Schedules can be a source of frustration for nursing staff as well as nurse managers. To help ease the burdens associated with nurse scheduling, some healthcare facilities have implemented self-scheduling. This means nurses can select the shifts that match their qualifications and are in accordance with the facility's guidelines. A manager then approves the schedule and ensures the shifts are accurately covered. Here are four ways self-scheduling benefits nursing staff, nurse managers, and the overall healthcare system.
1. Staff Retention & Recruitment
Self-scheduling allows nurses to work the hours and shifts that best meet their personal needs and preferences. More control over work schedules gives them more control of their lives outside the workplace. Employees who experience the benefits of choosing their own schedule are less likely to take a position with an organization at which they would lose that flexibility and control. Self-scheduling may also help attract new nurses who are looking for a flexible and autonomous work environment.
2. Lower Absenteeism
Nurses who contribute to the development of the schedule are more likely to adhere to it. When they've chosen the shifts they're scheduled for, they feel committed to working those hours - not obligated to do so. Additionally, when employees can manage swap and cover requests, last-minute open shifts due to unexpected call outs are easier to fill.
3. Better Time Management for Managers
Nurse scheduling can be a time-consuming process for managers who are tasked with creating and managing the schedule on their own. They must keep track of requests and try to meet each staff members' needs while also ensuring all shifts are properly covered. With self-scheduling, managers share the responsibility with the nursing staff, so they spend less time on scheduling and have more time to focus on day-to-day operations.
4. Reduced Costs
Because self-scheduling helps lower nurse turnover and absenteeism, it lowers the costs associate with them, including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and training. Nurse managers who spend less time on scheduling have more time to manage their units and ensure things are running productively and employees are using resources as efficiently as possible. Additionally, some self-scheduling systems alert managers when a nurse is approaching their hour threshold, so managers can control overtime costs.
Self-scheduling provides important benefits for healthcare facilities. Read how Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital streamlined their self-scheduling process while providing anytime, anywhere schedule access with ScheduleAnywhere employee scheduling software.