Float Pool Nurse: Meaning, Salary & Job Description

The healthcare sector is continuously increasing, and there is a need for more skilled healthcare personnel. Float pool nurses are highly qualified professionals who have been increasingly in demand due to their versatility and ability to work in different areas within the health care system. 

Please read this post to learn more about float pool nurses and the benefits they bring to the healthcare sector.

What is a Float Pool Nurse?

Float pool nurses are healthcare professionals who provide temporary staffing solutions. Hospitals and other medical facilities typically employ them to fill in when other nurse staff may be on vacation, sick leave, or maternity/paternity leave.

Float pool nurses can also provide extra support during surges in patient volumes or for special projects that require additional nursing personnel.

What is the Difference between Float and Regular Nurse?

Regular Nurse 

A regular nurse is a full-time or part-time employee who works in a specific hospital unit. They typically have their assignments, hours, and patients that they see daily.

Float Nurse

A float nurse is an independent contractor who “floats” from one unit to another in the hospital. They may have assignments from multiple departments, and their hours and patient loads can vary significantly. Float nurses often support various departments when extra help is needed – such as on holidays, weekends, or during an unexpected influx of patients.

What is a Float Pool Nurse Unit?

Float pool nurses often work in specialized units that provide temporary staffing solutions. These units typically have a pool of well-trained and experienced nurses who can be deployed anytime. Nurses in these units must also be ready for any situation they may encounter while on assignment, as the needs of each shift and patient load can vary dramatically.

What does a Float Pool Nurse Do?

Float pool nurses work in various areas and provide essential patient care. They are responsible for carrying out duties such as administering medication, assessing patient needs, providing education and counseling, educating families on health matters, performing diagnostic tests and treatments, assisting with procedures such as IVs, collecting samples for laboratory testing, reporting changes in patient’s condition to the medical team, and documenting patient care.

Float pool nurses also perform other duties such as monitoring vital signs, providing emotional support to families and patients, maintaining medical records, participating in quality improvement initiatives within the health care facility, and providing direct patient-care services.

In addition to their clinical duties, float pool nurses are responsible for educating patients and families about preventive healthcare measures and safety practices. They may need to provide referrals to other medical professionals and coordinate discharge plans for patients ready to go home.

What Kind of Patients are Treated by Pool Nurse Unit?

Float pool nurses typically care for various patient populations, including those with acute and chronic health issues, pediatric patients, geriatric patients, obstetric and gynecological patients, mentally ill or emotionally disturbed individuals, and rehabilitation and long-term care patients. They may also help coordinate home healthcare services for those unable to travel to the hospital for care.

Pros & Cons of Being a Float Nurse


  • The ability to learn and gain experience in multiple specialty areas.
  • Flexible scheduling, allowing you to work as much or as little as you’d like.
  • Opportunity to travel and help out in a variety of settings.
  • Excellent compensation and benefits packages.


  • High-stress levels due to the variety of job duties and responsibilities.
  • Limited opportunities for advancement in certain facilities.
  • Increased risk of burnout due to working with various patients and often long shifts.
  • Working with multiple supervisors can be difficult.

Float pool nurses provide invaluable service to the healthcare industry and their patients.

How to Become a Float Nurse?

Educational Qualification

Most float pool nurses have a minimum of an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Some employers may also require certification as a Registered Nurse and other experience or advanced credentials such as critical care, neonatal intensive care, operating room nursing, and emergency department nursing.


To become a float pool nurse, you must be licensed by the state where you plan to practice. Licensure requirements vary from one state to another state but generally include the following:

  • Completing an approved nursing program.
  • Passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • Obtaining a valid RN license.

Experience & Training

Before being hired into a float pool position, most employers will require at least 1-2 years of experience in various nursing specialty areas. Some employers may also require additional specialized training or certification to qualify for the position.

Essential Skills

  • They must be familiar with various medical treatments, techniques, equipment, and devices to provide patients the best care.
  • Knowledge of patient care protocols, medical terminology, charting techniques, and infection control practices is essential.
  • Float pool nurses must possess excellent organizational and communication skills and the capability to work independently and manage multiple patients simultaneously. 
  • They must also think critically and quickly adapt to new situations.

What is the Salary of a Float Pool Nurse?

Salary for float pool nurses varies depending on experience, specialty area, employer, and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median yearly salary for all RNs was $77,600 on May 2021. Float pool nurses generally earn higher wages than other types of RNs due to their increased responsibilities and the need to work in multiple specialties. 

Additionally, float pool nurses may receive additional pay for overtime or travel expenses. With experience and further training, they can also expect salaries to increase. Float pool nursing provides an excellent opportunity to earn valuable experience while earning a competitive salary.

How do You Find a Float Nurse Job?

You can find float nurse jobs by searching online job boards, contacting your local hospitals or healthcare facilities for open positions, or attending job fairs. Additionally, many staffing agencies specialize in connecting qualified nurses with potential employers. Networking within the medical community is also a great way to learn about opportunities and make valuable connections.

Once you have identified a potential position, submit your resume and any other required documents as soon as possible to enhance your chances of success. You can find a rewarding career as a float pool nurse with the right qualifications and dedication.


What is the job outlook for pool nurses?

The job outlook for float pool nurses is very positive. The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, and there is expected to be a continued demand for qualified professionals. As such, those interested in pursuing a career as a float pool nurse should be able to find employment opportunities easily.

What kind of benefits can I expect with a float pool nursing position?

In addition to competitive wages and the potential for overtime pay, most employers offer excellent benefits packages such as health insurance, vacation/sick days, tuition assistance, and 401(k) plans. Float pool nurses may also be able to advance their careers with additional education or certifications. Many employers also offer flexible working hours, allowing nurses to balance their work and personal lives better.

Do I need to be certified as a float pool nurse?

In most states, certification is not required for a float pool nursing position. However, some employers may prefer applicants with additional certifications or specialized training. You can find more information about certification requirements in your state by contacting the appropriate regulatory board.

Final Words

In conclusion, a float pool nurse is an integral part of the healthcare team and can help relieve some of the stress of providing quality patient care. They provide flexible staffing options for facilities that need additional nursing staff as needed. 

Float pool nurses must have strong clinical skills, excellent communication abilities, and be comfortable working in various medical settings. They are an invaluable asset to any healthcare facility and can help ensure patients receive the highest level of care.



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