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Nurse scheduling software: top 3 factors for successful nurse scheduling

In 2018 NHS Employers, an organisation bringing together all the trusts governing hospitals and healthcare centres in the National Health Service in England and Wales, surveyed 563 student and qualified nurses across England to find out what would attract them to a role and make them stay in it. The results are quite revealing in terms of what people really value in their careers, workplace and tools they use.

1. Key factor: involve career and skill development in day-to-day operations

There is one element that rise above others in terms of what nurses want from their careers: opportunities for development and progression occupied 3 of the 4 top spots and 4 of the 6 top in the combined rankings for what nursing staff want from a new role and what keeps them in a current one.

The key for making nursing a truly satisfying and growth-oriented career lies not only in giving the people the opportunity to develop themselves via additional training but making sure that new skills are utilised in new tasks and positions. However, acquired new skills are often not utilised and progression steps for staff are missed by managers through no fault of their own when the pool of nurses becomes too big to manage by conventional solutions. As a result, people gain new qualifications and skills but feel these are not taken into account when assigning new tasks or positions.

In short, people feel forgotten.

They feel stuck, when they want to keep moving forward. And in today's digital age traditional remedies no longer work or are far too slow and to staff members sometimes look comically out of place. These days, people don't expect ribbons and medals for recognition, they expect employers that can value their contribution and do so in almost real-time.

We think we have one possible answer. PARiM's near-instant filtering and views system make objective and meritocratic nurse scheduling and management unavoidably easy. Managers can filter for staff by qualification in seconds and use any other 30+ other filtering and sorting options to further zoom in on finding the right person for the right job. Positions and shifts can be given using objective decision-making based on valid criteria and a handful of managers can handle tens of thousands of staff.

Here's how fast filtering by qualification (you can create an unlimited amount of your own) is in PARiM's Scheduling Calendar:

With straightforward tools like these, it is inevitable that people with merit are noticed and rise to the top.

Furthermore, supervisors and managers can save these sets of filters to Views for later use and they update in real-time. Saved Views are easy even for non-technical managers. For example, you can save a View that monitors in real-time when more and more people achieve a recently introduced qualification and make your operational decisions on when to schedule and whom to progressing founded on real data rather than guesswork.

2. Key factor: introduce processes that support your staff

The second most desired element is great staff support. In nursing, doing it is a bit different than in manufacturing or even in other service sectors like hospitality. There is less room for extensive feedback and discussions when every moment could be critical and precision is just as important as convenience and comfort. Thus, a huge part of support your staff is building a set of already well-functioning processes.

Perhaps that is why one of the features most loved by nurses and healthcare managers are Open Shifts.

This feature-set enables managers to create open shifts either manually or via automated shift patterns in mere seconds that nurses are notified to apply to should they wish to do so. Applying to an open shift is effortless with our mobile apps:

Nurses get notified via email, SMS or push notifications about the open shift and can choose for themselves whether they want to take advantage of an opportunity to work. Here's how simple it is to notify your people about an open shift:

Should shift coverage not meet up to your standards after sending out notifications, then later you can assign open shifts to specific people via by simply drag and dropping the shift to the appropriate person. That's quite straightforward as well:

Support for supervisors via mobile workflows

As you can see from above with Open Shifts, PARiM's mobile apps can provide processes that support your staff.

However, today's work is increasingly mobile not only for staff but also for their supervisors and nowhere is that truer than in healthcare and PARiM's apps for iOS and Android provide vital features such as the ability for managers to edit and publish shifts or send shift reminders while on the go.

3. Key factor: location matters

People and healthcare staff in particular increasingly want to work in a way that aligns with their family life and hobbies, preferably nearby their home. With PARiM, that's not a problem – you can sort available staff by proximity to any location in your environment right in the Calendar and schedule accordingly. It's that simple:

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