Journal of Scheduling

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 441–499 | Cite as

The State of the Art of Nurse Rostering

  • Edmund K. Burke
  • Patrick De Causmaecker
  • Greet Vanden Berghe
  • Hendrik Van Landeghem


Nurse rostering is a complex scheduling problem that affects hospital personnel on a daily basis all over the world. The need for quality software solutions is acute for a number of reasons. In particular, it is very important to efficiently utilise time and effort, to evenly balance the workload among people and to attempt to satisfy personnel preferences. A high quality roster can lead to a more contented and thus more effective workforce.

In this review, we discuss nurse rostering within the global personnel scheduling problem in healthcare. We begin by briefly discussing the review and overview papers that have appeared in the literature and by noting the role that nurse rostering plays within the wider context of longer term hospital personnel planning. The main body of the paper describes and critically evaluates solution approaches which span the interdisciplinary spectrum from operations research techniques to artificial intelligence methods. We conclude by drawing on the strengths and weaknesses of the literature to outline the key issues that need addressing in future nurse rostering research.

nurse rostering hospital personnel scheduling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmund K. Burke
    • 1
  • Patrick De Causmaecker
    • 2
  • Greet Vanden Berghe
    • 2
  • Hendrik Van Landeghem
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Computer Science & ITUniversity of NottinghamNottingham NG8 1BBUK
  2. 2.KaHo St.-LievenInformation TechnologyBelgium
  3. 3.Vakgroep Technische BedrijfsvoeringUniversiteit Gent

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