Self-Scheduling, Essay Example

In my opinion self-scheduling while allowing the assigning nurse/s to take responsibility for reporting when they are scheduled, it relives supervisors from the burden of figuring out how to please a group, of nurses who want to the same off days. A disadvantage, however, is that if not carefully monitored some shifts could be overlapping with staff while others are depleted. It is my view that if there is careful nurse collaboration this can be discussed and adjustments made before any disruptions occur (Bailyn, 2007).

Eight, ten, twelve hour shifts and overtime all have their advantages and disadvantages in health care staffing management. It depends on the institution. Twelve hour shifts have been a nursing tradition in many health care institutions, especially, large hospitals. It is convenient because it allows time for staff to render care within a longer span of time, which could be more effective   (Marquis & Huston, 2011). While 8 and 10 ten hour are shorter before the nurse get through a single procedure it is time to leave and another nurse may have to take over. This could affect the quality of care. Unions argue that 12 hour shifts require overtime pay (News Reports, 2002).

Incidentally, the holiday scheduling dilemma could be addressed if nurses are allowed to request those days. Subsequently, the holidays must be awarded on a first come – first served basis. Therefore, late requestors know that they will be denied and with escalating nurse staffing shortages many times holiday will have to be deferred and awarded as accumulated off days. With fewer nurses to staff shifts the most perfect self-scheduling system still prove inadequate (Buchan, 2002).


Bailyn Lotte; Collins Robin; Song Yang.  Self-scheduling for hospital nurses: an attempt and its difficulties. Journal of Nursing Management. 15, 2007; 72–77 Print

Buchan J.  Nursing shortages and evidence-based interventions: a case study from Scotland. International Nursing Review 49 (4), 2002; 209–218.

Marquis, B. L. & Huston, C. J. (2011). Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing. Theory and application. (7th ed.) Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkin

News Reports. Good employment practice makes a difference-RCN launches recommendations for employers. Journal of Nursing Management.10 (4), 2002; 245–246 Print.