Nurse Scheduling with Shift Preferences in a Surgical Suite Using Goal Programming
Nurse scheduling is a crucial part of hospital personnel scheduling. For effective nurse scheduling fair workload and job satisfaction should be taken into account as these factors affect the quality of service in healthcare. In this study monthly nurse scheduling constraints for a surgical suite are determined according to government regulations hospital management requirements and nurse preferences. A multi-objective integer program with hard and soft constraints is formulated and solved as a goal programming model to produce an optimal nurse schedule which provides fair workload and satisfies shift preferences of nurses. Our goal is improving job satisfaction of nurses as well as reducing medical errors caused by fatigue a result of disproportional shift assignment. Resulting schedules for various shift preference scenarios are compared to show the improvement in the schedule quality in terms of performance measures such as distribution of preference violations among nurses.