Peer Review

Quick Links to Resources:
Clinician III Peer Review worksheet  for Clinician III performance appraisal (not portfolio)
- Customizable Template for Clinical Peer Review (e.g. giving structured feedback at change of shift)
- Individual Development Planning tool  for current Clinician IIIs

A Valued, Essential Professional Skill

Peer review was established as an essential element of the UVAHS Professional Practice model in 1992. At that time, a Peer Review Task Force adopted the ANA's definition of peer review:

Peer review is an organized effort whereby ¬≠practicing professionals review the quality and appropriateness of services ordered or performed by their professional peers. Peer Review in Nursing is the process by which practicing Registered Nurses  systematically assess, monitor and make judgments about the quality of nursing care provided by peers, as measured against professional standards of practice. 

- ANA, 1988

Peer review is used to provide individual nurses with the feedback they need to plan and pursue their professional growth and to improve the care they provide. As such, it is an adjunct to self-assessment, professional-goal setting, portfolio enhancement, Clinical Career Ladder Panel review, competency assessment and annual performance appraisal.

Professional nurses are expected to demonstrate that they participate in peer review in an ongoing manner. Peer review is a component of any performance improvement plan for individual nurses. It is expected that professional­ nursing at UVAHS is practiced in an environment in which nurses openly share feedback on a consistent and constructive basis. Peer review is a required component of portfolios for Clinical Career Ladder validation, revalidation and advancement, as well as annually in most practice areas with Performance Appraisals. Portfolio Development classes, offered by the PNSO, support skill-building to help clinicians gain confidence in providing and soliciting peer review.

Nurse administrators seek formal peer review as part of their annual performance review.  The CNO includes feedback and any recommendations for improvement in the formal appraisal.


Developing Peer Review Skills

The PNSO has developed a variety of ways to enhance nurses' skills and confidence in peer review and to provide a forum in which to emphasize its importance to professional practice.   The Professional Development Committee continues to work on additional resources and educational opportunities for our peers to facilitate this essential component of our shared governance model.

Peer Reviews for Clinical Career Ladder Portfolios: To develop written peer review skills, nurses may seek out the Portfolio Development classes offered by the PNSO; review the NetLearning  course offering schedule.

Peer Reviews for Performance Evaluations: The PNSO Professional Development Committee has developed a Peer Review Form (login required) that can be used in conjunction with the yearly Performance Evaluation for Clinician 3s, and is considering developing similar tools for other clinician levels.  Use of the form guides staff through structuring well-rounded, consistent feedback regarding level-appropriate skills and behaviors. It is intended to be used as a worksheet and summary, with the feedback delivered in a face-to-face meeting, peer reviewer and reviewee, supplemented by the written copy. A written copy is also provided to managers for consideration during the formal performance appraisal.
   - NOTE: This Peer Review form is not to be submitted as part of a portfolio used for Advancement or Validation on the Clinical Ladder.  The Professional Development Committee feels strongly that individualized narrative reviews are more appropriate for an applicant's portfolio.

Individual Development Plan: As each nurse plans to pursue individual growth, feedback from all levels, peer and managerial, should be integrated into their plans: what strengths to build on and mentor others in; what areas of growth are targeted for improvement, and what new projects or experiences can help them attain their goals. A new Individual Development Planning tool (login required) helps existing Clinician 3 leaders adopt a structured approach for their professional growth.