You don’t have to be a travel nurse to know what it’s like nursing on the holidays. Nurses and travel nurses alike endure the holiday shifts, especially travel nurses, who are often taking on the shifts no one else wants. But working on the holidays does have an upside.

It turns out that holiday shifts can be some of the better shifts you can work. The following are some brief reasons why you may actually want to work over the holidays:

Higher pay

Every hospital will have its own holiday pay structure, but generally speaking, you’ll make a lot more money hourly when you work the holidays. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for some travel nurses to earn their biggest rates over the holidays. Missing out on a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast may disappoint you, but your next paycheck after shifts like these definitely won’t.

Establish a good reputation

There’s seldom a better opportunity to build a rapport than when it’s just a few of you on the clock with the doctors. Your presence over the holidays confirms you’re a team player and that you’re one of the better nurses to keep on staff. Even if you got stuck against your will working the holidays, you’ll reap the benefits long after your shift ends.

It’s usually an easier atmosphere

This will depend on your facility and location, so take it with a grain of salt. If you’re working over the holidays, chances are it’s not going to be a very busy one. Conversely, you could be nursing in a highly populated area, meaning more people with deductions that have been met.

If that’s the case, your holiday shift may fly. But if it’s not, you’ll notice a more quaint setting. It’s quite the break from the everyday chaos of a hospital, so use the time for more one-on-one time with your patients, or get to know your fellow nurses a little better!

You don’t have to cook the dinner

If you’re a nurse tasked with cooking the bird or ham, you may discover an affinity for working the holiday shifts. Sometimes dealing with an irritable doctor or patient is more preferable than dealing with your family.

A real connection with patients

Not to end on a soppy note, but this last point is true. Some of the patients in a hospital over the holidays will have no one to celebrate with other than the hospital staff. Nursing over the holidays is a unique opportunity to play a significant role in someone’s life. The compassion and care nurses deliver everyday may be just what some patients need on a day like Thanksgiving, especially if they’re alone.

Few nurses may want the holiday shift, but the reality is there are a lot of positives to gain. And if you do draw that holiday shift, click here for a special thanks.