Nursing Schedule Templates

The nursing schedule template is used to assign the day or night shifts to the nurses in a hospital. It is a record of the nurses’ absence, presence, and shifts. Creating a nursing schedule is difficult, but we make your work easier with ready-made templates. A hospital must take good care of the patients by providing 24-hour on-duty staff, especially nurses because they are more responsible for caring for them.

For that purpose, you need to prepare a schedule by downloading the nursing schedule templates in Word, PDF, and Excel formats that work best for you. Below, we share a complete guide with many well-designed free templates that help you create an effective schedule.

Download Free Nursing Schedule Templates

Nursing Schedule Template 

Working the shift schedule of the worker in a company or organization is a critical task; it is vital to create it in a way that is beneficial for the organization. In hospitals, nurses are essential to the patients’ hands-on care according to the doctors’ instructions. The presence of the staff in a hospital for 24 hours is significant. If the staff can’t provide their services 24 hours a day, then a staffing schedule is necessary to define the working shift of each worker. Nurses spend days and nights caring for the patient because after the doctor’s prescription or checkup; they know what to do and how to do it. For a nurse, it is difficult to provide services for 24 hours; for that purpose, a nursing staff schedule is made to assign shifts to the nurses in the hospital.

The plan must be prepared so that each nurse has two shifts daily. A shift is the number of hours nurses provide their services in a day. It can be an 8-hour nursing schedule, a 12- or 24-hour nursing schedule, and Dupont. This schedule contains the name of the nurse, how many hours he/she spends, the number of shifts in a day, the date, leaving time, arrival time, days when he/she is off duty, department name, and signature of the nurse. We share a collection of the best free nursing work schedule templates available in a different format that is perfect for you. This scheduling increases the efficiency of the work, the workload is divided and best for both nurse and patient.

Purposes Of Nursing Schedule

Scheduling is the key to increasing the efficiency and productivity of an organization or company. A hospital must have a schedule for nursing for better patient treatment because the nurse is the only one who interacts more regarding medication after the doctor. Below we share some points that show the real purposes of nursing schedules. These are as follows:

  • The primary purpose of the nursing schedule is to assign shifts to the nurses in a hospital or healthcare. 
  • It records the nurses’ presence, absence, and shifts. 
  • A well-designed nursing schedule increases the efficiency of the work, which is best for the patient’s treatment. 
  • The management of staff scheduling is easier with it. 
  • Every nurse knows their schedule earlier than when she is on duty and off duty.  
  • It establishes a great connection between the patient and the nurses.
  • It is helpful to track the activity of each nurse. 

Tips for Nurse Scheduling

Here are some tips for Nurse Scheduling:

Communicate with your team before making the schedule

The hospital manager needs to communicate with the nurses before making the schedule. If someone wants to take off because of some solid issue, wants to take a DuPont, and so on. It would be best to ask your team before making it to avoid disputes. 

Create two two-week schedules in Advance

Organizations, companies, industries, and hospitals created schedules two weeks before the issue. It is best to be aware of your nurses’ team’s future work and duties. Nurses can make their plans according to the schedule provided by the manager. A nursing planner template helps you to make this schedule easily. It’s not a good thing to make plans for shifts just two or three days before.  

Keep in mind the time-off requests

If you receive a time off request from a worker, create your schedule to consider these requests as you accept or reject them. If the vacation request is approved, you should include only the nurses on duty. 

Allows to swap shifts

It is common to swap the working shifts’ duties for some solid reason. When someone needs to swap shifts because of personal issues like illness, the nurse has permission to do that. If nurses want to exchange their duties, you should allow them to swap them after a specific process. 

Avoid more than 2 shifts for a nurse

Sometimes the overtimes by the nurses create disturbance in the schedule that affects the hospital and patient. Try to create a plan in which no nurse has two or more two shifts in a day; it is excellent for the nurses and patients. You can easily achieve these things without disturbance by downloading the daily nurse schedule templates; these templates are editable, printable, and free in just one click. If you want to make the monthly schedule in advance, download the monthly nursing schedule template to assign the shifts to the nurses. A nurse who has a shift for 24 hours, she/he should be off for 2 or 3 days consecutively.

How to create a nursing schedule template 

Creating an effective schedule is sometimes difficult; you can see our fantastic collection of printable hospital nurse schedule templates in different formats like Word and Excel and also available in Google Docs. If you want to create it from scratch, follow the steps to create a perfect roster. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel. You can also create this document in Word and Google Docs. Click on the Blank document.

Step 2: To create the document’s header, go to the Insert Tab, click on the text group, and click the header button. A header will appear at the top of your document. Write text on it as you like. 

Step 3: Make the column header “Nurse name” where you write the header’s name. 

Step 4: Make the “Hours” column header that defines how many hours the nurse will provide the service.

Step 5: Now, create “weekday”, “date”, and “time” as columns header to assign the shifts. You can add more columns to create this schedule more effectively. 

Step 6: Save this document and print it. 

You can also see the sample hospital nurse schedule and nursing care plan example templates, which will help you understand it efficiently. 

Time management tips for nurse 

Nursing is a hard job. Nurse care is a professional job when you go out to care for someone and get paid in return for this service. A nurse care schedule is prepared by the manager that lists the duty time with the date performed by the nurses. Sometimes, taking good care of patients and yourself is difficult when the schedule is poorly designed. Time management is key for nurses to excel in their field. Some useful time management tips for nurses are as follows:

  1. Make a list of your responsibilities: Write down all your duties, assignments, and responsibilities on paper. It is one of the effective ways to complete all your work quickly and also helpful to track your activities on specific days to monitor what you have done. 
  2. Get healthy sleep on off-duty: Healthy sleep helps keep you physically and mentally fit. A person’s body and brain work more efficiently and actively with healthy sleep than with poor sleep. When a nurse has a night shift for 8 or 12 hours, she should have a full day off to complete rest and sleep. It increases the productivity and efficiency of your work. 
  3. Plan your routine: A schedule is issued to the nurses about their shifts in advance by downloading the free blank nursing schedule template. Planning your routine according to your shift schedule would be best. It helps you to complete your routine tasks easily and efficiently. 
  4. Take care of your diet: Taking care of your diet increases your energy level and enables you to accomplish daily tasks efficiently. A healthy diet increases your work concentration and boosts your energy level. If a nurse has a shift in the day, pack a healthy lunch, and take some fruits and other stuff to make your day healthy. Taking care of yourself is more important than anything else. 
  5. Work together: Teamwork and cooperation give you lots of advantages and are helpful to achieve the desired goals easily. If you cooperate with your colleagues, it helps you do your work more easily. You can swap your shifts, ask your colleagues to provide service when you are not feeling well, and so on.

Important nurse scheduling rules

We have seen many issues raised for the bad scheduling of the hospital nurses. To avoid all the things that create a disturbance, you should remember the three effective rules to make it useful. Three important nurse scheduling rules are as follows:

  • If you are responsible for assigning shifts to nurses, avoid assigning two consecutive shifts to a nurse. This is essential for the health of nurses and patients. 
  • A shift should not be more than 12 hours. If a nurse has a 12-hour shift, he should be off duty for a full day. Shorter shifts, like an 8-hour nursing shift, also have many advantages; you can download 8-hour schedule templates from this site to reap all the benefits. 
  • Make a plan for unusual situations like significant accidents, earthquakes, and any disasters. 
  • Each nurse must have two shifts in three days. 
  • Schedules should be created according to the number of on-duty nurses.

Nurse 12 hours working shift benefits

When you have a long shift, it gives you significant benefits. You can select and download the nursing shift scheduling template in your favorite format to get all the benefits. Some are as follows:

  1. A nurse who works a 12-hour shift can establish better communication with the patient, which helps her take good care of the patient. 
  2. According to the scheduling rules, if a nurse has 12-hour shifts, she should be off for the next 24 hours or two days. These things help you easily balance your professional and personal life. 
  3. The scheduling is easily done with longer shifts. 
  4. It gives you more time off from your duties to plan and complete your responsibilities.  
  5. A 12-hour nursing shift is perfect for you if you live far from your workplace. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do nurses prefer 12 hours shifts?

Most of the nurses prefer 12 hours shifts because more time off. They work three days a week and four days off from duty which is enough for a healthy work-life balance.

Is the day shift or night shift better?

It depends on the nurse’s behaviour, some prefer to work at night because the day shift is busier, and they easily stay awake at night while some prefer to work in a day shift because of sleeping issues.

What is the DuPont shift schedule?

It is a 12 hours shift work in which four teams of nurses provide services for four weeks of rotating shifts. In this schedule, a nurse has shifts of four consecutive nights and then three days off, after three days off three consecutive day shifts and one day off, after that three days night shift followed by the three days off and at the end four consecutive days shift then seven consecutive days off.

Do nurses work long shifts?

Hospitals say nurses work 12 hours, followed by the full days or two days off. Nurses generally work long shifts in case of any severe condition.

How many days do nurses work in a week?

Nurses work three days a week and 4 days off when she/he has a 12 hours shift.

What is self-scheduling for nurses?

Nurses make their own schedule instead of the hospital manager. They select their shifts according to their routine.

What is a 2 3 2 schedule for nursing?

In this schedule, nurses work 2 days and have two days off, after two days off he/she works three days and then has two days off, after that he/she works two days followed by two days off.

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