Nursing & Health Sciences Research Journal


Introduction: Mandatory floating is a strategy used to address changes in nurse staffing caused by unforeseeable staff call outs, increase in patient acuity, or census. However, it has an impact on nurses' satisfaction and retention. Therefore, it is important to understand how nurses feel when mandated to float and the effects floating could have on nursing practice.

Methods: Husserl's transcendental phenomenological design guided the study. 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: chaotic workflow process, unfair patient care assignment, unfamiliar work environment, psychological components, sociological factors, and physiological needs.

Discussion: The current study showed that nurses are reluctant to float but will do so comfortably if there were some measures in place to ease the process. Health care leaders may play an essential role in alleviating nurses' feelings of stress and anxiety about floating by creating friendly work environments for floating nurses.

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