Eliminate Holiday Nurse Staffing Hassles Once and For All

Eliminate Holiday Nurse Staffing Hassles Once and For All

Shane Parker, RN
Co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer

Any nurse scheduler can tell you holiday scheduling has the potential to cause angst and outrage among the staff. For the scheduler it can feel like reinventing the wheel every winter holiday season, with questions like, “How can we staff this place adequately but still be fair to our nurses?” while nurses cry, “I worked Christmas Day last year! I should not have to work it again!”

Fortunately, ShiftWizard provides the features you need to reduce the time and hassle your managers spend on holiday scheduling while also keeping nurses happy. Try these strategies to achieve holiday scheduling nirvana.

1. Randomly assign nurses to schedule groups

One very fair way to handle scheduling across the board – including holidays – is to assign every nurse to a permanent schedule group as soon as they’re hired. You can determine how many groups you want or need based on factors like how many shifts per day you need to cover. If you staff in 12-hour shifts, create two groups: A and B. Eight-hour shifts? Make three schedule groups: A, B, C.

Next, enable ShiftWizard’s self-scheduling feature. Now, when ShiftWizard opens a schedule to the staff, a nurse assigned to schedule group “A” gets an exclusive window of time (let’s say 24 hours – but you can set this timer yourself) in advance of other groups to create her schedule (including holidays). She simply opens the ShiftWizard app on her phone, taps on the days she would like to work, and that’s all there is to it. One day later, the schedule opens up to the nurses within group “B,” and so on for the remaining groups.

ShiftWizard subsequently rotates which groups get prime access to the new schedule, which means the holiday schedules rotate groups, too. This approach helps ensure that no nurse finds herself working the same holiday in consecutive years, unless she chooses to do so.

2. Group nurses based on FTE

If random schedule groups don’t appeal to you or your staff, you can approach the situation from a different perspective by grouping nurses according to FTE status. In this scenario, full-time nurses would have the first choice at self-scheduling holidays that fall within their regular work period. Part-time nurses would get the next choice, followed by float nurses. This method ensures that each work group receives the correct number of hours for their FTE status and helps you avoid using pricey agency nurses for holiday coverage.

3. Enable self-scheduled shift swaps

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never please every nurse when it comes to holiday scheduling. Some nurses who want the premium pay that comes with working a holiday shift will find themselves shut out. Others who don’t want to work a particular holiday will find they have no choice. That’s where shift swapping comes in.

By enabling self-directed shift swapping, you empower nurses to control their own holiday schedules, which leads to increased job satisfaction and improved morale. Nurses dissatisfied with their holiday schedules can use the ShiftWizard app to instantly communicate a shift swap request to the entire team. And you don’t have to worry that a nurse who lacks the right certification or credential will swap into a holiday shift on your unit, because ShiftWizard automatically compares a nurse’s credentials with the requirements for your department and will not allow a nurse to schedule if she lacks the right qualifications. Furthermore, every shift swap request gets routed to a manager for approval.

Scheduling Software Built by Nurses for Nurses

Wondering how we know so much about the pain points of holiday nurse scheduling? It’s because ShiftWizard is built by nurses who experienced these scheduling issues first-hand and decided to solve the problem by building a software tool to end scheduling hassles once and for all.

Request a complimentary demo of ShiftWizard today to find out how it can make the holidays brighter for all your staff.

Healthcare Staff Scheduling. Developed by Nurses for Nurses.

ShiftWizard makes nurse scheduling and communication easy, so you can focus on what really matters---improving patient outcomes.