Solving an outpatient nurse scheduling problem by binary goal programming

Sheng Pen Wang, Yu Kuang Hsieh, Zheng Yun Zhuang, Nai Chia Ou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The cyclic scheduling for staffs in hospitals has been widely studied but none in the literature is about the nurse scheduling problem in the outpatient departments. Considering fairness and relevant constraints in scheduling outpatient nurses, this study formulates the nurse assignment problem as a binary goal programming model. An optimized and "fair" weekly schedule satisfying the stated hospital's policies and the outpatient nurses' preferences is solved. A "fair" schedule is in the sense that the number of due shifts and the shift patterns are assigned as same as possible for all the full-time nurses during the weekdays. A sensitivity analysis on the number of full-time nurses is also performed to answer the question about the best utilization in scheduling nurses. This study replaces the manual-made schedule with a computerized one and provides hospital managers insights in identifying the best human-resource portfolio in outpatient nurse scheduling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Industrial and Production Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Binary goal programming
  • Nurse scheduling
  • Outpatient department
  • Sensitivity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Solving an outpatient nurse scheduling problem by binary goal programming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this