What Is a Nursing Performance Evaluation?

Patti Kate

A nursing performance evaluation is a written assessment of a nurse's work performance. Also known as a performance appraisal, the evaluation is typically done on a regular basis, which may be quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. A supervisor will generally evaluate the performance of his employee, and the review will then be interpreted by a boss or manager. All aspects of work will be reviewed, including work habits and ethics.

The quality of care when under pressure is part of a nurse's performance evaluation.
The quality of care when under pressure is part of a nurse's performance evaluation.

Performance reviews are a common procedure used by employers in many professions. A nursing performance evaluation will typically be documented on a paper form, which will typically be hand signed by the appraiser, as well as the nurse. An evaluation form will include a field for comments in most cases as well. Work habits and performance may be rated using a number system. Typically, "1" may be the poorest or unsatisfactory rating, with a "5" being the highest performance rating.

A nursing evaluation typically will document the attendance record of the employee.
A nursing evaluation typically will document the attendance record of the employee.

The ratings listed on a nursing performance evaluation will typically be broken down into categories. Over the course of her employment, a nurse's supervisors will observe her work habits and make note of her strengths and weaknesses. When preparing an evaluation, the supervisor will review how well the nurse completes her assignments, and note areas of improvement on which the nurse needs to focus.

A nurse's demeanor with patients may be part of a performance evaluation.
A nurse's demeanor with patients may be part of a performance evaluation.

In many cases, a nursing evaluation will document the attendance record of the employee. It may list how many days the nurse was absent from her work, with or without reasonable cause. The form may also list the number of days the nurse was late for work, with or without an explanation.

A nurse's ability to handle stress may be addressed on a nursing performance evaluation.
A nurse's ability to handle stress may be addressed on a nursing performance evaluation.

Many other considerations are documented on the nursing performance evaluation. The supervisor may rate a nurse's ability to solve complex problems without assistance. Her ability to handle stress on the job may also be assessed. As with many professions, teamwork plays an important role. A nursing performance evaluation will often include an assessment of how well the nurse works alongside her co-workers. This may take into account her ability to communicate effectively and her interpersonal skills in general.

Nurses may have to demonstrate basic wound care techniques as part of an evaluation.
Nurses may have to demonstrate basic wound care techniques as part of an evaluation.

A yearly review or performance appraisal may also include space to list professional goals the employee hopes to achieve. For example, the nurse may list her desire to achieve certification in a particular specialty by the next evaluation. Others may list the desire to become a full-time registered nurse. Short-term and long-term career goals may be listed separately.

A nursing performance evaluation assesses a nurse's work performance.
A nursing performance evaluation assesses a nurse's work performance.

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