by Hink12 Hink12 (New) New

Has 1 years experience.

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625 Posts

Because that is the working world. Do you feel you are entitled to special treatment? Other nurses have demands on them too, older parents needing care, health issues, travel or transportation problems, etc. They all can't be demanding a particular schedule. The harsh reality is that the ultimate responsibility of managers is to ensure adequate care for patients.

If you are unable to work then I suggest you go prn, then you can claim the shifts you are available. Depending on how they run the prn program.

I know it is a problem, I worked as a single Mom for years and lost a lot of sleep and it was always a problem finding help, sitters, getting to school, sick kid, etc. It is just something you have to work out. I was not entitled to special treatment nor did I expect it.



Specializes in Practice educator. Has 15 years experience. 234 Posts

They all can't be demanding a particular schedule.

I assure you, they can and do! Doesn't mean they get it though :p



625 Posts

Doing scheduling is a nightmare. Always changing to meet somebody's requests. Maybe they aren't treating people badly just doing what they absolutely have to do. Walk a mile I say. I have been on both sides and neither is easy.


RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience. 4,542 Posts

When the OP states that her husband and family cannot help her, I wonder why childcare has to be her problem alone rather than a family problem?


Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,957 Posts

I do need to clarify: I don't think being flexible is impossible. But I have a unit full of people with varying needs, from young parents whose kids get sick, to the ones who are caring for both kids and aging, ailing parents, to those who chose never to be parents.

A nurse manager can't screw over the ones who don't have little kids in favor of those that do. There IS flexibility in that people can switch shifts, cover each other ----whatever is needed.

In the years mine were little, my husband and I worked opposite shifts so the kids always had someone home. And he was military so he deployed. But I worked PRN and when he was deployed, I didn't work. I did not make much money but enough to keep us going. It was a struggle I understand so well.

But EVERYONE has an important life outside work. I guarantee you, ALL the nurses/techs/ancillary personnel working in our unit have "certain special needs". We just can't schedule all around them or there would be no one there when the patients need them.

I am not so removed from direct care, just one sick call from an RN puts me on the floor, and my work gets behind. So you see, I have to be flexible for my staff. If I can be flexible, so can the staff, is how I see it. Trust me, scheduling is hard for any manager and being "fair" has to include EVERYONE regardless of their personal family situation. Kids will always need you when grown, even. There is no end once you decide to parent. For me, it's two grandkids now, to consider, which is partly why I took my current position.

Been a nurse nearly 21 years. Never asked anyone to do me favors to enable me to meet my personal needs. Anyone choosing to be a nurse should consider that in most cases, the units staff 24/7/365 and yep, "someone" has to be there at all those times. I do become surprised, still, when people enter nursing and then realize they have to work some crappy shifts/days and raise heck about it. To me, they should have known what they got into.

Edited by SmilingBluEyes

I am a manager with grown kids. Believe me I get how hard working and raising young children is; been there. BUT it's NOT my problem you have kids that go to school. If you sign on agreeing to work certain hours/days, I expect you to be there the same as the person without kids, or older with no kids at home. Your home life is NO more important or urgent than anyone else's. If, I as a manager, am flexible for YOU I have to be for EVERYONE and I am sorry, but that ain't how to run a hospital or clinic. I need staff for my patients, bottom line.

So work it out. Go PRN, change shifts, or work it out with coworkers. But you can't expect any manager to do you any special favors because you decided to have kids and work full time. It's still up to you.

I Could Not Agree More!!! Your kids = Your issues. I've had many schedules butchered with One day on / one day off so who-the-heck ever could do whatever with their kids. Fortunately I work in a union environment and grieved my way out of these situations. Also the same for holidays. The fact that a nurse has kids doesn't give her special license to have Christmas off. I imagine folks that don't have kids like Christmas too. Finally, we get mandated where I work. It's legal and it happens. I've seen people outright bawling because they got mandated and tried to get other nurses to stay for this reason. Sorry, bottom line if you can't do the job to include covering all the hours you are responsible for get a new job. Speaking of fairness its not "fair" to expect other nurses to pick up the slack



Specializes in ICU, trauma. 389 Posts

i have worked multiple places that had been self scheduling. but none of them would GUARANTEE you would get the exact schedule you wanted. things have to even out, you might have to be switched from a tuesday because not enough people signed up for wednesday. There needs to be a certain amount of experience on each shift, etc.

Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience. 1,578 Posts

Why in nursing do managers not understand inflexibility with schedule changes? Im married, w 2 kids, hardly any help, and 12 hour shifts dont allow me to get kids to school. My husband and family cannot help me. No daycare before school for one of my kids. So when i say i cannot work certain days, i cant. Who will take my kids to school? They cannot stand outside for 2 hours alone. But manAgement can change my schedule, without asking me. How is this professional conduct? How am i being treated professionally, when i know my responsibilities/ limits and i cannot help their staffing issues? Why is nursing so inflexible to a working mom?

So now I know where the little snowflakes come from: Momma Snowflake.

If you have a written agreement with your employer, quit crabbing about it here and make the effort to have your union or lawyer enforce it.

Your manager CAN NOT make arbitrary staffing decisions with regard to your personal, marital, fertility, familial, transportation or climate situation. Every staff member has a life outside of work that is important to them and none of your business why they want a certain day off. So your reasons don't matter either. Virtually all the managers I have worked with have struggled to make fair schedules that actually please no one perfectly but make the best for all. Unit coverage comes first.

YES, management can make schedule changes without your permission. There is usually a policy (sometimes actually written) that once a schedule is posted, changes can only be made by an equivalent trade or by management decision. Self-scheduling is a request to work certain days that are in your own best interest. It assumes people can count and not sign on for a day that is already adequately staffed and leave another day short. Management (or their designee) will then shuffle people around at their discretion to even out the staffing.

If you really, really want to make schedule changes, tell your manager you will be that designee. Write up the schedule, make sure you get the days you want, fill in the holes with the loser nurses whose days off aren't as important as yours then see how pleasant your work environment can be. BTW good luck with that.


Neats, BSN

Specializes in Case Manager/Administrator. Has 13 years experience. 682 Posts

OK scheduling is a big pet peeve of mine. I try to accommodate people but even if there are only 10 FTE it can become daily change issues if there are no boundaries, the following is what I do as long as I have buy in from staff if there are issues then we go back to the "hard" way.

I set a blank schedule out in color 3 months ahead for 3 months at a time. I ensure all possible fill ins are on this schedule and staff will write their names in where they want. It cannot come back to me with blank spaces. Seniority does count in that they have one hour to "fuss" with the schedule before it is circulated department wide, I take in account for holidays too not just for seniority but for all staff. You do not have to be present but if you wrote someone's name in a blank field you better also countersign it. It takes about 3 days before it usually gets back to me.

If you need accommodation you must go to your peers first to see about getting yourself coverage. If that cannot be completed then I take over...keep in mind I will have multiple changes for multiple people. I am the manager/LNHA and I must ensure all staffing needs are met. If you do not like this way then I have suggested to staff members it will remain and no one is holding you here. I encourage them to try it, I do want you here.

This scheduling usually works for me, for the staff. You have issues at the beginning but usually all come around and really learn to like the freedom to schedule their own. There are caveats like no overtime. Staff get creative, use peer pressure with those who want to front load each week and work for 3 12 hour days...if there is abuse then I speak to the person on an individual basis.



Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

To Mavrick - IMO, you said it best of all the responses that I read.



Has 1 years experience. 1 Post

Did you even research the hours of nursing before applying to a nursing school? There are very few job opportunities with gravy hours. Perhaps you should look at school nurse if you need the same hours as your kids' daycare hours. But at the same time don't complain that your monetary compensation isn't the same as the nurse wiling to put in the hours normally required at a hospital. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. 8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Back when I was a nurse manager my unit had self-scheduling and while I loved the idea of staff being able to have real influence over own schedules I found that for every schedule period I would often have to "fix" the schedule so that the unit would be appropriately staffed/balanced on all days. Many times what happens with self-scheduling is that each person will fill out a schedule that meets their personal needs (and that is completely understandable) but they usually don't look at the other staff members working the same shift and make adjustments to meet the units needs. With self-scheduling I found that many people assumed that just because they wrote their schedule the way that they wanted it then I as the nurse manager was obligated to keep it no matter what. I would tell my staff that they were all adults who were capable of talking with each other and creating a schedule that works for the majority of people and I would not change it as long as the unit was appropriately staffed every day for every shift (granted that we didn't have vacations or leave of absences). With that being said, every single month I would have a few days where the schedule wasn't balanced (2 nurses on Monday, 5 nurses on Tuesday, 0 nurses on Wednesday etc.) and every single person would say "But I have XYZ commitment and I can't work this day!". I would then be forced to adjust schedules to ensure that the unit was safely staffed and I did my best to make sure I did it in a way that was fair to everyone and I would encourage staff to make switches among themselves if they could strike a deal that was mutually beneficial and did not result in OT.

I went back to being a staff nurse for many reasons (management was an exhausting, mind-numbing and thankless job) and where I work now does not do self-scheduling. You can make a request and they will do their best to honor it but it is very clear that the first priority is to safely staff the unit.

!Chris :specs: