Healthcare Traveler Holiday Pay Breakdown

November 2, 2023


Megan Bebout

Healthcare Traveler Holiday Pay-minThere are many reasons to work a holiday shift — and holiday pay is top on the list. But how exactly does holiday compensation work for travel nurses and allied health professions, and is it worth it? Let’s find out!  


Healthcare Traveler Holiday Pay Breakdown


How does allied health and travel nurse holiday pay work?

Allied health and travel nurse salary are influenced by several factors such as specialization, level of experience, geographic location, and the urgency of the position to be filled. The more specialized you are in your field and the more experience you have as a nurse or allied health professional, the more money you’ll make. Similarly, you could earn more by working in a big city where the cost of living requires higher stipends or small towns where you could get increased pay as an added incentive.

Related: Urban vs Rural Healthcare Traveler Jobs: What’s Right for You?

Additionally, the urgency of the position being filled can also impact pay rates. In critical staffing situations, where the demand is high and the supply is low, travel nurses and allied health travelers may be compensated more generously.

According to the U.S. Office of Human Resources Management, holiday work is defined as non-overtime work performed by an employee during a regularly scheduled shift. That means that if you work holiday hours, you could be eligible for premium pay.

But how do you know if you are eligible for increased rates? The answer largely depends on the policies of the healthcare facility you’re working in and the healthcare staffing agency you work for. Some facilities and agencies offer holiday rates as part of their compensation package, while others may not. Ensuring you understand your pay package details, including holiday compensation, overtime, and additional benefits, can help you make an informed decision about working during the holidays.     

Holiday pay structure for healthcare travelers

Before we dive into the ins and outs of allied health and travel nurse holiday pay, let’s break down the structure of general healthcare traveler pay.

Typically, allied health and travel nursing pay packages include your gross pay, base pay, tax-free stipends for housing, meals, and incidentals, and travel reimbursements. Here’s what that means:

💰Gross pay = your total compensation

💰Average hourly pay, also known as assignment pay = your taxable base pay

💰Tax-free stipend = money from the government to help cover costs accrued during travel

💰Travel reimbursement = funds that are reimbursed to you through your healthcare travel agency

So, what’s different about allied and travel nurse pay during the holidays? When it comes to working during the holidays, most travel nurse agencies and allied health staffing companies follow federal guidelines and offer premium pay at time-and-a-half of your hourly wage for any time worked on recognized holidays.

Keep in mind, though, that not all allied health and travel nurse agencies follow the same policy. Some might not offer any additional pay for holidays at all, while others might compensate with added vacation time or other benefits. That’s why it’s important for you to thoroughly review your allied health or travel nursing contract before signing.   

How to boost your holiday pay

Wondering how to take your holiday income even further? Lucky for you, we have the inside scoop. Here’s what you can do.

Plan your work schedule

Strategically planning your work schedule during the holiday season can be a financial game-changer. During this time, healthcare facilities often face allied and nursing shortages due to perm staff vacations and increased patient volume, leading to a surge in demand for travel nurses and allied professionals like you!

By planning your schedule to align with these high-demand periods, you can potentially take advantage of premium holiday rates, overtime, and crisis pay opportunities. Not only does this approach optimize your earnings, but it also provides much-needed support to healthcare facilities during their busiest times, aka a win-win situation.

Communicate openly with your recruiter

You know what they say — communication is key, and that’s true for you and your allied or travel nurse recruiter, especially when the conversation revolves around working the holidays. So, make sure your recruiter is on the same page as you when it comes to your holiday season availability. Staying transparent about your holiday work preferences allows your recruiter to negotiate better pay rates on your behalf.

GettyImages-1438524724-minStay flexible

Another fool-proof way to boost your holiday wages is to stay flexible. If you’re willing to take a last-minute shift or work in a different department, you could enhance your allied or travel nursing salary, and gain exposure to more job opportunities you may not have known about otherwise.  

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Frequently asked questions

Do allied health and travel nurses get overtime and holiday pay?

Yes, at least you do when you travel with us! Fusion Medical Staffing allied health travelers and travel nurses are paid premium holiday rates (aka time-and-a-half of your base pay), as well as overtime (also time-and-a-half) if they work more than 40 hours a week. For example, any time you work between midnight to midnight on the holiday is paid out at the holiday rate. Those hours are deducted from your regular total for the week and then you receive overtime after 40 hours.


What holidays can I receive holiday pay for?

Receiving premium pay for travel nurses and allied health professionals depends on whether the healthcare facility you’re working in recognizes the holiday. Common major holidays that are recognized include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.  

If the hospital doesn’t recognize the holiday, you’ll be paid your regular rate, as well as any overtime. For example, let’s pretend you work 12-hour shifts every Monday to Thursday, and you work overtime on Monday, you’ll be paid for 40 regular hours and eight hours of overtime for the week, not premium pay.

Do I have to work during the holidays?

No! Requesting days off for the holidays is always an option for travel nurses and allied health travelers. The trick is putting in your time-off request well in advance of the holiday you don’t want to work. Although it’s not guaranteed, many employers (like us!) will happily work with you to accommodate your requests.

GettyImages-1268932056-minWant to still get paid without working? Consider using paid time off (PTO) for the holidays. When you travel with us at Fusion Medical Staffing, you receive 40 hours of PTO for every 1,560 hours worked. Plus, you can take off up to 26 consecutive days between assignments without sacrificing your benefits coverage. What you choose to do with your free time is up to you!



Allied health and travel nurse pay can be confusing, especially around the holidays. But when you have a better understanding of how it works, you can make more informed decisions about the types of allied and travel nursing jobs you want to apply for. And no matter what’s right for you, your Fusion Medical Staffing recruiter is here to help guide and support you along the way.