Introduction: Mandatory floating nurses is a strategy used to address changes in staffing caused by unforeseeable staff call outs or low patients census. Floating has an impact on nurses’ satisfaction and retention. Therefore, it was important to understand nurses’ feelings when mandated to float and the effect floating could have on nursing practice.Husserl’s transcendental phenomenological design guided the study. Karasek’s Job Demand Control (1979) assisted in gaining a richer understanding of the phenomenon. The purposive sample consisted of 11 male and female RNs working full time in a southern city of the United States. After Institutional Review Board approval data collection was done through individual, semi-structured interviews. Giorgi’s six steps served as a basis for data analysis.

Results: Nurses believed that changes needed to be made to the floating process to ensure safe continuity of patient care. Six themes emerged: workflow process, patient-care assignment, work environment, psychological components, sociological factors, and physiological needs.

Discussion:Nurses do not like to float but will do so for patients’ safety, and to remain in institutions, which meet their beliefs of excellence in the delivery of patients care.

Conclusion:Nurses will float comfortably if there were some measures in place to ease the process. Health care leaders may play animportant role in alleviating nurses’ feelings of stress and anxiety about floating and the ensuing effects on patients care by standardizing the process and creating friendly working environment for floating nurses.

Publication Date


Presented At:

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Indianapolis 3/18/2017

Content Type

Conference Lecture

Open Access

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Nursing Commons