looking for guidelines for self scheduling

  1. We are tyring to implement self- scheduling, and it would be very helpful if we could see some sample self-scheudling guidelines. Can anyone please send me some?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   SCRN1
    We have a blank schedule where everyone can mark which days they prefer to work. It has to be done by a certain date. Then the assistant nurse manager takes it and tries to accomodate the requests. Not everyone gets it exactly as they request, but she tries to do it the best she can, depending on needs for that shift.
  4. by   BrnEyedGirl
    Good luck w/this,...it took our unit forever to get this up and going,.I've been there for 7 years and it has always been an issue,..we always asked and were always told "we tried in the past and it doesn't work",..finally we got it,.(about 2yrs ago) here is what we had to do,..
    first off we all got together w/out our NM to be sure we all wanted this,.it won't work if only some of you want to do this,...we do our schedule 6 weeks at a time,..we all just repeat the same 6 week schedule,..if someone wants a day off it has to be vacation time or you have to find someone to trade w/you,.when someone quits the new person is "plugged into" the vacated spot,...
    we all had to agree to this ahead of time,..we do computer scheduling and when the schedule is "open" we plug in our pre-agreed upon shifts,..if someone has requested time off the NM asks for volunteers to fill it,..if there are no takers she assigns the shifts,..we have some really great team players on our unit and it's working well for us now,...BTW only our Rn's are doing this as the aides couldn't seem to agree and they have a higher turn over rate, some work 12's others 8's etc, we also take turns each year w/holidays so right now our schedule is a bit off.....
    Good luck,...hope this helps
  5. by   nurse8585
    Thanks-Do you have written guidelines, and what computer program do you use?
  6. by   AfloydRN
    Not to be a downer, but... in my experience it has not worked. Everyone signs up for the same days( Tues, Wed, Thurs) and had to be moved around. Even after having a discussion w/ those people, it got worse. Noone signed up for their weekends or Holidays.
  7. by   crb613
    We are in the process of doing this. You must work every third weekend....I chose Sun, Mon, & Tue as my days to work...so when its my weekend Sat is just added to it. The schedule just keeps repeating. I am thinking about dropping Tue when I work Sat. We also have a set date as to requested days off....don't know how that will work.
  8. by   BrnEyedGirl
    "Thanks-Do you have written guidelines, and what computer program do you use?"
    I will pay more attention next time I'm at work,...actually I think I can access it from home,....we really don't have written guidlines,..like I said we all had to agree,...if/when it becomes a problem our NM will start scheduling for all of us agian I'm sure,....I check on the name of the software for you.
  9. by   RNsRWe
    It works, more or less. There's a grid/table where the dates/days of the week are across the top, and all our names/positions are down the left-hand side of the page. The blank schedule is then left out a few weeks before the next scheduled period begins and we write in the days and shifts we want to work. We all are required to work every other weekend, so on our blank schedule that's already filled in. Holidays are done on an alternating/rotating basis, so that's already decided in advance, too (unless management wants to make changes, which they always seem to do).

    So, it's really mostly a Wish List of the days you prefer to work, no guarantees. Best you can do is put a sticky on the schedule begging for a certain day off if you really want it; only guarantee is to take a vacation day.

    For the most part, though, it works pretty well. The last two months I only had a couple of days switched around on me, and neither was a big deal; management makes requests for additional days or switched days as needed, also no big deal, you can refuse once the self-schedule's been approved

    I prefer this system, actually, to being scheduled without any input for regular days each week. Since I only work 3 12's, I'm glad to NOT be on an automatic schedule; I often find I need different days off each month and would constantly be trying to switch with someone.

    Good luck!
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]i've done self scheduling in my last three jobs. it works best if there are written rules ahead of time:

    1) everyone works every other holiday. we have seven holidays, and i already know that i'm working christmas this year, have ny off, work mlk day, have memorial day off, work july 4, have labor day off, work thanksgiving, have christmas off . . . . if you fail to sign yourself up for your holiday, you not only get signed up for it anyway, but aren't eligible to go into the pool for a low census day off on that day. no one makes that mistake twice!

    2) mondays and fridays aren't popular days to work. we schedule 6 weeks at a time, and the requirement is that you work 6 mondays and fridays. (6 mondays and no fridays, 6 fridays and no mondays, 5 and 1, 2 and 4, 3 and 3 -- whatever works. except holiday mondays.) if you fail to schedule yourself for your mondays and fridays and someone catches it, you could find yourself working all 12.

    3) you can request 6 days off and those 6 days are sacred. want to "stack" your days so you can go to paris for a long weekend? want to get every tuesday off for your "women and firearms" class? if you request 8 days off (and don't have an approved vacation) none of the requests count.
    (had some folks who were putting in their 3 shifts a week to work, then "requesting off" the other four days of the week. that rule has been relaxed a bit since it isn't so much of a problem now, but it's still in writing so if someone starts abusing it again, it can be dealt with swiftly.

    4) you work two out of the six weekends. it doesn't matter which two, but the first people to get the schedule have first dibs.

    5) the staff of around 100 nurses is divided into four groups, which take turns getting the schedule first. the first group to get the schedule gets pretty much what they want, the last group gets what's left. but next time, it's their turn to be first!

    6) as long as you follow the rules, you don't get changed around too much. those who don't follow the rules learn quickly. the schedule monitors are different every time, so favoritism doesn't take hold.

  11. by   bill4745
    We all enter our requests on a website called Intragale from VasTech. It allows you to indicate the days you want to work and you can specify specific days you need off. One of our part-time nurses fine-tunes the schedule. It has worked well for us. I rarely am unhappy with my schedule.
  12. by   mom2michael
    Here is how ours works. Each shift does it the same way.

    1)We are grouped into A and B when we start on the floor. One schedule sign up - group A goes first - the next group B. At this point - it is a 1st come 1st serve basis for sign up. The only way you'll get bumped from your shifts you sign up for is if you violate the rule(s). So that is nice because Ms. RN who has worked on the unit for 25 years can't throw Ms. GN who has been on the floor 1 week off of all her shifts because she thinks she can. That right there has solved A LOT of issues. If you want a certain day - get your bu** to work and sign up for it.

    2)Holidays are decided upon by the shift coordinator based upon what you worked the previous year. You can opt to sign up for your own holidays when those schedules come out but if it appears you have never worked Christmas you will. New people do not get the shaft, both shift coordinators are very fair in their decisions. People grumble about holidays but for the most part - as long as you are fair when you sign up - most people accept what they have to work.

    3) You must work a min. of 6 weekend shifts per schedule - you pick the way you want it. If you do not work the weekends required - then you will work all 12 that schedule.

    4) You have 1 week to sign up for your group - if you are off work during that week on vacation, too bad. You must find a co-worker to sign you up or come in while on vacation.


    5) Vacation calenders are posted on the wall - only 2 people from each position (RN or tech) can take vacation at the same time - so - if you already see 2 people signed up for vacation - don't even bothering asking - it will be rejected.

    6) If you need certain days off for school or another job - you must have those days in writing to your shift coordinator BEFORE shift sign up.

    7) PRN people get bumped from the schedule 1st - if they sign up and you need their day - they get kicked from the schedule.

    8) If you sign up before your time - you have your name erased from the entire schedule and you will be the last person to sign up.

    It has worked out very well. We have little arguments about the schedule and most of us work our set days anyway pretty much every schedule. The only time it seems to ever be an issue is holidays and mass vacation times, like summer.
  13. by   pjgc4pjgc
    I am new to a nurse managers position and have posted schedules and have not been able to satisfy my nursing staff, sooo I am looking at having them do self scheduling. I have put a committee together and am looking for guidelines to doing self scheduling that our facility can modify. I would appreciate any help in this matter. Thank pjgc4
  14. by   P_RN
    How are you doing your scheduling? 8h or 12 h?

    My best choice is an Excel or other spread sheet. Names on the left and 2 weeks worth of days and dates across the top.

    Do the every other weekends first. Honor the earliest requested days off.

    If you do 12s then you probably will have a worked weekend FSaSn and then a couple of days off. Then they work a WTh and off FSaSn

    Try it you'll like it. Self scheduling is good, but they have to have an example to go by.

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