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Seven Big Problems Nurse Managers Face with Traditional Scheduling Efforts

When a nurse scheduling solution fails to work smoothly, it isn’t just the frontline nurses who are affected. The ability of nurse managers to get their work done can also suffer significantly, leading to problems with burnout and work satisfaction, and having an impact on clinical and business outcomes. As the staff members responsible for creating and maintaining the master nursing schedule, nurse managers have some specific pain points that occur frequently. These include: 

Distributing Nursing Schedules but with Limited Access 

Once the schedule is finalized for an upcoming month or scheduling period, it may be emailed to everyone, printed and posted in the break room, or published somewhere on the internet. At the same time, it may not be accessible from home or via mobile device. 

Maintaining a Master Schedule That Is Never Really Final 

The sad truth is the minute that a schedule is finalized, it’s likely out of date due to census fluctuations, sit calls, swap requests, open shifts, etc.  

The Time Spent Filling Open Nursing Shifts 

Nurse managers often spend three, four, or five hours per day dealing with filling an open shift, for example, because they’re having to do so through phone calls, text messages, emails, etc. Think about what this means for work needing to be done on the unit floor! 

Finding the “Right” Nurse to Fill a Shift 

Ideally, a nurse manager wants to be filling shifts with the most qualified individuals based on competencies, while keeping in mind their scheduled hours. 

Dealing with Sick Calls from Nursing Staff Members 

Over a third of nurses surveyed by HealthStream partner NurseGrid admit to calling in sick strictly because they couldn’t find someone to swap a shift with.  

Pinpointing Nurses Who Are Really Available to Fill Shifts 

Many managers spend too much time “dialing for dollars” among the group of nurses not working a shift or creating a group text message to everyone who might be available. This shot-in-the-dark approach is time-consuming and tedious. 

Avoiding the Cost of Overtime Nursing Hours 

Nurse Managers want to fill shifts with folks who will not be pushed into overtime versus those who will. However, if you're making phone calls and sending out text messages, you often grant that to the first individual that responds, without regard to the impact on budget.  

 

This blog post continues a series based on the HealthStream Webinar, Fill Open Shifts Faster with Nurse-Centric Technology, which features leaders from HealthStream partner NurseGrid, an organization whose widely adopted nurse scheduling platform was inspired by the core belief that health care systems and providers must have the best tools in order to provide the most efficient and effective patient and nursing experience. Presenter Joe Novello, the Founder of NurseGrid, is a nurse who has worked in and around hospitals for more than 20 years as a clinician and a clinical operational leader. He was joined by Connor Whan, a healthcare entrepreneur who has been with NurseGrid for much of the organization’s existence, who has led conversations with thousands of nurses and nurse leaders across the country, to ensure NurseGrid remains at the forefront of supporting nurses personally and professionally. Learn about using NurseGrid to improve the nurse scheduling process. 

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