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Self-Scheduling a Win for Nurses, Hospitals

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   March 20, 2012

Nurses Take Control
Reynolds says it's not that nurses don't want to pick up extra shifts; they just want to control over when and how they do it.

"You just see a whole different change in the attitude," he says. "We went from having agency nurses, which are expensive, to nurses who are not only picking up the shifts that we need when we need them to, but they do it willingly, and they're excited about it."

Reynolds says floating between units isn't popular with nurses, and although it isn't quite a thing of the past, it happens far less frequently. Now, when nurses do have to float, they're not as worried about it as they have been in the past.

"Because they've been picking up shifts on other floors, there's less anxiety when they float," Reynolds says. 

A Rewarding System
There are several different self-scheduling software options for hospitals to choose from—St. Francis uses one that not only allows for self-scheduling, but also includes a system where nurses earn points for picking up extra shifts. Nurses can accumulate points and cash them in to earn rewards, such as gift cards for gas or coffee, or even designer purses, says Reynolds.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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