Nurse workforce scheduling: A qualitative study of Indonesian nurse managers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic


nurse managers

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Sugianto, K. M. S., Hariyati, R. T. S., Pujasari, H., Novieastari, E., & Handiyani, H. . (2022). Nurse workforce scheduling: A qualitative study of Indonesian nurse managers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic . Belitung Nursing Journal, 8(1), 53–59.
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Accepted for publication: 2021-12-21
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: The increase in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has resulted in changes in the hospital workflow, including the staffing process and scheduling, especially in the isolation units. Nurse managers are working hard in the scheduling system to ensure high-quality care is provided with the best human resources.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the experiences of nurse managers in managing staff nurses’ work schedules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was used in this study. Eleven nurse managers from three COVID-19 referral hospitals were selected using purposive sampling. Data were collected using online semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis, and data were presented using a thematic tree. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) checklist was used as a reporting guideline of the study.

Results: Four themes were developed: (i) Nurse shortage, (ii) Strategically looking for ways to fulfill the workforce, (iii) Change of shift schedule, and (iv) Expecting guidance from superiors and compliance from staff.

Conclusion: The lack of nurse staff is a problem during a pandemic. Thus, managing personnel effectively, mobilizing and rotating, and recruiting volunteers are strategies to fulfill the workforce during the pandemic. Using a sedentary shift pattern and sufficient holidays could prevent nurses from falling ill and increase compliance with scheduling. In addition, a staffing calculation formula is needed, and top nursing managers are suggested to provide guidance or direction to the head nurses to reduce confusion in managing the work schedule during the pandemic.


Copyright (c) 2022 Kartika Mawar Sari Sugianto, Rr. Tutik Sri Hariyati, Hening Pujasari, Enie Novieastari, Hanny Handiyani

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in this study.


The researchers express their gratitude to the hospitals where the study was conducted and the participants in this study.

Authors’ Contributions

All authors contributed to the conception of this study, drafting and revising the work critically, approved for the final version, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Data Availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).


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