Jul 10, 2023
AMSN President's Message, July 2023
It’s that time of year — evaluation time! Each year, we complete peer and self-evaluations which is an opportunity to provide feedback for others and to promote the great work we have been doing all year. Sometimes evaluations can be a little intimidating. We think we did a great job, but does our manager feel the same way? I remember one of my first evaluations as a new nurse. I received some feedback that I was not expecting. At first, I was very defensive. After I took time to reflect on the comments, I applied changes to my performance and received higher marks in the following years. Even if you do not total agree with everything in your evaluation, it is a tool to provide feedback for consideration and reflection.
Also, an annual evaluation is a time to review the performance of goals from the previous year. Was I able to complete them? Did I attempt to complete the goal, but fall short? Was my goal too far reaching? Taking time to review how you performed on your goals is important. It can promote a sense of accomplishment or help refocus your efforts into the new year. Setting goals for the coming year is another valuable part of evaluations. Taking a few minutes to think through and write out what you want to accomplish in the coming year helps to set the stage for this moment in your career. As you create professional goals, consider the impact you want to have on your unit and peers, on your career, and within your organization. I usually set three goals: one that relates to my current work and progress, one that supports organizational goals, and one that will support my career and professional development. Early in my career, I did not always consider my evaluation as an important part of my nursing career. However, looking back, it has been a way for me to reflect on my career year over year. Also, your evaluation is a time for you to shine and remind your manager of all the great work you have done throughout the year.
As a manager I have read many peer and self-evaluations. I have also written many evaluations. Here are a few key takeaways when completing your self-evaluation.
- Provide examples. If you are expecting a rating that is exceeding the normal workplace expectations, make sure to include examples of how you went above and beyond for your patients or the organization. Your manager is not involved in every aspect of the care you are providing each day, and patients do not always communicate this to your manager either. When you use examples, this demonstrates the excellent care you are providing to your patients each day.
- Complete your evaluation, and your peer evaluations, on time. Your manager probably has quite a few evaluations to complete. Respecting their timeline is important and gives them the proper amount of time to spend with your evaluation.
- Set goals that are realistic, professional, and move you to your next step in your career. This way, your manager can support you and suggest ways to meet your goals.
Evaluations create a time for reflection on the past year and a focus for the year ahead. We all know that evaluations are not the easiest to do and can be time consuming, but with the right amount of reflection and effort, they can be a great tool to develop your career.