Vacation Selection

  1. We are losing new nurses because of our vacation selection process. I am looking for information on how other hospitals select vacation times. We are a small union hospital and new nurses do not stand a chance of getting any vacation during the months of May through October. 50 percent of our staff has more than 20 years seniority and some are taking 5 weeks during that time frame? I am looking for perhaps a fairer selection process. FYI-I have 36 years seniority so it is not about me

    Brenda
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  2. Visit adnerbe1 profile page

    About adnerbe1, BSN, RN

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 144; Likes: 34
    Med Surg RN
    Specialty: 36 year(s) of experience in Med Surg

    6 Comments

  3. by   EllaBella1
    Our hospital has self scheduling through an online computer system. Each shift has 15 slots for nurses to schedule themselves into for my unit- 15 for day shift, 15 for night shift. There are also two vacation slots per shift per day. The vast majority of our scheduling is first come first serve, but especially vacation days. The system will only allow the two nurses per shift/per day to put in for vacation, and after that nurses can "request day off" but it's not guaranteed. So basically what it comes down to is if you know you need days off in a particular schedule cycle, you had best be on your computer when the schedule cycle opens to put them in right away. Works out pretty well- I'd say 80% of people get the days they need.

    Edited to add that seniority comes into play with getting requested work days, requested non-vacation pto (i.e. a day or two). But when it comes to taking extended vacations it's fair game for all staff.
  4. by   SC_RNDude
    Its first come-first served, up to a year in advance, with some limitations like you can't take off more then a certain amount of time during our busier times.

    In my experience, common sense loses out to the letter of the law when it comes to unions. And often those with less seniority are the ones getting screwed. It's likeky you can't change your vacation policies without changing a union contract, and obviously most of those with the most seniority aren't going to go for that.
  5. by   adnerbe1
    Our contract is up and we will be starting negotiations soon...the young nurses want a change and they are outnumbering the most senior. It all comes to a majority vote correct?
  6. by   klone
    During peak vacation times, you can only request one vacation (well, you can request more, but all other people's first requests will be placed before your second vacation request), and you can only take up to 2 weeks at a time (you must get special permission to take longer). It does go by seniority, but because the other two rules are in place, it helps to make sure everyone gets a vacation.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from adnerbe1
    Our contract is up and we will be starting negotiations soon...the young nurses want a change and they are outnumbering the most senior. It all comes to a majority vote correct?
    You might lose long-term nurses by restricting their earned vacation and the "young" nurses may decide to move on either way. My previous employer tried the "two-week" thing and it didn't go well. Most of the people I worked with were foreign-born had no desire to spend the time and money required to travel to Asia for a few weeks. Many decided to take their trips, see their families, and simply find new jobs when they returned. With their experience, it was easy. Make sure you know your core staff and what they're willing to tolerate.
  8. by   NewEnglandRN16
    We have peak time summer and winter. It goes by seniority. We place the calendars up in the break room. The list of senority is next to the calendar. The highest goes first and can select 1 week. Your only allowed 2 RN per shift for the same week. Once you select your week you check off your name. Once the list has been rounded threw the entire seniority than its open first come first serve for additional hours.

    For non peak time it's first come first serve. My boss keeps a calendar in her office and we can always look to see if another person is out on vacation that week.

    I like how our system works. The only real issue is when someone is trying to take a multiple week vacation (go out of country) but it hasn't happened in awhile.

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