Discuss the benefits and disadvantages of a facility using supplemental and floating staff. Compare and contrast how a staffing plan would differ with different nursing units. H


  • Discuss the benefits and disadvantages of a facility using supplemental and floating staff.
  • Compare and contrast how a staffing plan would differ with different nursing units. How does that affect the staffing budget?

Submission Instructions:

  • Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources. Your initial post is worth 8 points.
  • You should respond to at least two of your peers by extending, refuting/correcting, or adding additional nuance to their posts. Your reply posts are worth 2 points (1 point per response.) 
  • All replies must be constructive and use literature where possible.

You should respond to at least two of your peers by extending, refuting/correcting, or adding additional nuance to their posts. 

All replies must be constructive and use literature where possible. Minimum 150 words.


Staffing Plan & Staffing Budget


Supplemental and floating staff

       Members of supplemental staff are approved nurses and other supplemental staff who are capable of fitting into health care circumstances temporarily or on a long-term fundament. It is also important to note that they are held to the same strict approving requirements as other nursing practitioners and they are available when needed. They include seasonal nurses, float pool nurses, travel nurses, PRN nurses and other temporary staff.

Benefits of supplemental and floating staff

      The first benefit of supplemental staffing is that there is a lot of flexibility. Flexibility is one of the main reasons why nurses take these positions. This greatly helps the hospitals to achieve higher results due to motivation given to nurses. Many nurses having a constantly changing environment is exciting and stimulating. Usually, the pay for per diem/PRN positions is much higher as well since they don’t offer benefits. This motivates them hence helping hospitals achieve higher results. The second benefit is that nurses can try discrete working atmospheres. This is another benefit that is of great help to hospitals. This is because of nurses who aren’t sure of what kinds of surroundings they want to work in may find temporary staffing circumstances being very helpful in exploring their possibilities (Griffiths, 2021).  One week the nurse may work in a small and less busy hospital, the next week that same nurse may work in a big and busy hospital. This helps the nurse to explore his or her options.

       The third benefit is that nurses can try-out several geographic areas. When nurses move to different geographic areas, they may not be aware of the gains that discrete neighborhoods or towns could offer. Another benefit is that supplemental and floating staffing makes a perfect temporary employment alternative.

Disadvantages of supplemental and floating staff

       The following are disadvantages of supplemental and floating staff. The first one is that one may need to train in several units. This is one of the main disadvantages of being a float pool nurse. This is because it requires one to train in several specialty units. Float pool nurse is not necessarily required to have advanced knowledge about every unit, but he or she must be familiar with the unit. The second disadvantage is that the nurse will not have any control over his or her assignments. A float pool nurse will never have full control over his or her assignments. This is because they are needed temporarily and might be shifted to another place without completing their tasks effectively. Another disadvantage is that it is difficult to create patient relationships. Supplemental and floating staff finds it difficult to create patient relationships (Saville, 2019). Many positions such as per diem and PRN’s don’t offer benefits which can be a disadvantage to the nurse. Although they are making more money than a full time staff position, they may end up paying the difference for private health insurance.

How a staffing plan will differ with different nursing units and how it affects the budget

       Staffing hinge on the needs of a specific patient unit and can vary from unit to unit within the same healthcare organization. A good example is that staffing in a concerted care unit is higher than staffing in a general medical surgical department (Boehm, 2021). This is because a concerted care department involves critical needs of the patient. That is why the staffing will be higher. This will also affect the staffing budget. This means that intensive care units will need more budget than general medical surgical department.


Boehm, L. M., Lauderdale, J., Garrett, A. N., & Piras, S. E. (2021). A multisite study of multidisciplinary ICU team member beliefs toward early mobility. Heart & lung, 50(1), 214-219.

Griffiths, P., Saville, C., Ball, J. E., Jones, J., Monks, T., & Safer Nursing Care Tool study team. (2021). Beyond ratios-flexible and resilient nurse staffing options to deliver cost-effective hospital care and address staff shortages: A simulation and economic modelling study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 117, 103901.

Saville, C. E., Griffiths, P., Ball, J. E., & Monks, T. (2019). How many nurses do we need? A review and discussion of operational research techniques applied to nurse staffing. International journal of nursing studies, 97, 7-13.

Post #2

In healthcare facilities, there are two different kinds of staffing plans: supplemental and floating. Floating staff, on the other hand, refers to regular employees who are asked to work in various departments or units within the facility. Supplementary staff, on the other hand, refers to temporary employees who are brought in to fill staffing gaps.


Benefits of Supplemental and Floating Staff

The main advantage of using supplemental and floating staff is that it allows for flexibility in staffing. This is particularly important in healthcare facilities where patient demand can vary greatly from day to day (Aiken et al., 2007). Using supplemental staff can help ensure that there are enough staff members available to care for patients, even during times of high demand (Aiken et al., 2007). Floating staff can also help fill gaps in staffing, particularly when there are call-ins or when certain units are experiencing higher demand than others.


Another benefit of using supplemental and floating staff is that it can help reduce the workload for regular staff members (Gnanlet et al., 2021). When there are enough staff members available to care for patients, regular staff members are less likely to feel overworked or overwhelmed. This can lead to improved job satisfaction and a lower turnover rate among staff members.


Disadvantages of Supplemental and Floating Staff

One of the main disadvantages of using supplemental staff is that they may not be familiar with the facility’s policies, procedures, and culture. This can lead to communication issues and other problems that can affect patient care. Similarly, floating staff may not be familiar with the specific unit or department they are working in, which can lead to a decrease in the quality of care provided to patients.


Another disadvantage of using supplemental and floating staff is that it can be expensive. Supplemental staff often require a higher hourly rate than regular staff members, and there may be additional costs associated with training and orienting them to the facility (Aiken et al., 2007). Similarly, floating staff may require additional training to ensure that they are familiar with the policies, procedures, and equipment used in different units.


Comparison of Staffing Plans Across Different Nursing Units

The staffing plan for different nursing units will vary based on the specific needs of each unit. For example, a critical care unit will require more highly trained and experienced staff members than a general medical-surgical unit. Similarly, a pediatric unit will require staff members with specialized training in caring for children. The staffing plan for each unit will also depend on the patient population and the expected patient demand. For example, a unit that typically has a high patient census may require more staff members on each shift than a unit with a lower patient census. Units with a bigger patient population and more specialized care requirements will demand a larger staffing budget since they will need more highly skilled and seasoned employees. Similar to this, organizations with greater turnover rates can need a bigger expenditure for staff orientation and training.



Using supplemental and floating staff can provide flexibility in staffing and help reduce the workload for regular staff members. However, there are also potential disadvantages to using these types of staffing plans, including the cost and potential communication issues. The staffing plan for each nursing unit will vary based on the specific needs of the unit, including patient demand and the required level of expertise among staff members. This will also affect the staffing budget for each unit.


Aiken, L. H., Xue, Y., Clarke, S. P., & Sloane, D. M. (2007). Supplemental nurse staffing in hospitals and quality of care.  JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration37(7/8), 335–342. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.nna.0000285119.53066.ae

Gnanlet, A., Sharma, L., McDermott, C., & Yayla-Kullu, M. (2021). Impact of workforce flexibility on quality of care: Moderating effects of workload and severity of illness.  International Journal of Operations & Production Management41(12), 1785–1806. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijopm-04-2021-0247

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