would i have enough experience after a year tooo


I was thinking about becoming a float nurse after I have my baby, but i will only have a little over a year on tele floor experience. i will have completed a ekg course, acls and a critical care course as well. But that book stuff not always as good as experience on the floor. Do you think that enough?

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

Personally, I would not be comfortable enough to float full-time after only a year, especially a year that was not med-surg. But as with anything else, you will be the best judge of your capabilities.

Are you self-sufficient? Able to function independently in most circumstances? A quick learner?

RNperdiem, RN

4,591 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Will you be working per diem in the same place you are working now? I think it helps if you are working in a place you know. The people you already know and the routines are familiar.

A year is maybe enough if you plan to work regularly.

I went per diem right before my first child was born and have been per diem in my same unit for almost 8 years.

Growth comes much slower for me now that I only work once a week. I retain skills, but I would rate myself as a competent nurse on the novice-to-expert scale. With 11 years nursing experience, I would be proficient or even expert if I had worked full-time all these years.

I accept the trade offs happily for the chance to be home with my children more, but be aware, there are costs.

Iris Santana

12 Posts

Floaters usually are appreciate by most units because they would not have the help otherwise. It is important to always communicate with the charge nurse , be a team player and ask questions as needed without fear of repercussion. Floating is a great opportunity for exposure and the experience will be awesome. Critical thinking is important and if you have this quality then you will be alright.


26 Posts

Does your resource team/float team do basic training on each floor? At the hospital I work at they pre-assign new floats to each floor for three days with a buddy (preceptor) so they are comfortable on each unit.

If you are a quick learner and flexible you should do fine. We (floor nurses and charges) always appreciate extra help, if the float/resource nurse was not there... it means (well at least on my shift) four nurses will have to take an additional patient; which is stressful.

Good luck and congratulations on your little one.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

depends so much on what you know and what you are asked to do. You can asked to be cross-trained to that unit. Basic nursing should cover a lot of things. Generally, we expect charge nurses to assign float RN's the same as an LVN when possible, since we do not expect the float nurse to know all the patient teaching and other finer points of that unit. After the charge nurse gets to know the float, and we have documented competencies, then the charge nurse ought to treat the float like any other RN and assign per ability.