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peer feedback, peer review, performance appraisal, performance evaluation



  1. Davis, Karen K. MS, RN
  2. Capozzoli, Joe BS, RN
  3. Parks, Joyce PMHCNS-BC


The performance appraisal process is a key component of professional nursing practice. The peer review process is referred to frequently in Magnet Nursing Standards as a key element in professional nursing. The peer review process allows professionals from common practice areas to systematically assess, monitor, make judgments, and provide feedback to peers by comparing actual practice to established standards. Peer review can engage a multigenerational workforce and lead to more satisfied, engaged employees. As a component of the annual performance appraisal, peer review can create positive relationships, foster a better work environment, and allow peers to increase individual and group accountability. Peer review has many common elements that can be individualized to fit any type of unit or work culture. This article describes how to design, implement, and evaluate a unit-based peer review program. The content and steps outlined are intended to support nurse managers in implementing unit-specific peer review programs by focusing on existing expertise and best practices. The implementation steps are divided into 5 phases describing the introduction of concepts and getting nurses engaged, implementation guidelines, piloting the process, staff education, and ongoing evaluation. Staff involvement is the key to a successful unit-based peer review process.