Vacation/Holidays - New game to play


  • Specializes in Telemetry, Med-Surg, ED, Psych.

Don't you love it when you book months in advance for a vacation or a holiday break, you have approval from your manager, and appropriate time off - ONLY to have your manager later state that you might not be able to take your vacation or visit with your family.

My rule: If I dropped money on it, I AM GOING. TOUGH KADODDLES!

If staffing and scheduling is such a problem, perhaps you could have told me that 6 months ago!!! . You also should have hired those 5 RNs you interviewed last month (like any reasonably competant manager would do).

You should have also not lied to me by saying "Take your vacation, we will be staffed"

I booked a Christmas vacation with my family - 3,000 miles away.

Regardless of what you say or imply or threaten - I AM GOING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS WITH FAMILY.


You keep threatening me about my 1-time SEVEN DAY vacation, but you seem to jet set 4 times a year to Europe and expect me to swallow that pill.

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

It's the manager's responsibility to staff accordingly. If your vacation was approved there's nothing he can do about. I don't care if we're short staffed. Not my problem. His problem. Its called being a manager. Reason 628 out of 1000 why all nurses need a union.

Andy Droid

71 Posts

Last time I booked off well in advance, and was told 3 days before hand that "well... we couldn't really find anyone who wants to cover"... I forwarded her a copy of the approval email she had sent me 3 months prior, and added that she'd also need to pay me for my non-refundable concert tickets, non-refundable air tickets, and the (probably non-refundable) 2 nights hotel reservations... cash in hand BEFORE the time I would have left. I also CC'd it to her boss, and HR.

I didn't miss the concert. ;)


364 Posts

It's in our policy that manager's can rescind approval if staffing needs are not met. That said, our managers will do everything in their power to make SURE staffing needs are met and I have yet to hear of anyone having their approval rescinded.

Well, we did have one but it was because she had used ALL of her PTO time between the time she filled out her slip and her actual vacation date (by calling in randomly) and couldn't understand why she couldn't take 3 weeks off without any effect on her full time status and benefits. She no longer works with us.

joanna73, BSN, RN

1 Article; 4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

We have a union fortunately. However, an extended block of time (1 week or more) needs to be submitted 10 months in advance if we want the approval. Usually everything works out, although it can be a pain to decide on your vacation time that far in advance.


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

I used to work in a place that had a policy of not allowing vacation time during certain months, at certain times--unless, of course, you were part of TheChosenFew. Also were rules for putting in your requests for vacation/personal/holiday time, in seniority order. Except, of course, when they didn't follow it. And let's not forget the problem the OP has: request was placed six months' prior, with no indication it WOULDN'T be approved--because no approval was ever actually given, it was simply understood as there WERE enough people on the schedule at the time the request was made. And by gosh by golly, NOW there isn't enough coverage because Suzie broke her foot and Sally is now on maternity leave, and of course the Shiny New Grad Hire wanted that same week off and well, she's NEW, and insisted on it when she was hired. Never mind that YOU had worked there for umpteen years at the time of YOUR request.

I no longer work there ;)


1,007 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

I worked in an office with 20 locations and 200+ employees in the region, so they'd try to float staff from one office if needed to cover call-outs and vacations. They actually encouraged us to use our vacation time, unlike where I had worked previously where it required an act of Congress to get a day off (I had to beg to have a day off for my uncle's funeral, then had to beg to use my PTO to cover it). That was great that they want us taking our PTO, but with so many employees you were limited. If one person in your office had that day/week off then nobody else could take it either--didn't matter if it was front desk or LPN or who, you couldn't have two off at the same time. They wanted you to turn in your PTO request by the end of January in order to get approved. My family takes a vacation every year together so it's not up to just me when I can go but if I wait until a specific week is set, then I don't get my PTO. Also, they close PTO requests in September for the remainder of the year. When I was hired I couldn't start using my PTO until October, so I didn't get any time off because it was closed. Oh, yeah, I don't want to forget the front desk person who, on January 2, requests the week before Christmas off EVERY YEAR so nobody else can take that week off. Grrr.

Anyway, if you have the time off approval slip and it's signed and dated from months ago, I'd go on vacation. If you don't have any other issues you should be fine, maybe a verbal warning, but you earned the time and vacation.

Specializes in MICU - CCRN, IR, Vascular Surgery. Has 12 years experience.

I'm amazed that you're allowed to take vacation around Christmas, do you not have a holiday rotation? At my previous hospital, no vacation time was allowed in Nov or Dec at all, and we had a holiday rotation so we knew which holidays we'd be working. If you've already gotten the approval, I'd do whatever necessary to get that time though!


118 Posts

Specializes in OR. Has 3 years experience.

Things like this are why it paid to work in a big hospital. Most people would want off around the holidays, so I knew I couldn't get those days off, but it was very simple to get off a week or two before because nobody requested those days off. Now I'm working in a place that forbids you to even leave early in November and December, and if you are actually sick and call in, they'll be talking behind your back on why you should have just gone to work sick. I will never understand why it always becomes our problem and we look like the bad guys because management doesn't know how to run the place.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

That is one of the perks of my remaining per-diem after 3+ years: they can't take my vacations away from me :) I'm simply "Not Available."


710 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing. Has 6 years experience.
That is one of the perks of my remaining per-diem after 3+ years: they can't take my vacations away from me :) I'm simply "Not Available."

I realize that some people don't have the luxury of working per diem, but I'm fortunate enough to be on my husband's health care so I can work for a HH agency per diem. I took 6 weeks off this summer, "Ok, see ya in August!" If I have a function at my kid's school or have a doctor's appt, I just omit that day from my availability. All I have to do is give them my availability about halfway through the previous month. I do work as many holidays as I can, so I scratch their backs too. They have never, ever given me a hassle or begged me to work after I've said no. I think it's their policy to keep us happy. Plus they are saving a bundle not having to pay their portion of health care premiums on me.


85 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Department, Float Pool. Has 1 years experience.

1 reason I love float pool we write our own schedules and just turn them in! ?