Modelling a nurse shift schedule with multiple preference ranks for shifts and days-off

Chun-Cheng Lin, Jia Rong Kang, Wan Yu Liu, Der Jiunn Deng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


When it comes to nurse shift schedules, it is found that the nursing staff have diverse preferences about shift rotations and days-off. The previous studies only focused on the most preferred work shift and the number of satisfactory days-off of the schedule at the current schedule period but had few discussions on the previous schedule periods and other preference levels for shifts and days-off, which may affect fairness of shift schedules. As a result, this paper proposes a nurse scheduling model based upon integer programming that takes into account constraints of the schedule, different preference ranks towards each shift, and the historical data of previous schedule periods to maximize the satisfaction of all the nursing staff's preferences about the shift schedule. The main contribution of the proposed model is that we consider that the nursing staff's satisfaction level is affected by multiple preference ranks and their priority ordering to be scheduled, so that the quality of the generated shift schedule is more reasonable. Numerical results show that the planned shifts and days-off are fair and successfully meet the preferences of all the nursing staff.

Original languageEnglish
Article number937842
JournalMathematical Problems in Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

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