The Goal of Self-Scheduling: An Important Aspect of Nursing

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Self-scheduling is an aspect of nursing that has been considered for quite some time. Prior to discussing the pros and cons of this particular practice, it is necessary to briefly elucidate some of the reasons why organizations and nurses have experimented with this technique in the past. The goal of self-scheduling, of course, is largely synonymous with the goal of assigned scheduling to fully staff a particular health care organization so that it can deliver the best care possible to its patients. The primary difference between these two methods, however, is that the former affords nurses greater authority and autonomy (Pecci, 2012) in this process, by allowing them to determine the times that are most convenient for individuals to fulfill this goal. As such, there are a number of benefits and detrimental aspects of letting nurses determine their own schedules. Some tangible pros include allowing nurses to better manage their personal and private lives, reducing the work load and the amount of stress nurse managers deal with, and overall improving the scheduling and staffing process; common cons include staff unavailability, preferentialism, and pressure to adhere to the wishes of a bevy of others (Bailyn et al, 2007, p. 73). One of the most significant benefits that self-scheduling can produce is allowing nurses to better manage their time between their professional and personal lives. Self-scheduling enables a slight degree of autonomy among nurses, who can actuate
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