Nurse scheduling is an important tool for nurses as nurse schedule give a huge impact for the productivity of their work, whether they are satisfied with the schedule or having dissatisfaction with the schedule. Basically, nurses in a hospital perform their job according to the shifts that have been assigned to them. Generally, there are four shifts that are designated for each nurse which are morning shifts, evening shifts, night shifts and late night shifts.  The administration in a hospital will set a requirement on the shift that a particular nurse has to attend. Manual methods are normally used to construct nurse schedules without the aid from any technology devices. The person who is responsible for constructing nurse schedules is chief nurse. The schedules will be arranged by the chief nurse and the schedules will be published 15 days before the beginning of a new month. Nowadays, many software have been created to arrange nurse schedule in a hospital in order to produce high quality nurse schedules. There is a new computer program that can be used to construct nurse schedules. The reason for developing this software is to reduce the inconvenience in arranging a nurse schedule which was previously constructed by a chief nurse. It only takes 90 seconds for a table of nurse schedule to be generated when the word “schedule” is entered in the program.  On the other hand, many different types of problems in nurse scheduling tend to occur and all these problems need to be solved in order to determine a suitable work schedule for nurses. However, nurse scheduling problem (NSP) is a difficult problem to solve as it contains many constraints that need to be fulfilled to achieve a flexible and feasible schedule.  The constraints that exist in NSP are hard constraint and soft constraints. Hard constraint needs to be met at all occasions otherwise the nurse schedule will not be accepted. Soft constraint is not essential but they are needed to be satisfied as it only operates to estimate the quality of the schedule. In addition, these constraints are not fixed occasionally. A survey is needed to be done to identify the constraints that exist in the schedules. Firstly, by referring to the constraint for nurses, a set of questionnaire must be constructed. The questions must be well-created so that good results can be achieved. To get good results, the questions must also be well-created. However, these depend on the hard and soft constraints in the administration of a hospital. Nurse schedules need to be practical and satisfactory in order to create a higher quality schedule for nurse. The purpose of constructing a higher quality nurse schedule is to guarantee the ‘right’ nurse is positioned into a particular period of shift respectively. Nevertheless, patients requirement also need to be considered in this problem. Nurses with more experience are more suitable to perform their work efficiently. The daily routine of nurses basically depends on their working shifts. Thus, to achieve a higher quality schedule for nurses, it is important to consider each nurse’s health, social life and fitness. This is important to ensure they are in well condition when performing their job. Although a schedule have been done, if nurses could not work on that particular time, a higher quality schedule is impossible to achieve.
Terminologies and description
Nurse scheduling problem is all about arranging workdays and days off for nurses. A nurse has his or her on requirements. To solve the problem, one needs to construct a schedule that fulfills the constraints of the nurses and satisfied the requirements of the hospital. Some examples of constraints that are needed to be considered are; a nurse does not work in the morning shifts, evening shift, night shifts and late night shifts on the same day, a nurse may go on a vacation and will not work in the shifts for that particular time and the most...
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