Float pool, would I be in over my head? - page 2

by uRNmyway | 8,958 Views | 23 Comments

Hey all, would like some advice from all of you! I was recently visiting one of the university hospitals and while trying to get directions to HR, was sent in the direction of the float pool nursing recruiter. She was helping... Read More


  1. 0
    That sounds awesome! I'd take it. Its is exactly what you said you wanted in terms of hours. You will get to explore and see what you like, who you like ect.

    Good luck, I'm excited for you.
  2. 0
    Sounds like a great opportunity! You will learn so much... Good luck!!!!
  3. 1
    I am actually in the float pool right now at the hospital I work at, and I love it. I came from a medical-surgical floor and applied for this job. I am also doing 12 hr nights. There are def upsides and downsides to being a floater, just like any other position.

    Upsides: schedule is usually flexible. If I can't do a day because something comes up, I usually have no problem getting my day switched to another one in the week. You don't get involved in the politics of each unit. You get to sit back and see which units you like and which you don't. That way at any time you decide you don't want to float anymore, you know which units to avoid. It is also great experience. You learn a lot about the different nursing fields and discover which you like the most. If you get a bad patient load one night, most likely you will not be back on the same unit the next night, so you don't get stuck with a mess again. I also get paid extra for being a floater which is fantastic.

    Downsides: I don't know how your hospital deals with this, but often I have to do 4 hrs on one unit, and then at 11pm go to another unit for the rest of the night. That can get frustrating at times. It's a lot of documentation and running around for those 4 hrs. Some floors in my hospital are famous for treating the floats like crap, giving them all the difficult patients and first admissions/transfers. You have to learn how to speak up for yourself so you don't get screwed over. It is also a pain trying to remember all the floor's codes, where everything is kept, and the particular type of documentation that is needed on your shift (nursing notes, care plans, etc.), so I keep a note book with each floor and everything I need to know about each area.

    Overall though, I really like being a float nurse. You have to be a flexible person and just go with the flow. A little bit of patience helps too. Good luck! I am sure you will do well!!
    Vespertinas likes this.
  4. 0
    I would take the job. I didn't even have 10 shifts of orientation at my last two jobs. More like 5 to 6 and I was permanent staff. Some hospitals will even let you pick 3 units that you are willing to work. If you have a really bad shift you can tell someone in staffing that you are not going back to the floor that night. It will help you when you go to grad school. You will have a lot of different types of patients you have worked with and that is always a good thing. Once you are in the door at a really good facility it can open up other opportunities. I don't know what you plan to do with your MSN, but there may be an opportunity that is only open to internal hires. Good luck with your decision!
  5. 0
    This sounds absolutely fabulous and you sound like the kind of person who will make the best of it! What a great opportunity!
  6. 0
    Quote from GrnTea
    This sounds absolutely fabulous and you sound like the kind of person who will make the best of it! What a great opportunity!
    Thank you Grntea, from you that is a great compliment!
  7. 0
    In general, float pools require extensive nursing experience on many floors. Because of staffing problems, the trend has shifted to luring nurses into float pools, giving good benefits, and talking the float pool up as a good thing. A word of warning: the training you receive on some floors is none at all. They are so short staffed they simply need a body. This puts you at risk of your license. And generally, if you are offered a position on a floor you are uncomfortable with, and you refuse, your reputation just hit the skids, and they will say you "refused". This puts you in a very bad place with that organization. Your job is to ask about full training (6 weeks) on the floors to which you could be assigned. If they can't offer this, this means they have no training for you. This is about PATIENT SAFETY, and no nurse wants to be taking care of a patient when they lack the competency to do so. My advice is get good at one area first, at least 2 years experience. Then go to another area, if you wish, and get 2 years there. Get the fundamentals down, and be choosy about where float pools will send you. BTW, physicians absolutely hate working with nurses who are not experienced on their floors. They could complain to your manager and especially to their Medical Staff Chief. In summary, float is for experienced nurses only. Float pool nurses enjoy the variety while feeling competent at delivering care. Feeling incompetent in an area you don't have extensive knowledge about isn't worth the errors you could find yourself making, because you have no one as a preceptor.
  8. 3
    Quote from 30yearnurse4u
    In general, float pools require extensive nursing experience on many floors. Because of staffing problems, the trend has shifted to luring nurses into float pools, giving good benefits, and talking the float pool up as a good thing. A word of warning: the training you receive on some floors is none at all. They are so short staffed they simply need a body. This puts you at risk of your license. And generally, if you are offered a position on a floor you are uncomfortable with, and you refuse, your reputation just hit the skids, and they will say you "refused". This puts you in a very bad place with that organization. Your job is to ask about full training (6 weeks) on the floors to which you could be assigned. If they can't offer this, this means they have no training for you. This is about PATIENT SAFETY, and no nurse wants to be taking care of a patient when they lack the competency to do so. My advice is get good at one area first, at least 2 years experience. Then go to another area, if you wish, and get 2 years there. Get the fundamentals down, and be choosy about where float pools will send you. BTW, physicians absolutely hate working with nurses who are not experienced on their floors. They could complain to your manager and especially to their Medical Staff Chief. In summary, float is for experienced nurses only. Float pool nurses enjoy the variety while feeling competent at delivering care. Feeling incompetent in an area you don't have extensive knowledge about isn't worth the errors you could find yourself making, because you have no one as a preceptor.
    Gross overstatement. And stop with the "risk to your license" thang. If the new float nurse isn't diverting narcs, committing felonious acts, or practicing impaired, this is a false threat. Don't believe me? Check the website for your state nursing board and see what the license actions are for. They aren't for "didn't do so great yet because I was new."
    uRNmyway, siRNita, and Daisy_08 like this.
  9. 0
    As a new grad float, I highly recommend floating for all the reasons other people have mentioned - variety, no politics, flexibility. I LOvE my job. You don't have to be an expert to be a good nurse. You just have to use your critical thinking skills and not be afraid to ask questions. I love float pool and have met a ton of great people and had a variety of patient experiences even in my relatively short career. Good luck!! And enjoy!!
  10. 0
    If you are up for a challenge then I say go for it! I took a contingent job night shift after only one year out of nursing school with just med/surg experience. I worked my full time job doing med surg while working contingent in the float pool and learned all sorts of things. I floated back to the surgical icu and the medical/neuro icu as well as ED and Geri-psych. One night I even found myself smack dab in the middle of catch lab for an emergency cath gone bad. I too was working at a university hospital and saw tons of stuff and learned lots of things I otherwise would not have leaned! I have since had to quit there because it became too much to do both jobs as I finished my masters degree.so moral of the story, I say DO IT, it will be an awesome experience. As long as u get the proper training/orientation you should be fine. Go with your gu


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