New Nurse getting forced into Float Pool...Need Advice!

  1. Hello everyone! I am a new nurse that got hired on at a local hospital as a floor nurse on a medical unit in April. I look a "casual" position but work part-time hours. As a casual employee, I can pick my schedule but receive no benefits. This was ideal because I had just had my second child in February and my husband makes his own schedule as well. Although I receive no benefits, I get no pay increase. Here is my dilemma: About a month ago, all the casual RN's were called into a meeting with the D.O.N. long with some of the Nursing Supervisors and some HR staff. This meeting was to inform us that we would now be in a "Resource Pool". They would divide us into Clusters and Levels. Clusters, being a Med-Surg cluster including Oncology, Medical and Surgical. A critical care cluster, including ED, ICU and IMU. And the last cluster being all of OB, Peds and women's services. Levels would be how competent we are on each floor/unit. They denied it being a so-called Float pool and instead are calling it a resource pool so that they can get away with not paying any extra! Has anyone else heard of such a thing? We have another meeting this Wednesday and I would live to hear from some of you on this subject before then. D.O.N claims that research shows that many hospitals are doing this with their casual employees to maximize their resources. I would love to gather my own research on this matter to present to her. No one is happy about this and several have quit already. Being a new nurse, I am very nervous about not knowing where I will be until I go to work that morning.
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    About RNmomFirst

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 4; Likes: 2
    Registered Nurse; from US


  3. by   Orange Tree
    At my last hospital, all med-surg nurses could be floated to any med-surg floor, ICU nurses to any ICU unit, etc. The part-time and pool nurses were always first to get floated, though. I am not familiar with "casual" nursing, but it sounds a lot like "pool" to me.
  4. by   LadyFree28
    In my area, a lot of the hospitals have resource nursing as float, and/or in house pool. I was a pool nurse when I was a new grad nurse. I liked it because of the flexibility, and the ability to broaden my floor knowledge.

    It's not necessarily a bad thing. You will find that, depending on the nursing culture of the hospital and/or the unit, you will find co-workers that are willing to help you become familiar with the unit and the specific pt population.

    As far as wages...that is totally may be already be getting a pool rate already-I'm not sure in your situation. Most places in my area have a casual rate 2-3 dollars more than the regular rate. I got paid at pool rate, even as a new grad.

    I say continue to gather more information, voice your concerns as a new grad, what support would you have because you are still learning, etc. Get to know the supervisors and NMs in the unit that you are working on. They may have great resource information. Do you due diligence in getting to know people and the units that you will be working on. It may lead you in working the majority of the time working in a particular unit that you may like. And in the end, if you feel as though it won't be a good fit, you at least tried to make it work.

    Good Luck!!!
    Last edit by LadyFree28 on Feb 3, '13
  5. by   RNmomFirst
    Yes, we get pulled sometimes to other units as well. However, this new "Resource Pool" is supposed to cut down on getting pulled to another floor. The resource nurses will be pulled first. I didn't sign on to be a float pool nurse though....and if I have no choice, shouldn't float pool at least get a pay increase? How much more do float pool nurses make at your hospital than regular floor nurses?
  6. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from RNmomFirst
    Yes, we get pulled sometimes to other units as well. However, this new "Resource Pool" is supposed to cut down on getting pulled to another floor. The resource nurses will be pulled first. I didn't sign on to be a float pool nurse though....and if I have no choice, shouldn't float pool at least get a pay increase? How much more do float pool nurses make at your hospital than regular floor nurses?
    I posted above my situation as a float pool nurse as a new grad.

    You may end up getting the pool rate...even as a new grad, if not, at least after you have your year experience, you get a chance of the getting an adjusted rate then. Since you meet tomorrow, be able to find out then.
  7. by   IloveNursing2214
    Where I work we call them the Resource Team . It has Nurses, NA's and other support staff . It is actually very nice . You are on a different unit everyday. I like it because you won't get bored . The nurses tell me they love it and I think they do get a slight pay difference of 2-3$$/hr . The only thing is that they don't hire new grads on this team . That's new to me . Express your concerns and good luck !!!!
  8. by   brithoover
    I am a float nurse at my hospital in Canada. I make the same wage as everyone else in the hospital (we are all on a pay grid). I float to every department in the hospital except OR and PACU. This was my first job in a hospital and I must say it was a major challenge and huge learning curve but I learned so many new things so fast. My gripes about floating is that I was often "dumped on" by many floors. Meaning I got really terrible, heavy assignments. So make sure you speak up if you feel uncomfortable but floating is a great position to start out in
  9. by   barbyann
    Don't worry, they will change the staffing format again, just around the time that everyone finally gets used to it. The only sure bet in nursing is CHANGE.

    fly under the radar, see how it goes
  10. by   nursej22
    Nurses in the float pool at our facility get $2/hr, however nurses from the med/surg areas are expected to float with no extra pay. Specialty areas like OB, ICU, ED do not have to float.
  11. by   RNmomFirst
    Thanks for all of your input! I appreciate everyone taking the time to post.

    A bit more of my background: After getting off orientation, I worked maybe 3 weeks when I messed up my back and had to have surgery. I was then off for 2 months. I came back for a few more weeks when census dropped at our hospital and I was off for over a month by being put on call. The low census is what prompted this change to Resource Pool. They said it would be an opportunity for more hours. The problem is this: we signed on to work on our respective floors as casual employees,..we knew that by being casual, we would be the first to be put on call, and therefore lose hours. My husband makes descent money and I really don't need to work for the monetary benefit...I just love people and want to make a difference in their lives. The stress of going to work everyday not knowing where I am going to be, never having my "same group of patients" back the next day, learning where everything is on the different units, different doctors, different skill sets, different co-workers.... I am a creature of habit and don't take change very well I suppose. I feel like this job should come with a prescription for Xanax! lol.

    And even though I don't NEED the money, I think it is only right that they pay float nurses a little more on the hour since there is really no consistency and they can "use" us how they see fit. Especially since they are not paying us any extra for not receiving actual benefits. Am I wrong to be aggravated?
  12. by   HouTx
    OK, your last post makes your situation a bit clearer. Your actual work status doesn't seem to have changed.... just the fact that you now will have to work on other floors - and you used to work only on one floor. In addition, the facility has taken all of the (department-based) PRN staff and combined them into a centralized department called the Resource Pool. So now, your work schedule is determined by a centralized staffing office instead of the unit manager you used to work with. Is this right? I realize how upsetting it is to deal with all this change, particularly if you feel that you didn't have a voice, and you're being treated unfairly. But this is not at all an unusual arrangement.

    You are correct - PRN nurses (no matter what they are called, or how they are staffed) usually get paid at a higher rate in exchange for the absence of benefits and their flexibility. It seems like your organization made all the other changes, but left this one out - LOL. Maybe they were hoping no one would notice.

    From a practical standpoint, you will undoubtedly have more opportunities to work if you are associated with more departments but it seems like this is not a positive outcome for you since you do not wish to work more often. I know it's a bit scary to work in an unfamiliar place, but after one or two shifts in that new area it will become familiar also. I would caution you against "going dark" and not working at all.... this will have a very negative consequence when you try to re-enter the workplace after your kids are older. It's much better to stay in touch by working occasionally as you are now.
  13. by   elkpark
    I've never worked anywhere were casual/pool/per diem staff were hired to work on only one floor or unit -- it was a basic expectation that you would be put wherever you were needed. As for a higher rate of pay, that is pretty standard, but it's entirely up to the individual facility. If they are able to hire sufficient numbers of float/pool staff without offering a higher rate or benefits, they would be stupid not to. If they weren't able to attract decent employees with the compensation package they're offering, they would have to look at increasing the pay (or benefits), but that doesn't sound like it's a problem for them.