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Primary shift, Nurse shift scheduling, Zero-one linear goal programming



  1. Huarng, Fenghueih PhD


In this study, the author discusses the effect of nurse shift schedules on circadian rhythm and some important ergonomics criteria. The author also reviews and compares different nurse shift scheduling methods via the criteria of flexibility, fairness, continuity in shift assignments, nurses' preferences, and ergonomics principles. In this article, a primary shift rotation system is proposed to provide better continuity in shift assignments to satisfy nurses' preferences. The primary shift rotation system is modeled as a zero-one linear goal programming (LGP) problem. To generate the shift assignment for a unit with 13 nurses, the zero-one LGP model takes less than 3 minutes on average, whereas the head nurses spend approximately 2 to 3 hours on shift scheduling. This study reports the process of implementing the primary shift rotation system.