17 Float Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a float nurse, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Float nurses are registered nurses who are hired by hospitals to work in a variety of different units, depending on the needs of the hospital at the time. This type of position is ideal for nurses who are looking for a change in scenery or for nurses who are newly graduated and are looking to gain experience in a variety of different units.

Since float nurses are in high demand, you may be asked to go to a job interview. One way to prepare for this important meeting is to learn how to answer float nurse interview questions before talking with an interviewer.

Employers look for float nurses who are trustworthy, reliable, well organized, and able to solve problems. You’ll also need physical strength and stamina, as well as knowledge of the best ways to care for patients in a variety of different units. A float nurse interview is your chance to show that you’ve polished these skills to a shine. To help you get ready, we’ve listed float nurse questions and answers that will help you figure out what you want to say during an interview.

Common Float Nurse Interview Questions

Are you comfortable working with a team of nurses?

Working as a float nurse requires you to work with many different nurses. Employers ask this question to make sure you are comfortable working in a team environment. In your answer, explain that you enjoy collaborating with other medical professionals. Explain how you feel it is beneficial for the patient’s care.

Example: “I have worked in several hospitals throughout my career. I find that each hospital has its own unique culture and way of doing things. I am always open to learning new ways of providing care. Working with a team of nurses allows me to learn from their experiences. It also helps me provide better care for patients because I can collaborate with other nurses on treatment plans.”

What are some of the most important skills for a float nurse to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills and how they relate to the position.

Example: “The most important skill for a float nurse is flexibility. Float nurses need to be able to adapt quickly to different situations and work with many different people. Another important skill is communication. I find that being able to communicate clearly and effectively with patients and other medical professionals helps me resolve issues before they become serious problems. Finally, I think critical thinking is an essential skill because it allows me to make quick decisions when needed.”

How would you handle a situation where you don’t know the standard procedures for the patients you are caring for?

This question is designed to assess your ability to learn new procedures and apply them quickly. It also tests your problem-solving skills, as you will need to find a way to solve the issue of not knowing how to care for patients without disrupting their treatment.

Example: “I would first ask my supervisor or other nurses on duty if they know the standard procedure for this patient. If no one knows, I would do some research online or in the hospital’s database to see what information I can find. If there are still no answers, I would speak with the patient about it and try to get more information from them that might help me figure out the best course of action.”

What is your process for maintaining your professional boundaries when you care for patients who are also your friends or family members?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to maintain professional boundaries and avoid conflicts of interest. In your answer, describe a specific situation in which you had to care for someone who was also a friend or family member and how you managed the conflict of interest.

Example: “In my last role as a float nurse, I cared for several patients who were friends and family members of other nurses on staff. To ensure that I maintained appropriate professional boundaries with these patients, I always made sure to introduce myself to their primary caregivers before providing any medical care. This helped me establish clear communication lines between all parties involved and ensured that everyone knew what to expect from me.”

Provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond to care for a patient.

Float nurses often have to care for multiple patients at once. Employers ask this question to make sure you are willing to go the extra mile for your patients. When answering, try to think of a time when you went above and beyond to help someone. Try not to mention anything that could be seen as unethical or unprofessional.

Example: “When I was working in the emergency room, there was one patient who came in with an allergic reaction. He had been out on a boat fishing and got stung by a jellyfish. His arm swelled up so much he couldn’t move it. We gave him some medicine to reduce the swelling, but his condition didn’t improve. So, I volunteered to stay with him overnight until he recovered.”

If a patient’s condition suddenly changed and you didn’t know how to respond, how would you handle it?

This question is a great way to assess how you would respond in an emergency situation. It also shows the interviewer that you are willing to ask for help when needed and can work well with others. In your answer, try to show that you have confidence in your abilities as a nurse and will do everything possible to ensure the patient’s safety.

Example: “If I didn’t know what to do, I would immediately call my supervisor or another senior member of the medical team. If they were unavailable, I would find someone who could provide me with guidance on how to proceed. I would then follow their instructions until my supervisor returned. This ensures that the patient receives the best care possible while ensuring everyone remains safe.”

What would you do if you noticed another nurse making a mistake while caring for a patient?

This question can help interviewers understand how you work with others and your ability to communicate. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you noticed a mistake and helped the nurse or other healthcare professional learn from their error.

Example: “When I was working as an ER nurse, I noticed one of my coworkers was administering the wrong dosage of medication to a patient. I immediately informed her that she had given the incorrect dose and asked if she would like me to administer the correct amount. She agreed, and we both learned from the experience. It’s important to speak up when you notice mistakes so everyone can learn and improve.”

How well do you communicate with patients who are elderly, deaf or have limited vision?

Float nurses often work with patients who have limited mobility or hearing. Employers ask this question to make sure you can communicate effectively with these types of patients. In your answer, explain how you use nonverbal cues and other methods to ensure the patient understands what you’re saying.

Example: “I find that many elderly patients are quite perceptive. I always speak clearly when talking to them so they can understand me. If a patient is deaf, I will write down everything I say in front of them. For patients who have limited vision, I’ll repeat myself if they don’t respond right away. I also try to avoid using jargon or medical terms that may confuse them.”

Do you have experience caring for patients with infectious diseases?

Float nurses often work with patients who are highly contagious. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working in these situations and can handle them safely. In your answer, share an example of a time when you cared for someone with an infectious disease. Explain how you handled the situation and what steps you took to ensure the safety of yourself and other patients.

Example: “In my last role as a float nurse, I worked with several patients who had highly contagious diseases. One patient was experiencing a severe case of chicken pox. I made sure to wear protective gear while caring for her so that I didn’t contract the illness myself. I also communicated with all of the other staff members about the precautions they needed to take when interacting with this patient.”

When is it appropriate to call a doctor for a patient?

Float nurses often work with a variety of doctors, so it’s important to know when you should call one for advice or help. Your answer can show the interviewer that you understand how to communicate effectively and respectfully with other medical professionals.

Example: “I would only call a doctor if I was unsure about what to do for a patient or if they needed immediate attention. If I’m not sure about something, I will ask my float supervisor or another nurse first before calling a doctor. I always want to make sure I am acting in the best interest of the patient.”

We want to improve our response time to emergencies. How would you approach a patient’s family if they were waiting for your help?

This question is a great way to assess your communication skills and ability to handle stressful situations. In your answer, you should demonstrate that you can remain calm under pressure while also empathizing with the family’s situation.

Example: “I would first apologize for the delay in care and explain what I was doing to help my patient. Then, I would ask if they had any questions or concerns about their loved one. If there were no other questions, I would tell them that I would update them as soon as I knew more information. This helps families feel like they are still involved in their loved one’s care even when they aren’t physically present.”

Describe your process for handling a high volume of patients to care for.

Float nurses often work in busy environments, so employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and experience needed to handle a high volume of patients. In your answer, explain how you plan your day to ensure you can care for all of your patients without sacrificing quality of care.

Example: “I always start my shift by reviewing each patient’s chart before I see them. This allows me to get an idea of what their needs are and prepare myself to provide the best possible care. When I first arrive at work, I also review the schedule for the day to determine which patients I will be seeing when. This helps me prioritize who I need to see first based on urgency.”

What makes you stand out from other float nurses?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your skills and abilities. They want to know what makes you unique from other candidates. When answering this question, think of a skill or quality that sets you apart from others. You can also mention any certifications you have.

Example: “I am certified in CPR and first aid. I believe these are important skills for float nurses to have. In my last role as a float nurse, I was able to use my certification to help save a patient’s life. The patient had stopped breathing, so I immediately began performing CPR until the paramedics arrived. If it weren’t for my training, I don’t think the patient would have survived.”

Which types of medical equipment are you familiar with using?

Float nurses often work with a variety of medical equipment, so the interviewer wants to make sure you have experience using the types they offer. Use your answer to highlight any specific skills or knowledge you have that would be beneficial for this role.

Example: “I am very comfortable working with all types of medical equipment, including but not limited to blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters and defibrillators. I also have extensive experience using telemetry devices, which allow me to monitor patients from a distance. This is especially helpful when I need to move between multiple patients quickly.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of being a float nurse?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what it takes to be a float nurse. When answering this question, make sure to emphasize the skills and qualities that are most important for being successful in this role.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of being a float nurse is having excellent communication skills. Float nurses often work with many different doctors and patients each day, so I feel it’s essential to have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Another important skill is flexibility. Float nurses need to be able to adapt quickly to changing situations, which means they must be open-minded and willing to try new things.”

How often do you think a float nurse should switch out their job duties?

This question can help interviewers understand how often you might switch out your job duties and responsibilities. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance while also ensuring that patients receive quality care from experienced nurses.

Example: “I think float nurses should switch their job duties every few days or so. This allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance while still providing excellent patient care. I personally like to switch my job duties at least once per week because I find that it helps me stay fresh and focused on my tasks.”

There is a high volume of patients in the emergency room and the on-call nurse can’t make it to the facility. What would you do?

The interviewer is looking for a specific answer that shows you can prioritize patients and make decisions in an emergency situation.

Example: “I would call the on-call nurse to let them know I couldn’t get there due to traffic, but I was still able to see my current patient. Then, I would assess all of my patients and determine which one needed immediate attention. If it was a life or death situation, I would treat the patient until the on-call nurse arrived. Otherwise, I would continue treating the patient until the on-call nurse could take over.”


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