Nurses floating to different specialized areas essay

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Nurses floating to different specialized areas essay

Apr 25, MagazineNurse Recruitment Every hospital has stories of nurses who thrive by floating. In the past decade, hospitals across the country have revamped their float policies to give nurses greater autonomy and agency in deciding whether or not to float.

The flexible schedule, the variety of clinical experiences, and the constant exposure to new patients and coworkers are what attracted Bello, 49, to floating in the first place.

Although two of her shifts have to fall on major holidays each year, the schedule has given Bello, a married mom of six, a work-life balance she might not have achieved had she been a floor nurse. And watching Bello work on two different floors during separate shifts in late December, it was clear that she was comfortable wherever she went in the bed hospital.

They may feel less productive as their time is spent searching for supplies or seeking help from nurses on the unit. Bates recommends creating tip sheets, informational packets, or pocket guides for float nurses that contain specific information about subspecialties.

Bates acknowledges that budgetary constraints may preclude efforts to implement these changes. Yet additional resources and staff support are critical to turning floating into a positive experience, she argues. Float Pools or Resource Nurse Teams In response to dissatisfaction floor nurses have expressed about mandatory floating, several hospitals have developed dedicated teams of full-time float nurses.

Additionally, the pool is also staffed by nurses from other hospitals who want to pick up shifts on their off days. Float pool nurses, Paradis says, are expected to improve their skills and maintain their competencies just as floor nurses are. While the hospital relies on the float pool first to cover deficiencies in staffing, occasionally staff nurses are called upon to float outside their home units.

Until that point, the nurses in the unit had been perceived as fill-ins and denied opportunities to take on challenging assignments and complex patients. Now, the 45 nurses in the unit are sought after by other units because the bed hospital decided to invest in training them, explains Karen Nye, BSN, RN, the resource nurse manager.

Since there is greater trust and utilization of resource nurses across the hospital, Nye preschedules them in units at risk of paying out too much overtime to staff nurses. The result has been a significant cost savings for the hospital.

Nurses floating to different specialized areas essay

More Options for Staff Nurses who Float Other hospitals have done away with mandatory floating by floor nurses altogether to boost employee morale and reduce turnover. InAultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, eliminated mandatory floating in response to frustration nurses expressed at being floated from their home units on days when patient volume or acuity was low.

A floor nurse who declines to float to other units can either take time off without pay or use benefit time. Giving nurses choices and greater autonomy helped Aultman earn Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Good noticed that only a few floor nurses were being floated each day because units were taking advantage of the specialty float pools, composed of 40 to 50 nurses.

The rates of floor nurses required to float had decreased significantly. As a result of these changes, Aultman reduced its turnover rate from 8. The hospital is in the process of reapplying for Magnet designation, says Good.


The new policy was aimed at easing ill will on both sides of the float divide: Yet, no structure had been put in place to ensure float nurses received adequate training. Now each level is compensated differently, replacing the across-the-board pay differential float nurses received before.

Edgecomb says the new float policy creates greater incentives for nurses to develop their skills, and that nurses who float now are most likely functioning at a Level Three or Four.

Floating is no longer looked upon with dread, but as an opportunity to earn more and develop competencies in specialized units. And the recruitment and retention council has sought to mentor nurses who are proactively seeking floating assignments that expand their skill set.

Floating as New Nurse Orientation Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, has developed a new program that aims to introduce new nursing graduates to their professions through floating.

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The program aims to solve two problems: Nurses in the new graduate float program receive a week orientation and participate in a month nursing residency program, where they receive training with content specialists and have a chance to interact with their peers.

Brown says the program will enable the hospital to rebuild its float pool with clinically competent nurses. By moving away from hiring to a specific vacancy and capturing strong candidates early in their careers, the hospital can fill vacancies as they occur.

It also gave new graduates a chance to learn about the health system and specialties they may want to explore in the future.We hear lots of bad interview stories here — like the interviewer who asked to look inside a candidate’s purse or the interviewer who got offended when asked when the job was open — as well as stories about awful candidate moves, like the guy who sent his interviewer a framed photo of himself (and cake!) and the guy who thought being intentionally late was a good interview strategy.

Abstract: Floating is a staffing strategy that is seen as a solution to the general problem of nursing shortage. Floating involves utilizing nurses to work in different specialized units. These nurses develop and establish uniform standards pertaining to patient’s quality of care, and work with staff to ensure these guidelines are met.

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are Advanced Practice nurses who hold a master’s or doctoral degree in a specialized area of nursing practice.

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