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How Can I Get a Nurse to Float Happily? Interview Question

Nurse Beth   (2,023 Views 4 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

344 Likes; 10 Followers; 82 Articles; 224,845 Visitors; 1,690 Posts

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I've interviewed twice for a certain job & have been unsuccessful at answering a "role play" scenario where I am a supervisor & a nurse is refusing to float. There is supposed to be a response that will get her to float "happily" but I have been unable to discover it.

Any advice would be helpful I've interviewed twice for a certain job & have been unsuccessful at answering a "role play" scenario where I am a supervisor & a nurse is refusing to float. There is supposed to be a response that will get her to float "happily" but I have been unable to discover it.

Any advice would be helpful. I've interviewed twice for a certain job & have been unsuccessful at answering a "role play" scenario where I am a supervisor & a nurse is refusing to float. There is supposed to be a response that will get her to float "happily" but I have been unable to discover it. Any advice would be helpful.

Dear Unsuccessful,

That's an interesting interview question, and really puts you on the spot.

The question is testing your conflict resolution skills, and interpersonal skills, although whether or not she floats "happily" is her choice and not within your control. Your role is to provide safe staffing, match the patient's needs with the nurse's skills, and be fair.

Let's assume the nurse is being floated according to facility procedure, which includes having been oriented to the unit, and floating in turn. Refusing to float is not an option when procedure is being followed.

Show concern by asking the nurse what makes her uncomfortable about floating and address the concern. You can ensure that her assignment matches her skills and experience. You can round on her later in the shift to see how's she's doing.

If she is still unwilling to float, clarify the nurse's responses "Just to clarify, are you refusing to float?" Make sure the nurse understands the consequences of refusing to float.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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tish44 has 45 years experience.

721 Visitors; 9 Posts

I would do all you suggested but then offer a "point person" she could go to on the unit to ask any questions she may have. It's reassuring to know someone is aware that you are uncomfortable and need the support of knowing someone is actually "assigned" willingly hopefully, to be your resource person.

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retiredmednurse has 36 years experience and works as a Retired RN.

3 Likes; 1,582 Visitors; 63 Posts

I would also say, that the receiving unit usually "hand-picks" her assignment so not to receive anything beyond her comfort level. On my med-unit when making out the assignment, I tried hard to pick patients that she would be familiar with doing. Such as females with PID from the women's floor, the recovering MI's for someone from ICU/CCU, the "dirty" surgical pts. for someone from the surgical floor, and the like. If not enough than simple med cases such as pneumonia, UTI, and the like. Also a regular staff nurse from the floor will be assigned to her for any questions regarding the floor's routine, where stuff is located and how to use something if unfamiliar, and any concerns.

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Axgrinder works as a RN.

3 Likes; 5,542 Visitors; 256 Posts

I would imagine that an offer of increased float pay would go a long way to make one happy to float.

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