Meet a Resource Nurse

Rebecca Munday
Updated March 13, 2023
    Resource nurses are extra pairs of hands on their units. Discover why this resource nurse finds being that extra pair of hands a rewarding part of her role.
    Featured ImageCredit: Image Courtesy of Mandie Greene

    Resource nurses lessen nurse burnout because they offer staff nurses an extra pair of hands, advice on unfamiliar situations, and breaks from the overwhelm of direct care.

    Meet Mandie Greene, RN, a resource nurse at East Alabama Health. She shares what she does in her role, what she loves about her career as a resource nurse, and how her role as a resource nurse shows that her employer listens to its nurses.

    Q&A With Resource Nurse

    Mandie has been a nurse for 22 years. She began her nursing career at St. Vincent’s hospital in Birmingham, Alabama on a cardiac floor caring for patients with chest pain, congestive heart failure and myocardial infarctions.

    She later advanced to a cardio/thoracic step-down unit where she worked for two years providing care to post op coronary heart bypass and thoracotomy patients.

    After relocating her family back to the Opelika/Auburn area, Mandie has worked for the last 14 years at East Alabama Health on a medical/surgical and oncology floor where she cares for a wide range of postoperative patients and cancer patients. She loves what she does.

    In the last three years, her role on the 6th floor has changed to a unique position as a resource nurse. A role that was created to assist new graduates in transitioning to bedside nursing and serves as a resource or “helping hand” for staff nurses to allow them more one on one time with their more acute patients.

    She enjoys being able to pass on her experiences with future nurses and provide a supportive environment that helps both patients and nurses.

    Why did you choose a career in nursing?

    I chose a nursing career because I wanted to play a role in helping people at their most fragile moments.

    Can you tell us more about your duties as a resource nurse? What does the “helping hand for staff nurses” do?

    A resource nurse serves as facilitator. The goal is to have the floor function as efficiently as possible to benefit the patients. This role changes daily based on the needs of the floor.

    [intravenous lines (IVs)/]drawing lab work, and helping the patient get settled in quickly.

    A “helping hand for staff nurses” can be a moment of reprieve for an overwhelmed primary nurse. It can be a small break to redirect, it can be a hand that helps get that “hard stick” IV, or experienced advice on how to handle an unfamiliar situation.

    What factors contributed to your decision to transition into your role as a resource nurse? Please include 2-3 factors, if possible.

    This position allows me to be a part of a solution to the age-old problem of “not enough hands” on the floor.

    Also, I’ve been lucky enough in my lifetime to have had experienced nurses help me. This position allows me to pay that forward.

    What are the challenges of this role?

    The challenge of this role is that you can’t prepare for the day. You really don’t know what role you will be playing from one day to the next. It’s all about prioritizing the needs of the floor each day.

    And the rewards?

    The reward of this role is feeling like you are making a difference in someone’s day. Whether it be a nurse who is thankful for the assistance or a patient who appreciates that extra care.

    You said in your statement that East Alabama Health put on Facebook that “I like that they truly value their employees.” How does East Alabama Health support you in your current role?

    My current role is an example of how East Alabama Health supports its employees. They listened to the feedback from their staff and implemented a position that has had a positive effect on the floor.

    What advice would you give nursing students and new nurses concerned about starting a bedside nursing role during the nursing shortage?

    Be confident in your skills and your knowledge, but never be too afraid to ask questions or ask for help.

    What Does a Resource Nurse Do?

    The title resource nurse can be used for a few different positions in nursing: nurse educators, charge nurses, and clinical nurse specialists. A resource nurse can also be an experienced nurse on the floor, who serves as an extra pair of hands for the other nurses.

    These “extra pairs of hands” do not have typical days because they fill in where their team needs them. They collect labs, admit patients, start IVs, and advise nurses on how to deal with situations the nurses may not usually deal with or may have never dealt with before.

    “This position allows me to be a part of a solution to the age-old problem of ‘not enough hands’ on the floor.”

    — Mandie Greene, RN

    Resource nurses’ duties may vary based on which roles your employer expects their resource nurses to fill. Some of their responsibilities may include:

    • Advise nurses on their floor
    • Help admit patients by collecting lab work and starting IVs
    • Discharge patients and educate them
    • Assist nurses with finding difficult veins
    • Fill in on the floor so nurses can take breaks
    • Serve as a role model for staff nurses
    • Communicate effectively
    • Help move patients

    How to Become a Resource Nurse

    You can become a resource nurse after gaining nursing experience, such as in acute care nursing. You’ll need at least 2-3 years of experience. Employers look for resource nurses with up to five years of nursing experience to better advise and help their staff nurses. Some employers will require you to have experience with a specific unit.

    To get this nursing experience, you’ll need at least an associate degree in nursing (ADN), an active unrestricted registered nurse (RN) license, basic life support certification (BLS), and advanced life support certification (ACLS). You will need to keep your RN license, BLS, and ACLS certifications active after you become a resource nurse because you will provide direct patient care.

    Although not required, employers may prefer a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree or a master of science in nursing (MSN). They may also require additional certifications such as critical care for working in the intensive care unit.

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      You’ll need at least an ADN, but some employers may prefer a BSN or an MSN.

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      You’ll need at least 2-5 years of experience in acute care settings. The more experience you have, the better you will be able to advise and assist nurses on your floor.

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      Licensure (National Council Licensure Examination)

      You need an active RN license to be a resource nurse and help provide direct patient care.

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      Resource nurses need BLS and ACLS certifications from the American Heart Association. You may need additional certifications depending on the unit where you work.

    How Much Do Resource Nurses Make?

    The average salary for a resource nurse is $82,720 per year, according to ZipRecruiter data from March 2023. Resource nurses make an average of $40 per hour. Most resource nurses make between $65,500, the 25th percentile, and $93,000, the 75th percentile.

    Resource nurses’ salaries vary as much as $50 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter data. This wide salary range suggests opportunities for increased pay based on education, years of experience, and location.

    You can make more as a resource nurse if you have a BSN or an MSN. You may earn more if you have more years of experience in acute care nursing or if you have previous experience as a resource nurse. More than half of all the top-paying cities for resource nurses are in California, as per ZipRecruiter data in March 2023. Other states that pay resource nurses more than the national average include:

    • Washington
    • Wyoming
    • Virginia