). And rotate holidays yearly. We are called off by senority and are welcome to trade as long as everything is covered.

Thanksgiving is our first holiday with this system.....So I have no testimony about how it works.

Specializes in LTC and Retirement Home.

Thanksgiving doesn't seem to be such a big deal here... if it's your weekend, you work it. I've worked many Thanksgivings in a row, but it's fine with me, I just cook the dinner on the Monday instead of the Sunday.

Christmas/New Year, however, is a big deal. For the RNs in my LTC facility, we rotate from year to year. And the holidays are lumped as Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Boxing Day, and New Year's Eve/New Year's Day. Our collective agreement states that we can't work more than 5 shifts in a row, and we must have at least 3 days off over one of these holidays.

Requests are taken into consideration, though. I prefer to work the Christmas stretch, and have New Year's off. So, I'm given that preference, as long as there is someone who doesn't mind working New Year's when it's their turn to have it off. Most, however, want Christmas off.

And, if we have enough RNs to staff fully, the unneeded nurses have BOTH holidays off. And this rotates through the full time RN staff. We need 6 RNs to staff fully for both holidays (one per shift for the two holiday periods). This year is my turn to have both off. :)

Easter, again, if it's your usual scheduled weekend, you work it, unless you do a shift change with another nurse.

As for the pay, our collective agreement states that we receive time and a half, plus straight time for 8 hrs for statutory holidays. So, we get double time and a half for working a statutory holiday. :) And since I get them both off this year, I'll receive 4 shifts straight pay for the stats I didn't work.

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

Funny you should bring this up because the list is up! I just saw it today! we sign up for what we want, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, BUT if you don't sign up for Christmas as 1st, plan on working, cause you are!! A little unwritten rule I didn't know about a few years back.

A lot of us sign up for the same holidays year after year, so we have the best potluck (an all-day graze, actually) in town on Thanksgiving. People bring the same things every year!

After the schedule is out, the deals start flying! One year I was offered $250 extra on top of Holiday (time and a half) pay to work Christmas Eve night shift. After I told my mother, even SHE said Take it!!

We count 6 holidays, including the Fri after Thanksgiving.

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

At my hospital, the head nurse-who does the scheduling-puts up a preference list of who wants to work what holiday. Ours are Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve and New Years Day. I am not sure if seniority counts as far as who works what but I am sure that it does. I am a newbie to this place and I have no children as of yet so I am sure that I will get screwed as usual. I hate it when nurses with young children assume that they should always be off on X-mas day. Someday, I hope to have at least one child and I know that there will be some Christmases that I will be working. I think that this year I will ask for New Years Day-lots of College bowl games- and Christmas Eve. We'll see.

hey kaknurse, do I know how you feel! I am a 25 year RN and actually got so fed up with working all the holidays that I took a job that is M-R, no weekends or holidays. Worked many years on a unit with tons of new young RN moms and Christmas off was seen as a God given right. As a married but childfree person, I was always "last teat" as they say on the farm. I always volunteered to work Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc. Once I worked 10 Christmases in a row and on # 11, when I finally thought I could have off, I was told I had to work because of so many maternity leaves. Instead, they got my resignation.

Most of the hospitals I worked at also had the "no vacation Thanksgiving through Jan 1" policy. This is really hard on those of us who live far from family. I tried to negotiate a once every 5 years exception to this at several places but it was always shot down.

When people bemoan the # of nurses leaving the bedside, I always cite punitive holiday policies as an example. I loved bedside care but left because of how hard it was to take the little vacation I had.

For 8 hour shifter they are divided in to groups, xmas and new years, memorial day and july 4th, thanksgiving and labor day. you have to work one of the 2 and the next year you should get it off. 13 hour shifters (yet another benefit) they aregrouped in 3's, thanksgiving, xmas, new years, and mem, 4th and lbaor day, we only have to work 1 form each group.

+ Add a Comment