Updated for 2022: Can Nurse Self Scheduling Reduce Your Overtime Cost?

April 18, 2022

Implementing self-scheduling software can help enhance work-life balance and improve the quality of care among your nursing staff.

Can Nurse Self Scheduling Reduce Your Overtime Cost?

An accommodating schedule can be a big boost in improving an organization’s nursing environment. This can easily be achieved through rule-based self-scheduling. Cloud-based nurse scheduling software allows you to set rules so a schedule can be created within structured guidelines that ensure the best possible nursing schedule is developed.

Implementing self-scheduling software can help enhance work-life balance, improve quality of care, decrease fatigue, and accompanying errors among your healthcare staff.

2022 Nurse Scheduling Outlook

The nursing shortage is real even before the pandemic. Nurse turnover is high and staffing ratios are being mandated.

So, happy nurses equal a successful facility.

On the administrative side, self-scheduling can help recruitment, retention, compliance with regulations, and reduce overtime costs. Stressed out nurse managers don’t need yet another unhealthy scheduling practice

Employee Participation in Self-Scheduling

Engaging nurses in scheduling promotes empowerment and is an indicator of a healthy work environment. Self-scheduling gives staff more control over their work-life balance. When that balance becomes disrupted, an employee can become stressed and their work may suffer.

Undesirable nurse health outcomes, like fatigue and stress are common in a nursing environment. Letting your nurses have say in the scheduling practices on your unit or floor, promotes communication and leads to happier nurses.

Sharing the workload of schedule creation also helps reduce the stress of nurse managers. Scheduling can be time consuming. Delegating some of this responsibility to the nurses gives nursing managers more time to be working on the units.

Employee Satisfaction and Retention

It is often easier to fill open shifts when nurses have more control over their own schedules.


Because self-scheduling makes the scheduling process more transparent. It also lets everyone see what shifts are available. Employees can decide if and when they want to pick up a shift. It makes the scheduling process seem fairer and less arbitrary.

Computerized scheduling programs, offer your nurses 24/7 access to their schedule. They know when they are working and can easily swap or trade.

Employees in control of their own work schedules also feel a sense of ownership and are likely to be more dedicated to their job. This means they will have increased job satisfaction and be less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

At the same time, they will not feel pressured to take an extra shift when they really need a break. This reduces burn out and related mistakes that can be made by an overworked nurse.

Minimizing Conflicts, Absences, and Overtime

Rule based self-scheduling software makes it easy to combat pitfalls that lead to scheduling problems. It will also track availability, time-off requests, and shift swaps. The program can also send alerts to managers so they can quickly respond to an open shift or an employee calling off. Real-time data and reports help nursing managers make faster scheduling decisions.

Mandatory overtime is required in many facilities. Schedule360 manages mandatory overtime with fairness and equitability for all staff. Overtime is tracked, insuring it’s in compliance with set rules and regulations.

Overtime alerts for a self-scheduling employee are built into the system. Employees can request to work overtime shifts and an administrator can override the set alert and approve the overtime. This allows for easy tracking of overtime costs so they can be addressed before the issue becomes out of control.

In addition, self-scheduling can reduce issues created by absenteeism. Employees can plan ahead when they need time off instead of using paid time off. In the case of an illness, open shifts can be communicated to available nursing staff through the scheduling software, so another nurse can see the need, and fill in if available. The software parameters will ensure the opening is filled without creating a scheduling conflict and/or overtime without approval from an administrator.

Is Self Scheduling Right For Your Nursing Unit?

Self-scheduling can deliver great benefits for both nurses and your healthcare organization. A sophisticated self-scheduling solution, like Schedule360, ensures staff members are happy and engaged, shifts are properly covered, and costs are kept in line. We can help with your labor management. Contact Schedule360 today to request a configured demo for your nursing unit.