Are You Working on This Labor Day?


Posted to Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Uncategorized

Are You Working on This Labor Day?

It’s Labor Day, a holiday in the U.S. to honor the working citizens. Congress made the first Monday in September a federal holiday in 1894. It is usually celebrated with picnics, BBQs, parades and a day of rest for workers. Symbolically it represents the end of summer, and for many years, school started the next day.

Much of the rest of the world honors the working citizen on May 1, or May Day, also known as International Worker’s Day.

For most U.S. nurses, Labor Day represents one of the “lesser” holidays. Typically employers require nurses to work at least one of the “lesser” holidays as well as at least one of the “major” holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Day or Thanksgiving.

More often than not, nurses will work several holidays each year and typically every other weekend. This is not something most student nurses or those considering a career in nursing ever seem to think about. Sick people don’t suddenly get well for the holidays and hospitals don’t close down for the weekends.

This means nurses often sacrifice a lot of fun and family time for their jobs. This can add to the stress level and cause resentment to build. Nurses need to be sure to reward themselves for their sacrifices as well as for a job well done.

This is not a profession that provides a built in reward system. Nurses don’t often see the benefits of their care because patients move on to another level (I.e. from ICU to a regular floor) or are discharged home long before they are “well.”

Nursing is typically not a nine-to-five job. Those considering a career in nursing should explore what this means and how it can impact their lives before starting a nursing program.

There are many roles for nurses that can support a more “normal” life style, but they usually require a year or two of acute care experience first. These can include such roles as school nurses, insurance nurses, disability case managers, and medical office nurses.

Home health nurses can often find a lighter or less demanding holiday and weekend
requirement. They can also sometimes juggle their patient visits around a child’s sporting event or stop in to see their child get an award at a school assembly.

Nursing is a demanding profession and requires a great deal of commitment from the individuals. For those who truly enjoy helping others, it can be one of the most rewarding careers of all. But it is not without sacrifices.

As we celebrate this holiday honoring working citizens, think about nurses today! Thank you for a job well done!!!

By Kathy Quan RN BSN. Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book, and is the owner/author of
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