Career advice

Nursing in an unfamiliar setting: how do floating shifts work?

With nurse staffing pressures making redeployment more common, find out how to cope if your shift setting changes and ensure you always work within your competency

With nurse staffing pressures making redeployment more common, find out how to cope if your shift setting changes and ensure you always work within your competency

Being moved to a different ward or clinical area, often at the last minute, is sometimes referred to as working a ‘floating shift’.

Nurses may arrive at work and be told they are being reassigned to another area. It seems to be particularly common in hospitals, but can also occur in other settings.

How do ‘floating shifts’ work in practice?

This redeployment may mean covering wards or clinics or providing support in other areas, for example general practice nurses being required to work in different practice settings, or even NHS staff covering independent

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