Nurse Types / Float Pool Nurse
A float pool nurse serves as a flexible resource of nurses who are ready to adapt to versatile roles in a healthcare system. This resourceful pool is often created to fill in short-staffed units and relieve other nurses during their meals and other mandatory breaks.
In this blog post, you will learn:
- Why is a float pool required?
- What are the pros and cons?
- What is the hourly wage?
- What are the responsibilities?
- How do you become a float nurse?
- How do you find a float nurse job?
Why is a float pool required?
A hospital or clinic hires float pool nurses on a full-time, part-time, hourly, or per diem basis. This is to maintain a continuation of care for the patients. These nurses help healthcare systems deal with staffing shortages in various critical as well as non-critical units such as emergency rooms, maternity wards, and pediatric units. Generally, float nurses are more experienced with at least 2-4 years under their belts.
What are the pros and cons?
Float nursing jobs can have a challenging routine. They are the most vulnerable employees during the downsizing of a healthcare system.
Don’t worry, challenging responsibilities often come with greater rewards.
|Flexible working hours||Unpredictable schedule|
|Higher hourly wage and compensation||Possible dissatisfaction leads to turnover|
|Better employment opportunities||Job insecurity due to temporary assignments|
|Learn new specialties and get versatile nursing experience||Less specialized expertise|
|New people and different daily routine||Limited relationship with colleagues and patients|
What is the average hourly wage?
Most healthcare facilities offer a relatively higher hourly wage to their pool nurses. They often get compensation for the uncertainty of their shift hours, working night shifts, weekends, and overtime.
On average, hospitals pay an annual wage between $75,887 and $96,465, according to Salary.com. However, the average salary of break relief nurses varies significantly from state to state across America.
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What are the responsibilities?
Given the flexible nature of these jobs, nurses must possess multiple specialties. They have to be able to work in various units of a hospital and deal with a variety of patients every day.
Relief nurses assume the responsibility of patient care temporarily when those on-duty are on their meal or rest breaks. They might have to deal with the patients for a full shift in the absence of a regular staff nurse.
Pool nurses collaborate with on-duty nursing staff when the patient population of a unit surpasses its maximum capacity per RN on staff. They can also work with the patients in the outpatient setting of a hospital.
How do you become a float pool nurse?
The basic requirements to become a float pool nurse are similar to that of any other RN. You need to earn a nursing degree, pass the NCLEX exam, and get RN licensure in the state you want to practice.
Many healthcare facilities prefer nurses with certain experience and specific certifications for their float pools because these nurses will be working in multiple units.
Some of the most common certifications required to become a pool nurse are basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and pediatric advanced life support (PALS). Hands-on experience in common nursing specialties such as medical, surgical, pediatric, post-anesthesia, and intensive care might come in handy to get a float pool nurse job.
Where do you find float pool nursing jobs?
Most hospitals hire float nurses on a permanent basis. This can give you a great opportunity to try out new specialties on a regular basis. You might find yourself in newer workspaces when you choose the float pool nursing career.
It’s important to keep your RN resume updated considering the dynamic nature of break relief nursing jobs. Incredible Health has compiled a guide with a host of resources to help you find a job. Registering with a trustworthy nurse staffing agency is a good way to find a workable float nursing pool in your area.
Top float pool jobs on Incredible Health
Tampa, FL | $49,900 to $80,000 /year
Wynnewood, PA | $65,000 to $95,000 /year
Troy, MI | $57,000 to $100,000 /year
Leonardtown, MD | $69,000 to $109,000 /year
Lone Tree, CO | $46,000 to $72,000 /year
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- “Benefits of Being a Float Nurse.” magoosh.com. Accessed March 1, 2022.
- “Float Pool Nurse Salary in the United States.” salary.com. Accessed April 26, 2022.
- “NCLEX and Other Exams.” ncsbn.org. Accessed March 1, 2022.
- “What are the Effects of Floating to Nurses and Patient Care.” rn-journal.com. Access March 10, 2022.