September 28, 2023

Seasonal Nursing Jobs: Your Options & How to Find Them

A flu season nurse prepares a patient’s arm for the flu shot.

Are you an RN thinking about seasonal nursing? There are many reasons nurses choose to find seasonal jobs. Seasonal nursing offers nurses the flexibility to align their work schedules with personal needs and interests, providing opportunities for extended breaks or travel during off-seasons. It can also be financially advantageous, with the potential for higher pay rates during peak demand periods. In this guide, we’ll explore your options for seasonal nursing jobs and how to find the right opportunities near you or around the world. 

Explore the guide:

What is a seasonal nursing job?

A seasonal nursing job is a temporary nursing position that is typically tied to a specific season or period of the year. These positions are often designed to meet increased demand for healthcare services during particular times or in specific locations. 

Seasonal nursing positions can vary widely in terms of job responsibilities, required skills, and duration. Some may last just a few weeks, while others can extend for several months. Seasonal nursing jobs are often chosen by nurses who desire flexibility, the opportunity to explore different locations, or who want to supplement their income during specific times of the year.

Why do some nurses work seasonally?

There are numerous reasons nurses choose to work seasonally. It really comes down to personal preference and choosing work that fits your lifestyle. Here are some common reasons a nurse may choose seasonal work:

  • Lifestyle flexibility: Seasonal nursing allows nurses to have more control over their work schedule. They can take extended periods off during certain times of the year to pursue personal interests or spend time with family and then work during other seasons.
  • Travel opportunities: Seasonal nursing often involves travel nursing, where nurses take short-term assignments in different locations. This allows them to explore new places and gain diverse experiences while still working in their profession.
  • Higher pay: Some seasonal nursing positions, particularly in high-demand locations or during peak seasons, can offer higher pay rates or bonuses. This financial incentive can be appealing to nurses looking to supplement their income.
  • Avoiding burnout: Nursing can be a demanding profession, both physically and emotionally. Seasonal work can help nurses avoid burnout by providing regular breaks and opportunities for rest and self-care.
  • Pursuing other interests: Some nurses have interests or hobbies that are seasonal in nature, such as skiing or beachcombing. Seasonal nursing allows them to align their work schedule with their passion outside of healthcare.
  • Family considerations: Seasonal work can be a way for nurses to accommodate their family's needs, such as having more time to care for children during school breaks or supporting a spouse's seasonal job.
  • Retirement transition: Some nurses, especially those nearing retirement, may choose seasonal work as a way to gradually reduce their working hours and ease into retirement while still maintaining their nursing skills and income.
  • Varied experiences: Working seasonally in different healthcare settings or regions can provide nurses with a wide range of clinical experiences and skills, which can be professionally enriching.

Common types of seasonal nursing jobs

As a registered nurse RN, you have varied employment options. Seasonal nursing jobs can offer competitive pay and several different types of work arrangements, from per diem/PRN jobs to multi-week contracts, or even an ongoing seasonal contract. The types of care needed can range from acute care, like Med Surg roles, to community nursing opportunities like screening for seasonal diseases. Below are a few common seasonal nursing jobs. 

Cruise and vacation nursing opportunities

There are numerous vacation getaways that require an on-site healthcare team. These opportunities can be a great way for nurses to find seasonal work and experience a new part of the world. Common vacation nursing opportunities include cruise ships, ski resorts, summer camps, and other vacation destinations that require dedicated nursing staff.

Flu season nursing opportunities

Flu season nursing jobs arise during the annual influenza outbreak, typically in the fall and winter months. During flu season, healthcare facilities, clinics, and pharmacies often seek additional nursing staff to handle the increased demand for flu vaccinations, screening, and treatment. 

Flu season nurses play a crucial role in public health by administering vaccines, providing education on flu prevention, and caring for patients who have contracted the virus. These seasonal flu nurse jobs require a strong understanding of infectious disease transmission, patient education, and compassionate care to help communities stay healthy.

Seasonal PRN nursing opportunities

Seasonal PRN (as-needed) nursing opportunities offer healthcare professionals the flexibility to work on a per diem basis during specific periods of high demand, such as flu seasons, holiday rushes, or summer vacation periods. PRN nurses can choose when and where they want to work, making it ideal for those seeking to balance work with personal commitments. 

These roles provide invaluable support to healthcare facilities, filling staffing gaps during peak times and ensuring that patients receive quality care when it's needed most. Whether it's providing essential vaccinations, handling increased patient volumes, or offering specialized care during peak seasons, seasonal PRN nursing jobs offer a rewarding way for nurses to contribute to healthcare delivery.

How to find seasonal nursing jobs

Seasonal nursing can be a great way to pick up extra work around the holidays, but it can also be a way to travel the world and experience new places. To work outside of your local area, you will need to make sure you have an RN license in the state you desire to work. States with nurse compact license arrangements can be a great option for travel work outside of your local area. There are several ways nurses can find seasonal opportunities near them or in other desirable destinations.

Check with local hospitals and flu clinics

Check the websites of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities in your area. They often post job openings, including seasonal positions, on their career pages. Check the job description for information on the type of job and time commitment involved. Keep in mind, flu season positions are typically only available in the fall and winter months.

Use the CareRev app

CareRev is a healthcare marketplace app that helps nurses find flexible nursing shifts that fit their schedules and lifestyles. Nurses looking for seasonal work can sign up via the app and find shifts in their desired location that match their RN specialty and preferences. Apps like CareRev make it easy for nurses to find seasonal work, even if they are already working full-time jobs elsewhere. 

Online job searches

Use job search websites and platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or specialized healthcare job boards to search for seasonal nursing positions. You can narrow down your search by location and keywords like “seasonal nurse jobs near me”. 

Work with a nurse staffing agency

Staffing agencies help nurses find placements on a daily basis and will be plugged into the needs. These agencies can help match seasonal opportunities with your unique background and qualifications. 

The future of seasonal nursing

Seasonal nursing jobs continue to be relevant and attractive to nurses who value flexibility, varied experiences, and the ability to adapt their work schedules to their lifestyles. The healthcare industry will always have certain seasonal demands, ensuring that seasonal nursing remains a viable option for those interested in this type of work.

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