Too many medical facilities and agencies suffer from nurse understaffing and shift conflicts. It’s time to put your paper-based schedules and spreadsheets aside and check out the best nurse scheduling software to ensure you’re getting the most out of your nursing workforce.

Nurse staffing is a crucial aspect of healthcare management, and it’s essential to have the right number of qualified nurses on duty to provide high-quality care and ensure patient safety. 

However, managing nurse staffing can be a complex and challenging task, especially in large healthcare facilities with multiple departments and shifts. 

Nurse staffing software is specifically designed to help healthcare organizations streamline their staffing processes, optimize their nurse-to-patient ratios, and ensure that their nursing staff is well-trained and supported. 

In this article, I’m exploring the best nurse scheduling software of 2024, as well as go through the must-have features you should look for when choosing your solution. 

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one nurse scheduling software

  2. Good for automating scheduling

  3. Good for distributing overtime fairly

Why trust us?

Our team of unbiased software reviewers follows strict editorial guidelines, and our methodology is clear and open to everyone.
See our complete methodology

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Tools considered

19

Tools reviewed

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Best tools
chosen

How I Chose the Best Nurse Scheduling Software

Here’s what I looked for while researching scheduling software:

Important product features 

  • Drag-and-drop scheduler: Scheduling software should allow you to drag and drop shifts into a digital schedule or use preexisting schedule templates. This capability simplifies and speeds up the scheduling process so you can spend less time on administrative tasks. 
  • Auto-scheduling: This feature automatically generates schedules based on availability, preferences, and business needs to speed up the scheduling process and eliminate manual scheduling.
  • HIPAA compliance: This is important to ensure that private patient data is kept safe and secure.
  • Time and attendance tracking: The software should accurately track the number of hours worked, breaks, and overtime.
  • Skill tracking and certification management: Managers should be able to track staff skills and certifications and ensure that all nurses are qualified and up-to-date.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Robust reporting and analytics capabilities give you you insight into staffing levels, overtime costs, and other key metrics. These reports can help you identify trends and optimize scheduling.
  • Customizable Shifts: You should be able to create custom shifts and rotations to match your organization’s unique needs. This feature enables you to optimize staffing levels, reduce overtime costs, and improve patient care.
  • Employee Self-Scheduling: Scheduling software that allows your staff to claim or request shifts can reduce scheduling conflicts and improve employee satisfaction. This feature can also help with shift coverage during times of high demand or unexpected absences.
  • Internal communication: Nurses should be able to communicate with each and to their managers directly from the software to discuss any shift-related matters or scheduling conflicts.
  • Reminders and notifications: Automatic reminders and notifications regarding shift-related updates, approvals, new open shifts, and shift requests.

I also looked for usability features like:

  • Mobile access: The software should be accessible via mobile devices, enabling nurses to view their schedules and request changes on-the-go. This allows for flexibility and convenience and helps keep everyone on the same page.
  • Ease of use: It should be intuitive and have a user-friendly interface. Staff shouldn’t need excessive training and managers should be able to quickly get the software up and running.  

 

The 8 Best Nurse Scheduling Software Solutions of 2024

  1. Connecteam — Best all-in-one nurse scheduling software

    Connecteam is the best all-in-one nurse scheduling software, specifically designed to create, assign, and oversee shifts.

    Why I chose Connecteam: First off, Connecteam is HIPAA compliant which is already a major win. This ensure that all personal health information stored or mentioned within the app is kept safe and secure, and only available to authorized individuals.

    Connecteam also offers an easy, customizable interface, which means you don’t need much training to use it. It helps everyone feel part of the team, even when working in the field, preventing them from feeling isolated.

    Let’s take a closer look at how Connecteam can help with scheduling your nursing staff:

    Connecteam is HIPAA compliant, ensuring patient information is kept safe and secure

    I love that Connecteam has gone the extra mile to officially acquire HIPAA compliance. This means that you and your staff can legally and safely talk about, share, and store pertinent patient information within the app.

    Whether two healthcare workers need to securely discuss a patient through online team chat or store important patient documents within the app, Connecteam ensures that all information is kept private so your organization remains compliant with HIPAA regulations. You can also edit user access so that only authorized individuals can view specific chat logs, documents, and other files.

    Smart drag-and-drop scheduling

    Connecteam’s employee scheduler allows you to create nurse schedules in minutes with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. You can easily create recurring shifts and allow one-click shift swapping. Everything is clear, thanks to visual cues and intelligent color coding. 

    Quickly import your existing schedule from an Excel file or create shift templates for specific jobs or locations.

    Connecteam lets you schedule nurses by their preferences, availability, and qualifications. Or, you can create open shifts that any worker can claim. Your team members can request to swap shifts with a coworker, and you can review and approve these requests in seconds.

    Auto-scheduling to eliminate manual scheduling

    Connecteam’s auto-scheduling feature allows you to make employee schedules in seconds. You can predefine in the app how many staff you need per shift as well as which roles, and the auto-scheduler will create the schedule for you, taking into consideration employee availability, preferences, skillsets, and business need.

    You can also easily make any changes manually if you need to, drastically speeding up the scheduling process.

    🧠 Did You Know?

    Connecteam integrates with Google Calendar so your employees can transfer their shifts right from the app into their personal calendars on their phones.

    Forms, checklists and notes for shifts

    Connecteam lets you add notes, documents, digital forms, and checklists to shifts. Notes might include instructions for specific patients, while checklists are a great way to ensure everything gets done on time.

    By including these details, you can ensure that your staff has all the information they need right at the start of their shift and reduce back-and-forth communication.

    Flags scheduling inconsistencies

    Connecteam prevents costly scheduling mistakes by alerting managers when there are scheduling conflicts and inconsistencies.

    For example, if you accidentally schedule a nurse for two shifts in a day, the software automatically flags the mistake for you. 

    Automatic notifications

    Customizable notifications alert employees as soon as their schedules are published, as well as any scheduling updates, changes, or requests.

    Get notifications when team members accept and reject shifts, complete shift tasks, or don’t clock in or out from their shift on time. This helps you stay on top of your staff and take action immediately. 

    GPS-enabled time tracking and automatic timesheets for accurate payroll

    With the employee time clock, your staff can clock in and out of work from any device with just a touch. It’s accurate down to the second and has GPS location-tracking functionality. You can use this to verify workers’ on-the-clock locations. The software stops tracking their location once they’ve clocked out.

    You can also set up geofences around job sites. These are virtual borders that prevent workers from clocking in or out if they aren’t at the correct location. Connecteam will send employees reminders to clock in when they arrive at the site and a reminder to clock out when they leave. 

    Connecteam can also act as a time clock kiosk app. Multiple employees can punch in and out from a shared device at a central location.

    Work hours are then automatically recorded onto digital timesheets for payroll, where you can review and send them to payroll. 

    Advanced break, overtime, and time off management

    Connecteam’s break management software lets you set custom rules for breaks and overtime. It will also automatically add break and overtime hours to your team’s schedules and calculate break and overtime pay. 

    Likewise, Connecteam helps you with all things related to time off management, like PTO, sick leave, and other absences based on your company’s custom accrual rules. Employees can easily view their time off balances and request PTO right from within the Connecteam app. You’re able to review and approve these instantly.

    Stay in touch with your team with in-app chat and newsfeed

    Connecteam makes it easy for you and your staff to stay connected no matter where you are. It has a built-in online team chat for both one-on-one and group conversations. You can share files, videos, images, and audio notes in messages.

    Connecteam’s nurse schedule app also includes a social-media style newsfeed for company updates and announcements. You can create important announcements and share engaging updates with your entire team at once. Schedule posts ahead of time, enable or disable comments, and even see who has viewed your messages.

    And so much more…

    In addition, Connecteam offers a document management system to keep all important staff documents secure and at your fingertips. The app also offers effective employee training software with onboarding features, too, to help you create custom training programs without any hassle, and so much more.

    Excellent customer service, a user-friendly interface, robust workforce management tools, and complete customizability make Connecteam the best nurse scheduling software on the market. 

    Connecteam’s premium plans start at only $29 per month for up to 30 users, and small businesses with fewer than 10 users can access this nurse scheduling app completely free(For information about Connecteam’s pricing with full HIPAA compliance, please reach out to the sales team)

    Connecteam also offers a free for life plan – Try Connecteam here!

    Key Features

    • Availability settings

    • Shift replacements

    • Drag-and-drop templates

    • Shift task management

    • Shift chat shortcut

    • Automatic notifications

    Pros

    • All-in-one solution

    • Extremely attractive and easy to use

    • Can easily track nurses’ availability

    • Excellent customer support

    Cons

    • Needs internet or wifi access to work

    Pricing

    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. eSchedule — Good for automating scheduling

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the eSchedule webpage

    Medical centers turn to eSchedule because of its user-friendly platform and ease of use.

    Why I chose eSchedule: eSchedule lets you automate scheduling, company wide-training, and is suitable for most web-enabled devices. You can even receive notifications by email or SMS.

    eSchedule comes with scheduling templates so it’s easy to track hourly, daily, weekly and monthly nursing shifts. Team leaders have easy access to vacation and time off requests and overtime, making scheduling simpler. Managers can also keep track of certificate expiration dates to ensure all nurses are compliant.   

    Learn more about eSchedule

    Key Features

    • Notifications in real-time
    • Manage shifts including time-off requests
    • Customized reports
    • Keep tabs on hours worked

    Pros

    • Sufficient automation options
    • User-friendly

    Cons

    • Prone to bugs
    • Difficult to change schedule format

    Pricing

    Starts at $100/month Trial: No Free Plan: No

  3. Shiftboard ScheduleFlex — Good for distributing overtime fairly

    Screenshot of the Shiftboard ScheduleFlex webpage

    Created by Shiftboard, ScheduleFlex is designed with healthcare in mind.

    Why I chose ScheduleFlex: ScheduleFlex is a flexible nurse scheduling software that helps share information company-wide, updates workers when there are open shifts, and offers mobile  access. 

    With Shiftboard, managers can create schedules quickly and send them to their nurses right away, and nurses can trade shifts with or without manager approval. This nursing scheduling software is one of the more cost effective options on the market, providing a vast number of tools and features for less than some of its competitors.  

    Learn more about Shiftboard ScheduleFlex

    Key Features

    • Flexible scheduling
    • Qualified workers are automatically assigned shifts for their skillset
    • Create smart groups for employees
    • Communicate by department or individual

    Pros

    • Employee self-service options
    • Easy to learn

    Cons

    • Poor customer service
    • Insufficient reporting options

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  4. Snap Schedule 365 — Good for creating shift assignments

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the Snap Schedule 365 webpage

    Snap Schedule 365 is a cloud-based scheduling software for medical facilities with more than 50 nurses.

    Why I chose Snap Schedule 365: It’s made primarily for creating, editing, publishing, and distributing nurse schedules, and makes it simple for managers to prevent double-scheduling with automatic flagging. The platform also helps keep track of employee attendance with automatic timesheets.

    From an employee perspective, Snap Schedule 365 is easy to navigate and provides a clear view of the upcoming working week. Employees can also email their managers directly from the mobile app, simplifying communication . 

    Learn more about Snap Schedule 365

    Key Features

    • Automated scheduling
    • Time-off request features
    • Provides timely and accurate data
    • Customizable and adaptable

    Pros

    • Employee self-service options
    • Feature-rich

    Cons

    • Not user-friendly
    • Dated user interface

    Pricing

    Starts at $450/scheduler/year Trial: Yes — 30-day Free Plan: No

  5. ScheduleAnywhere — Good for scheduling far in advance

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the ScheduleAnywhere webpage

    ScheduleAnywhere is accessible for any size team, is easy to learn how to use, and available from the mobile app.

    Why I chose ScheduleAnywhere: The software also allows for easy communication between staff members, enabling them to exchange important information and updates. Additionally, ScheduleAnywhere can help reduce staffing errors and minimize conflicts by ensuring that shifts are adequately staffed.

    One of its primary features is that administrators can create schedules weeks in advance. That way, nurses are aware of their schedules way ahead of time and can plan their personal lives around their workdays.   

    Learn more about ScheduleAnywhere

    Key Features

    • Quick-shift dispatch
    • Employee self-scheduling
    • Tailored reports
    • Track skills

    Pros

    • Easy to learn
    • Automation options

    Cons

    • Unintuitive user experience
    • Capabilities need refinement

    Pricing

    Starts at $25/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  6. TrackSmart — Good for saving recurring schedules

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the TrackSmart webpage

    One of TrackSmart’s key advantages is its ability to simplify scheduling tasks, making it easier for managers to manage shifts and employee availability.

    Why I chose TrackSmart: The software also includes easy time and attendance tracking and simplified payroll management. This software also comes with chat features so nurses and managers can efficiently communicate. 

    However, one of TrackSmart’s biggest challenges is its steep learning curve, particularly for those who are less tech-savvy. Some users may find the user interface crowded or difficult to navigate, which may reduce how effective the software is amongst staff. 

    Learn more about TrackSmart

    Key Features

    • Increases staff commitment
    • Easy clocking in system
    • Simple payroll reports
    • Employee chat features

    Pros

    • Sufficient automation options
    • Good accessibility

    Cons

    • Hard to navigate
    • Not user-friendly

    Pricing

    Starts at $89/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  7. SmartLinx — Good for optimizing schedules

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the SmartLinx webpage

    SmartLink is a complete nurse scheduling software solution designed to help healthcare facilities reduce labor costs and streamline operations.

    Why I chose SmartLink: The platform comes with human resource and payroll management capabilities, applicant tracking, employee scheduling, mobile shift management, and time and attendance tracking.

    However, there have been some user reports of technical glitches and system malfunctions, which can disrupt operations and cause delays.

    Learn more about SmartLinx

    Key Features

    • HR has a full overview of time off, payroll questions, salaries, etc
    • Assists employees with understanding their schedule better
    • Encourages engagement
    • Strengthens your team
    • Edit requests in real-time

    Pros

    • Easy to implement
    • Good customer support

    Cons

    • Unintuitive user experience
    • Limited capabilities

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  8. NurseGrid — Good for allowing nurses to edit their own schedules

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the nursegrid Boarding webpage

    NurseGrid’s primary goal is to reduce short-staffing in healthcare facilities, and their software addresses this head-on.

    Why I chose NurseGrid: NurseGrid offers a centralized system to distribute department schedules, fill shift vacancies, and approve swaps in real-time for managers and administrators. 

    The software also enables instant open-shift notifications to qualified nurses and notifications of staff credential expiration dates. Additionally, schedule updates and changes can be done directly from your phone, making this nurse scheduling software incredibly simple to use.

    Learn more about NurseGrid

    Key Features

    • 24/7 access to the schedule
    • Manage shift swaps in real-time
    • Online Courses
    • Add shifts for multiple locations

    Pros

    • User-friendly
    • Easy to implement

    Cons

    • Poor customer service
    • Prone to bugs

    Pricing

    Pricing isn’t publicly available Trial: No Free Plan: No

Compare the Best Nurse Scheduling Software Solutions

Topic Start for free
Reviews
4.8
4.8
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.5
4.4
N/A
Pricing
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Starts at $100/month
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $450/scheduler/year
Starts at $25/month
Starts at $89/month
Contact vendor for price
Pricing isn’t publicly available
Free Trial
yes
14-day
no
no
yes
30-day
yes
yes
no
no
Free Plan
yes
Free Up to 10 users
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
Use cases
Best all-in-one nurse scheduling software
Good for automating scheduling
Good for distributing overtime fairly
Good for creating shift assignments
Good for scheduling far in advance
Good for saving recurring schedules
Good for optimizing schedules
Good for allowing nurses to edit their own schedules
Available on
Web
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android

What is Nurse Scheduling Software?

Nurse scheduling software helps healthcare facilities efficiently manage and schedule their nursing staff. The software automates the schedule creation process, taking into account factors like shift preferences, availability, skill level, and labor laws. Many software include a nurse scheduling app so employees and administrators can manage their schedules on the go. 

This type of software usually includes features like shift swapping, time-off requests, and communication tools to help ensure that staffing needs are met while also accommodating employee preferences and needs. This can help reduce errors and inefficiencies in the scheduling process, while also improving employee satisfaction and retention.

How Does Nurse Scheduling Software Work?

Nurse scheduling software allows managers to customize shifts, plan schedules, book appointments, and attach shift details, tasks, and other essential media like images and videos. It may also include time tracking features so nurses can clock in and out directly from their phones. Employee hours are transferred to digital timesheets, which managers can integrate with payroll to calculate accurate pay. 

More often than not, nurse scheduling software also provides a mobile app in which nurses can access their schedules, regardless of location, with the ability to claim, reject, or trade shifts depending on their availability.

The Benefits of Nurse Scheduling Software

There are numerous benefits that come with using nurse scheduling software. These include:

  • Nurses are always in the know: Digital scheduling means nurses can access their schedules whenever they want, directly from their phones. This way, they’re always aware of when they’re expected to work. 
  • Efficient and streamlined scheduling: Nurse scheduling software automates and optimizes the scheduling process. Managers can create schedules based on staff availability, skill sets, and employee preference in a fraction of the time it would take to do manually. This cuts down on their administrative workload and ensures that the right number of nurses are working at all times, leading to better patient care. 
  • Enhanced communication: Scheduling software with in-app chat and an employee phone directly drastically improves communication between nurses and managers, leading to better collaboration and less confusion around who’s working when. Employees can also easily trade, reject or accept shifts, ask questions, and provide feedback on the go. 
  • Enhanced transparency: Managers can easily identify and address any gaps or overloads in staffing, promoting workplace transparency and accountability.
  • Effective travel management: With nurse scheduling software, agencies that dispatch nurses to specific locations can meticulously plan travel routes and manage time effectively. It’s also possible to allocate certain jobs to nurses depending on their current locations.
  • Reduced labor costs: Faster scheduling means reduced labor costs. Nurse scheduling software helps healthcare facilities save money.


📚 We put together detailed guides on:

How Much Does Nurse Scheduling Software Cost?

The number of users and features are the primary factors affecting the price of nurse scheduling software. 

Some solutions are on the pricier side, likeSnapSchedule, which starts at $450 per year for one scheduler. Then, pricing increases depending on how many users there are. Other solutions are more affordable, like ScheduleAnywhere, which costs $25 per month for up to 10 users.

Also, some nurse scheduling software solutions don’t provide pricing information on their websites and require customers to contact their sales representatives.

However, Connecteam offers transparent, affordable pricing for an all-in-one nurse scheduling solution.

Small businesses with 10 or fewer users can enjoy Connecteam’s Small Business Plan, which includes all features 100% for free. free for up to 10 users, with all features included. For larger companies, Connecteam’s premium plans start at only $29 a month for the first 30 users.

FAQs

Is Nurse Scheduling Software Expensive?

It all depends on the nurse scheduling software solution that you choose. Some are more expensive than others, so it really just depends on your budget. The range starts from $29 a month and can go up to the hundreds of dollars each month. Some nurse scheduling software charges per number of users so that’s something to be mindful of.

Are There Free Nurse Scheduling Software Solutions?

Yes, there are free nurse scheduling software solutions but most have limited features. However, Connecteam offers a completely free scheduling solution for businesses with up to 10 users. This includes all features like time-off requests, automated shift reminders, secure communication between employees and managers, employee directory, and integration with payroll.

What Features Should Nurse Scheduling Software Include?

Nurse scheduling software should include scheduling templates, shift swapping abilities, simple communication, calendar views, and should be accessible on the go. Managers should be able to easily view time-off requests and scheduling preferences, and the software should alert them when scheduling errors occur or when nurses are overscheduled. 

The Bottom Line on Nurse Scheduling Software

Nurse scheduling software is an essential tool for healthcare facilities to efficiently streamline workflows. Scheduling software provides an effective digital solution to messy, unorganized scheduling processes and ensures there are an adequate number of nurses working at all times. Ultimately, this improves patient care and creates better outcomes. 

With advanced scheduling features as well as integration with payroll, nurse scheduling software can also help managers and administrators optimize workforce management strategies and identify areas for improvement. 

Get started with Connecteam for free today!