Anyone working as a Float Nurse? Pros/Cons


I am currently looking to relocate, but I only see Float Nurse positions. I work in medsurg tele/stroke now. Does anyone have experience being a float RN? Thanks

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

Pros: You are usually per diem so you can make your own schedule. As a Float, you don't have to be in charge, join committees, or attend some meetings. Floating gives you some variety in your work, and you learn a broad set of skills. If you work the med-surg float pool, you staff wherever needs you. If the unit culture is good, you are welcomed in and treated well.

Cons: It is hard to build relationships with coworkers when you don't have a home unit. Some units give floats undesirable assignments and take advantage of "outsiders". If the float position is per diem, you don't get benefits, PTO or guaranteed hours. Different units do things different ways, and you have to learn all their quirks. 

Thanks RNperdiem…sorry, forgot to specify the float job is guaranteed 32 hrs with set schedule. 


Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

I have never worked in an actual position of a float nurse but have worked per diem. Agree with the above pro/cons. I would just make sure to read the fine print as a float pool position is different than a per diem position (with different rules pay etc). When I worked per diem I had a home unit but was the first to float. At first some units did give me the difficult pts etc but after time, and floating often, they got to know me and stopped that, also got to know other nurses so had some comradery. It was (for me) best of both worlds and much less stress. I would add that it makes a difference depending on your experience, years working, personality etc how easy or difficult it may be for you.