looking for examples of self scheduling guidelines

  1. We used to do self scheduling on the med/surg unit here at my hospital. Our most recent manager has me doing the scheduling completely. The nurses would like to go back to self scheduling, but I am looking for some examples of guidelines that have worked in other places. We didn't have much in the way fo guidelines before. The nurses basically wrote what they wanted to work, sometimes leaving days without appropriate coverage. Any help is appreciated! thanks.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Our guidelines are you self-schedule, but make sure you work every other weekend. The understanding is the manager moves you around to fill holes if people don't sign up for days equally. We actually have a lot of people that don't bother with the self-scheduling they let the manager fill them in, so I've been lucky in six months I've always gotten what I wanted. So I'm happy with it.

    I think as long as people understand the self-scheduling is a guideline and they need to be flexible to cover holes, then it works.

    Another unit requires that on your weekend off you work the Friday before and the Monday after, so no long weekend, because Fridays and Mondays tend to be holes with self-schedulers.

    Another unit allows for four requested days off a schedule. For instance I like Mondays off for bowling and those would be my four requests. Other people go to school, or need certain days off for kids, etc. This way when if you have to move people around, you know not to move people on those days because they specifically need those off for personal reasons.

    Good luck.
  4. by   flashpoint
    We require two weekends per schedule (4 week schedule), one RN per area (M/S, OB, ER, ICU), 3 LPNs, and 1 CNA per shift. Everyone fills in what they want and then a committee of 2 RNs and 2 LPNs goes through a posts a lists of places where there are holes or too many nurses per shift and the scedule is reposted so people can make changes. If no one makes changes, the committee makes them...usually they try to move different people around each time. We allow four "unexplained" requests per schedule...if someone needs more than four requested days off, it is allowed if they have a good explanation (school, appointments, etc).
  5. by   ButterflyRN04
    On my floor we have self-scheduling as well. Day shift is required to work every other weekend. Night Shift is required to work four week-end nights a month. Friday night is considered a week-end night. This works out for alot of the nurses who have families because they can work every sunday night or friday night, etc. and it fulfills their requirements. The days we need off we indicate with an X-R and I dont usually see more than 2 or 3 X-R's on the schedule.
    Last edit by ButterflyRN04 on Apr 12, '05
  6. by   palesarah
    night shift on my unit self-schedules and we love it- we do every other weekend, and need to sign up for 3 Fridays per schedule (out of 6 weeks) but can choose to work our Fridays as part of our weekend or not, whatever works out best. ANd we're staffed well enough now that everyone can usually get 1-2 extra weekend nights off per schedule (we keep track of that to keep it fair too).
    Two night shift nurses are in charge of the self-scheduling and work with the "time keepers" who do the day shift schedule and approve time off, etc. We fill in our preferred shifts on a blank calendar, hand it in to the night shift scheduling goddesses, who create a master schedule. We have a meeting where we go over holes and redistribute where needed- looking not just at the nimber of nurses scheduled each night but also the skill mix. Attendance is not mandatory but most of us try to go, and if we don't go we know we run the risk of getting plugged in whereever- but we're pretty considerate of each other, and try not to give anyone an unreasonable schedule.
    This works for us, but we have a fairly small staff, I think we have 15-18 or so permananent RNs on nights.
  7. by   pricklypear
    Our requirements officially are 5 weekend nights a month - weekend nights include F,S,Su,M. We have a limit of 8 RNs M-F and 7 F,S,Su. We have a lot of people who only work weekends right now, so the rules really don't apply. We sign up in groups (i.e. group 1 has from 5/1 - 5/3 to sign up, etc...) which rotates every month so everybody gets a chance to sign up 1st. Once we fill in the 1st draft, our manager prints it up and hangs in in the lounge. We usually even things out then. Our manager NEVER messes with our schedule, if we end up with only 5 people on some night, it's our problem. If we sign up heavy on a day, someone will probably float. After the 2nd draft has been up for a week or so, it gets put in the computer.
  8. by   PJMommy
    First, you need to know how many weekend shifts you'll require and how many nurses you need for core staffing on a shift.

    We sign up in 4 week increments. Then a draft comes out with our schedules and how many nurses are on each shift. With this draft, we'll get a list of shifts where someone needs to move off of or onto the shift because we are either long or short on staffing. This might be "move 4 off of Sat 13th night shift" and/or "move 2 on to Fri 12th night shift". Those who do NOT voluntarily move their schedule around to help balance will be the first ones forced to move on the final schedule in order to fill the gaps -- therefore, we try to move to help balance so we at least have control over the change. Final draft is then final -- no change or moves unless trading a shift with someone.
  9. by   2monkeys
    thank yo all for your help! you are giving me a lot of good ideas. We have to have a really solid plan and make sure the guidelines are followed if we wnat our manager to agree.
  10. by   heart queen
    our schedule comes out in 4 week blocks.

    requirements;
    every other weekend, your weekend doesn't change unless you make a switch for that schedule

    out of the four mondays and four fridays you must work four of either. This guarentees that you can get a three day weekend off. so you can either box your weekend with on friday, off sat, sun. on monday or work a three in a row, fri, sat sun.. . or sat, sun mon. then mondays and fridays are never short like regular scheduling.

    when switches need to be made due to 7's on one day and two's on another, it starts with the least senior.. who is switched on only one occurrence, then the next least senior for one and on up it moves.


    In addition every staff member has a scheduling preference form filled out for reference... so you know "bill" prefers never to be switched to a wedn. or sue can't work 3 in a row which really helps with staff satisfaction if they can't get their first choices.

    The four person scheduling committee two on days, two on nights was chosen by staff, who voted for the people they felt would be most fair.

    The manager will settle disputes, in private with the committee and only reviews the holiday schedule prior to posting... as it's always a hot topic!

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