November 7, 2023

Float Pool Nursing: Empowering Care and Careers

A float pool nurse in blue scrubs sits and speaks with a patient during her shift.

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the role of float pool nursing has gained immense significance. Float pool nurses provide flexible staffing to healthcare facilities, ensuring consistent and high quality patient care.

In this article, we will delve into the realm of float pool nursing. We'll uncover how it operates, the advantages it brings to healthcare facilities and professionals, and crucial insights for nurses contemplating a career in this field.

What is a float pool nurse?

A float pool nurse, also referred to as a nursing float pool professional, is a skilled and adaptable registered nurse or licensed practical nurse who works in multiple units and departments across healthcare facilities. Float pool nurses possess the ability to adapt quickly to different clinical environments, handle diverse patient populations, and provide comprehensive care. They play an important role in healthcare, filling in when there are staffing shortages, leaves, or fluctuating demand.

Benefits of float pool nursing

For healthcare professionals:

  • Professional Growth and Experience: Float pool nurses gain experience in multiple specialties, enhancing their clinical competence and expanding career options.
  • Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: Float pool nursing offers personalized schedules, allowing healthcare professionals the ability to achieve a better work-life balance.
  • Growth and Variety: Nurses working in different units learn from different patients, treatments, and healthcare settings, which helps them grow professionally.
  • Higher Earning Potential: Float pool nurses can earn higher salaries compared to part-time or full-time nurses. This is due to their flexible schedules and the high demand for their specialized skills.

For healthcare facilities:

  • Enhanced Flexibility: Internal float pools play an important part in flexible workforce management, helping healthcare systems quickly adapt to changes in patient numbers, seasonal demand, and unexpected staffing issues.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Utilizing internal float pools reduces costs associated with external staffing agencies and expensive contracts for travel nurses. This approach saves on recruitment expenses while maintaining excellent patient care.
  • Consistent Patient Care: Float pool nurses, with diverse skills, quickly adapt to provide consistent care across facilities, even when staffing changes.

How does float pool nursing work?

Recruitment and orientation:

Healthcare facilities recruit experienced and competent nurses for their internal float pool. The selection process includes evaluating candidates' clinical skills, experience in different specialties, and ensuring professionals meet certification requirements. The facility provides a comprehensive orientation for float pool nurses. This orientation includes information about the facility's rules, procedures, and unit-specific tasks.

Scheduling and assignments:

Prior to float pool nursing, healthcare facilities had to weigh the pros and cons of over or understaffing. Now, they can schedule float pool nurses based on projected staffing needs and utilize these professionals on demand.

Facilities assign these professionals to different units or departments, depending on demand and their skill sets. Float pool nurses can adjust their flexible schedules to meet changing needs. They have the freedom to accept or decline assignments based on availability, preferences, and skills.

Collaboration and adaptation:

When assigned to a new unit, float pool nurses work collaboratively with the unit's nursing staff, healthcare team, and unit managers. Effective communication, knowledge exchange, and teamwork facilitate a seamless transition and ensures consistent care.

Evaluation and feedback:

Regular performance evaluations and feedback mechanisms are essential in float pool nursing. Unit managers and staff nurses provide feedback to assess the nurses' performance, identify areas for improvement, and recognize their strengths. This ongoing evaluation process supports professional growth, maintains quality standards, and fosters open communication channels within the healthcare facility.

The future of float pool nursing

Float pool nursing continues to evolve and play an integral role in the healthcare industry. As healthcare organizations recognize the value of flexible staffing models, internal float pools are becoming more prevalent.

In promoting the future of float pool nursing, advanced technology platforms like CareRev directly connect healthcare facilities with local clinical talent. With CareRev's platform, nurses can now discover and secure open shifts at multiple facilities in their area, instead of being limited to partnering with just one facility as a float pool nurse. This empowers professionals to choose when and where they work, while simultaneously helping facilities meet fluctuating patient demands without overspending.

Is float pool nursing right for you?

Float pool nursing offers a dynamic and rewarding career path for healthcare professionals seeking flexibility, growth, and varied experiences. These nursing jobs support healthcare teams, help facilities run smoothly, and improve patient outcomes by providing flexible on-demand care.

Looking for more freedom and flexibility in your nursing career?

Learn how CareRev works