"Making out schedules for the whole unit??

Nurses General Nursing


I could easily get a promotion at work, but it requires making out schedules for all licensed and unliscensed personnel on 3 units. I haven't done this before. And wasn't taught how to do it in nursing school. What do you all think? It seems pretty complicated to me.

adrienurse, LPN

1,275 Posts

Realize that you are entering highly sensitive territory babe. As the occasional night nurse I have to fill out the daily patient assignments. Never seen adults act so childish in my life. I absolutely hate the whining and bickering I have to put up with.


223 Posts

Its not too difficult ! a bit like a good puzzle!!!!

Don't know if you have a request book/ annual leave night rota etc

but this is how I do it

make sure you know the skill mix and pt to staff ratio for each shift

1] Put in Annual leave

2] then the night duty[cos it is easier to see]

3] requested offduty next

4] final part of it is to slot in the rest

hope this is of use


223 Posts


So agree with you it can be quite a head ache but as long as you know that you have been fair then you can't do anymore

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,493 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Just remember, you can't make everyone happy. Good luck and congrats.


215 Posts

Specializes in OB, M/S, ICU, Neurosciences.

There's a definite art to putting them together, but once you master a few things you'll be fine:

1. Know what your staffing numbers have to be, including skill mix, for each shift. 2. Put in your LOAs/time off requests and then build around it. 3. Be fair in how you rotate people--they DO count the number of off-shifts/weekend shifts as compared to their co-workers. 4. Realize that you aren't going to make everyone happy, so grow a thick skin, and remember that your primary goal is to staff your unit safely.

Good luck!

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

OMG lol - couldn't pay me enough to do that UNLESS you are sufficiently staffed (are you? - and if you're not, are you going to take the brunt of the short staffing - i.e. - have to pick up extra shifts or get the blame from mgt and coworkers when there isn't enough staff?) Also, do you have lots of students whose schedules will change on a semesterly basis? What's the call-off rate like there? Are you responsible for getting other coverage when folks do call off?

The important thing when staffing is to be as evenhanded and fair as possible. As others said, people WILL notice when folks aren't pulling their weekend/holiday/crappy shift rotations.

Good luck! :)


79 Posts

Specializes in Gen Med,LTC.

We do self scheduling...and it usually works quite well. There are very specific guidelines and staff are required to do so many Ns and w/e's. There is a committee that oversees it all.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,054 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Some facilities even have computer generated staffing grids---just fill in the holidays, vacations. self schedule info etc.


81 Posts

I make out the schedule all the time. I find I am lucky in that I have a rather small staff, and we all know what we work. Our schedule never changes. ie: work 7 days on and 7 days off, which makes it easier. I have also done the shift assignments and believe me the master schedule is much easier. I agree. You want to hear grown folks whine, beg and complain, just make out a daily shift assignment. Give me the master schedule any day!!!!

Specializes in Med/Surg, ER, L&D, ICU, OR, Educator.

Don't do it!


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

1) someone has to do this task, why not you?

2) you would learn a lot about people, power, politics.

3) you would learn a lot about having some power yourself.

Go for it (or else don't ever complain about your own work schedule).


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