Purpose: The aim and purpose of this project was to evaluate the implementation of a pathway to introduce new graduate nurses to float pool nursing. This included plans for orientation, nursing skills, development of a strong foundation, and positive exposure to the floating experience to determine if nurse resident satisfaction with the floating experience can be increased, in comparison to a traditional medical-surgical nurse resident. Potential benefits included nurse retention, established training pathway for nurse residents to begin their career in a variety of units, building a fluid team of competent nurse residents that can provide general care in an acute care setting, opportunities to practice skills and procedures more than once, and development of confidence in nursing practice.
Currently, there is not enough evidence to support or determine the best practice recommendations to establish and introduce graduate nurses (GN) into the float pool. The goal of this implementation was to increase nurse retention rates within the organization, improve GN satisfaction and flexibility with the floating experience, and increase available staffing resources.
Description: Two groups of nurse residents were enrolled in a 16-week guided orientation plan (intervention). Group 1 included three graduate residents and group 2 included two graduate nurses. Both groups completed a guided orientation for a total of 16 weeks. Inclusion criteria included new graduate nurses that were hired into the nurse residency program and were matched with the float pool.
A pathway to introduce five nurse residents into float pool nursing during October 2020 of the nurse residency program was established and hard wired. This pathway included a guided orientation plan with educator and leadership support, development of a strong foundation, proficiency in nursing skills, and positive exposure to the floating experience. Each group had an anchor unit where they oriented for a period of six weeks. Upon completion of the six weeks, they rotated through four different specialty every two weeks. The final two weeks of orientation were with a float pool nurse.
Evaluation/outcome: Questions related to nurse satisfaction and commitment were asked. In comparison to the traditional medical-surgical nurse resident, the float pool nurse resident scored 3.53 while the medical-surgical nurse resident score 3.49 for the initial assessment. For the 6-month assessment, the medical-surgical nurse resident scored 3.13 while the float pool nurse resident scored 3.32. Although both groups decreased, the float pool nurse resident maintained a higher satisfaction over their medical-surgical counterpart. In relation to having opportunities to practice skills and procedures on time (organizing priority), the traditional medical-surgical nurse resident scored a 2.80 while the float pool nurse resident scored 2.88.
Analysis of the initial and 6-month survey is promising for the program and plans to expand for another year are in place. Additional data for the 1-year mark will return around November 2021. At that point, further evaluation and appraisal will be required to assess the overall retention, satisfaction, and comfortability of the float pool nurse resident in the floating environment.