Float pool, would I be in over my head?

  1. 0
    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 get me to HR but then started asking me what kind of position I was looking for, what experience I have, my shift preference, etc. When I mentioned I prefer night shift, and want full time work, she got almost giddy, grabbed my arm, and insisted on giving me her card, saying things like 'I'll still send you over to HR, I don't want to steal you from them if you want to work directly for a floor.'

    She described the position as full time night shift, 12 hour shifts, one weekend per month. Full benefits. 10 shift orientation for each department they want to send me to. And although she didn't mention it, since this is a university hospital, and I do plan on going back to school for RN to Masters, I feel I would probably get some financial assistance for continued education.
    My issue is this: the departments she mentioned were like hemato-onco, transplant, telemetry and others (those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head). Now my experience is more with general med-surg and mother-baby. On one side, I know it would be an amazing opportunity to learn new things, get experience in different settings, basically boost up my resume at the very least. On top of networking within an amazing facility. On the other side, would I be in over my head having no experience in these specialties, only med-surg, with 10 shift orientations for each department?

    I am so conflicted right now. It seems like such a wonderful opportunity, especially given how my current work situation is. I am just afraid I wouldn't thrive or might even mess up. Thanks to all!
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  4. 0
    Quote from Jeweles26
    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 get me to HR but then started asking me what kind of position I was looking for, what experience I have, my shift preference, etc. When I mentioned I prefer night shift, and want full time work, she got almost giddy, grabbed my arm, and insisted on giving me her card, saying things like 'I'll still send you over to HR, I don't want to steal you from them if you want to work directly for a floor.'

    She described the position as full time night shift, 12 hour shifts, one weekend per month. Full benefits. 10 shift orientation for each department they want to send me to. And although she didn't mention it, since this is a university hospital, and I do plan on going back to school for RN to Masters, I feel I would probably get some financial assistance for continued education.
    My issue is this: the departments she mentioned were like hemato-onco, transplant, telemetry and others (those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head). Now my experience is more with general med-surg and mother-baby. On one side, I know it would be an amazing opportunity to learn new things, get experience in different settings, basically boost up my resume at the very least. On top of networking within an amazing facility. On the other side, would I be in over my head having no experience in these specialties, only med-surg, with 10 shift orientations for each department?

    I am so conflicted right now. It seems like such a wonderful opportunity, especially given how my current work situation is. I am just afraid I wouldn't thrive or might even mess up. Thanks to all!
    I did float pool for 3 years. At the time I took the job I also wondered how I would feel confident. I had a 6 week orientation to one of the floors, and then starting floating to various med-surg and speciality floors. Eventually I went back and got my tele and ACLS so I could float to tele and step-down units. I grew to love float pool. The hours and perfect and typically very flexible. As a nurse I became a jack of all trades, which has only helped me to grow as a nurse.

    I would interview for the job and at least find out more. Oh, and often float pool is paid more than nurses with a permanent floor.
  5. 1
    Oh wow I had zero orientation with the areas I float too. It sounds like a great opportunity. I float and will never ever go back to working on one floor. I have control over my schedule and I don't get mixed up in the floor politics. I'm in school now and can schedule myself around my exams. Plus I get paid almost double of what a floor nurse gets paid.

    The downside is that because of this you will sometimes get the most patients and the worst patients on the floor. The first admission or an assignment with all discharges (yes this happened to me and of course I got all the admissions but I laughed because I was only working 8 hours that day and the floor had to scramble to break up my assignment. The charge and other nurses weren't very happy about this and begged me to stay 12. Um yeah right!) but again you are just there for the day or for your contract length and you move on. I have a TON of experience everywhere and it had benefited me.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    Vespertinas likes this.
  6. 5
    Update: I thought about the above input and submitted my resume. Less than an hour later, email response asking me for formal interview tomorrow!!
    Diva_nurse, prnqday, bsyrn, and 2 others like this.
  7. 1
    Did you say a 10 shift orientation for each floor?

    This is a silver-platter opportunity.

    One word of caution: have a back-up plan for job #2 in case the census happens to be low in the hospital for an extended period of time. You may be cancelled often and not making money. A non-contract float position at a 2nd hospital would be ideal. Usually they only require you work 1 day every 3 months to stay on their list.

    Good luck! Enjoy!!!!!
    mom4josh likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from Vespertinas
    Did you say a 10 shift orientation for each floor?

    This is a silver-platter opportunity.

    One word of caution: have a back-up plan for job #2 in case the census happens to be low in the hospital for an extended period of time. You may be cancelled often and not making money. A non-contract float position at a 2nd hospital would be ideal. Usually they only require you work 1 day every 3 months to stay on their list.

    Good luck! Enjoy!!!!!

    Oh, wow, I didn't realize so many things about the position it seems! I had no clue float pool paid more. I also did not know that a 10 shift orientation per floor was unusual or exceptional even. So with 3 years med-surg, would those 10 shifts be enough to feel ok in these new departments?

    As far as a second hospital, my understanding from speaking to the recruiter is that I was guaranteed that FT, but I might have misunderstood. I will definitely clarify that during the interview.
  9. 0
    Since your position has benefits and is "guaranteed" FT, you probably will only be getting $3-5 more than regular. The big money like what DoeRN mentioned comes from having no benefits, no holidays, no guarantees. Where I work, NOBODY is guaranteed, not even regular staff. If census is really that low, they tell you to stay home. I guess it might depend on the size of your hospital.

    The difference is that there are "full time" float staff and per diem float staff. The full time float staff is always at the top of the list for filling hospital needs and then the per diem folks who get paid more get called in AFTER they're out of regular floaters. Your hospital may not be exactly this way and they may even get their per diem nurses through an agency.

    You're right on about asking your recruiter about guaranteed shifts. Just ask how often should you expect to be cancelled in a week or a month. Maybe it's nil! I hope so!

    If you're a strong RN (good common sense, good knowledge base, confident/comfortable, and personable), I think you'll be a hit with 3 years plus 10 shift orientations. Just keep expecting the unexpected and you'll never say you had a day when you didn't learn something. Cardiac and transplant, yay! You're hitting all my faves! Please feel free to inbox me later if you have questions/concerns once you're working. I'm no expert but I've been in your shoes with the new float pool experience *and* those specialties as a staff RN.

    If you get telemetry patients, they'll probably have you take a telemetry course. Maybe they even have tele techs (would ease my mind a lot of I was just starting). You probably won't be hanging chemo unless you're chemo certified. And I don't think they'll give you the most unstable transplant patients. I've read that float nurses feel they get the worst assignments sometimes but in my experience that means that you may get a task-heavy pt or difficult personality, yes. But in transplant (where the surgeons think of the patients like their babies), many people high and low would be pooping bricks if they found out an inexperienced float RN just got a fresh post-op unstable patient with numerous complications whose family flew in from out-of-state to have their procedure performed at your particular hospital.
  10. 0
    Go for it.
  11. 0
    I was an float RN. When I started I had zero hospital experience and got only 2 shifts on each floor. I survived and learned so much. That position was great on my résumé which led to the job I had been applying to for 3 years
  12. 2
    Quote from Vespertinas
    Since your position has benefits and is "guaranteed" FT, you probably will only be getting $3-5 more than regular. The big money like what DoeRN mentioned comes from having no benefits, no holidays, no guarantees. Where I work, NOBODY is guaranteed, not even regular staff. If census is really that low, they tell you to stay home. I guess it might depend on the size of your hospital.

    The difference is that there are "full time" float staff and per diem float staff. The full time float staff is always at the top of the list for filling hospital needs and then the per diem folks who get paid more get called in AFTER they're out of regular floaters. Your hospital may not be exactly this way and they may even get their per diem nurses through an agency.

    You're right on about asking your recruiter about guaranteed shifts. Just ask how often should you expect to be cancelled in a week or a month. Maybe it's nil! I hope so!

    If you're a strong RN (good common sense, good knowledge base, confident/comfortable, and personable), I think you'll be a hit with 3 years plus 10 shift orientations. Just keep expecting the unexpected and you'll never say you had a day when you didn't learn something. Cardiac and transplant, yay! You're hitting all my faves! Please feel free to inbox me later if you have questions/concerns once you're working. I'm no expert but I've been in your shoes with the new float pool experience *and* those specialties as a staff RN.

    If you get telemetry patients, they'll probably have you take a telemetry course. Maybe they even have tele techs (would ease my mind a lot of I was just starting). You probably won't be hanging chemo unless you're chemo certified. And I don't think they'll give you the most unstable transplant patients. I've read that float nurses feel they get the worst assignments sometimes but in my experience that means that you may get a task-heavy pt or difficult personality, yes. But in transplant (where the surgeons think of the patients like their babies), many people high and low would be pooping bricks if they found out an inexperienced float RN just got a fresh post-op unstable patient with numerous complications whose family flew in from out-of-state to have their procedure performed at your particular hospital.
    You know, although I do feel a tad bit intimidated by these specialties I am very open to expanding my knowledge base and trying new things. If I think of this logically, this is an amazing teaching facility, and I would be shocked if they did not properly train staff before putting them somewhere new.
    Well fingers crossed for me guys, I interview thursday morning! Heck, this might be the extra push I needed to get my pre-reqs started for RN to MSN!
    Vespertinas and modgoth1 like this.


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