First Nursing Evaluation

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    I am wondering what to expect on my first nursing evalutaion. This is the one year mark. I am not under any contract after July 23rd. I am scared on one hand, but I can't change anything either. I know that I have done the best that I can. I have not gotten any write ups or any thing to that assortment. I am needing some advisement in order not to be thinking about all the time now. Thank you.

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  2. 12 Comments...

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    i have been in nursing for over 20 years. generally speaking, all evaluations i have had consist of several different things: how you function as a team player, work attendence, long term goals, short term goals, what you do well and what you may need to improve upon. don't expect to be perfect because there is no room to grow if you are at the very top. i've always felt that evaluations can be a positive experience, especially if you have thought about what you have accomplished over the past year and what you would like to accomplish. (for example, furthering your education, ceu's you would like to get, certifications you would like to get). most employers like employees to be goal oriented. attendence is a big one, too, so if you have been out sick several times, you will hear about it. don't sweat it! if you have screwed up you should have heard about it already. you will do great-and thank you for becoming a nurse! i hope it has been all you've expected and more. we need great people like you in the profession! good luck in the future.

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    you know how you got a job description of your current position as a staff nurse either at the time you were interviewed or during orientation, and an employee manual that had some rules in it that they expected all employees to follow? well, if the hospital human resources department did their job correctly, the evaluation form they use addresses these things. in general, if you haven't heard anything bad about your performance over the past year then you shouldn't be hearing anything bad on your yearly evaluation. your manager might make some suggestions for continued improvement. these evaluations also often ask for future goals. sometimes the managers will just add them. sometimes they want the employees to think of their own and add them. they will then be addressed in the next year's evaluation.

    some things you should be aware of. . .(1) if you find yourself faced with a huge error or wrong doing staring you in the face on a yearly evaluation that you are hearing about for the first time, even though you might remember the incident, ask why it is being brought up now and wasn't addressed at the time of the incident--especially if it is affecting the score you are receiving on the evaluation and see the next item (2) you will be asked to sign the evaluation. if you disagree with anything on it, there is a section, usually toward the bottom, where you can do that. do so. if you can't think of what to say at the time state "formal letter describing my disagreement with the above to follow", or something like that. not signing an evaluation indicates a willingness not to comply with the rules and regulations of the facility--in this case the rules on how evaluations are conducted and automatically give the management a reason for showing a person has an authority issue and doesn't follow rules. that pretty much categorizes a person as a troublemaking employee no matter how good a nurse they may be. (3) you are entitled to a copy of each evaluation. if it is not offered to you, ask for it. if your manager, for some reason, gives you a hard time about this, just ask someone later in the human resources department for it--they know your rights in regard to this if a manager doesn't. (4) these evaluations stay within the walls of the facility. no one outside of them is ever going to see your evaluations unless they get a subpoena from a court or you give them permission in writing. that is your right. you, however, have the right to have copies of everything in your personnel file (which is where these yearly evaluations end up). be aware, however, that other managers in the facility can look at your personnel file without your permission, especially if you ever apply for a transfer to work on their unit. (5) be cautious about what you share from your evaluation with other employees. it's none of their business.

    i imagine from what you posted that your evaluation is going to be just fine. i wrote and gave hundreds of evaluations. here's a view from a manager's side of this: i had to try to find different ways to state the same positive comments on these things so they didn't sound like i was copying them from the previous year on each employees evaluation! truth is any problems should have already been dealt with, so the evaluation is kind of like an official yearly report that summarizes what your employee performance has been over the past year and has to be done for administrative purposes to go into your personnel file. it's mostly to recognize all the good stuff because the bad stuff people do has almost already been documented and addressed. you want that good stuff documented! hope that makes you feel better.
    confused101 likes this.
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    Although this may sound contrary to the saying "No news is good news", if no one mentions your evaluation at the time of your one year anniversary, then ask about it. Some supervisors and/or others in the chain of command are lax when it comes to evaluations. Some individuals don't get evaluations for years. Some places just don't bother with them. However, there are two reasons why you should insist on your evaluation: 1) In case of a future layoff or other detrimental HR action, having positive evaluations in your folder (and copies in your own file) will help your case that mgmt should look at another employee for layoff; 2) When you leave, you might not be able to get a reference from your supervisor(s). A copy of your latest evaluation is often a good substitute when you are interviewing for a new position and you are asked about your references. Good luck on your first evaluation!
    NurseCherlove and Nicky032605 like this.
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    Thank you for being so informative. I had no clue about how the detail and the copies of things went. I have sat and done my self evalution. My manager stated she liked that I put examples on my things, that I asked about my review and how timely I was in getting the self evaluations out. It was 1-4 thing and had some examples of things. that fit in that catagory. On some of the stuff I put two numbers. Of course this was after working all night and up a significant number of hours. My six month review was something like this.....
    Hello, I was wondering about my six month review??? The manager looks puzzled... and states, "If we had a problem with anything we would have said something by now!" I said ok and went about my business.
    I will let you know how it goes. I don't know how the contract thing is going to turn out. If someone can give insite on that it would be great. The nurses I have seen all have contracts. What happens when they are up? Are you like a free agent?? I know at our facility you have to give a significant amount of time before you switch jobs for notice or you are banned from the facility. I know it is at least a month. I almost think it is longer. I know I have seen nurses not being able to transfer because a manager would not let them go. Makes for interesting complications.
    Again thank you for your feedback and I'll keep you updated. They are running two weeks ahead. I hope I have mine before August or I might just blow up. I really hate things like this. First time for everything!
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    I don't quite understand what you are saying about the contract thing. I've never worked under a contract, other than a union contract that was a general thing. If you actually have an individual employment contract, you should have your copy, which you can refer to, to find out what will happen. It will probably renew automatically, or you will go to at will employee. Be sure to ask your supervisor or the HR dept. so that there is no misunderstanding on your part. Maybe you can negotiate a raise in pay or you are eligible for some other benefit. Find out now so you don't have problems later. I assume you are not talking about the contracts associated with travel nursing. Glad to hear that your evaluation is going well. Sounds like you are in a good work situation and you should stay there. Good places are hard to find sometimes.
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    I got a one year contract with a sign on bonus. I have my copy about it. All it says is that I have to work at said employer or will have to give back the part of the sign on bonus. The sign on bonus is in two sections. First part was given to me the first 90 days and then this month.
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    Oh, that's easy then. Since you have finished your part of the contract and it only covered your bonus, you're just back to being an everyday normal employee. You are free to leave if you want to without worrying about paying back any money. Many people leave before their bonus contracts are up and they end up having to pay back money paid in advance. Congratulations on sticking out an entire year and getting all of your bonus.
    confused101 likes this.
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    Thank you for the encouragement. Now just the formality of getting this done. Thank you for your infomation and your experience in this occupation. It can be scary sometimes with all the formality and you are going in blind. For the nightshifters such as I, get some good sleep.
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    Quote from confused101
    I don't know how the contract thing is going to turn out. If someone can give insite on that it would be great. The nurses I have seen all have contracts. What happens when they are up? Are you like a free agent??
    You should have been given a copy of any contract to work that you signed. Even if it was a contract to work as a tuition forgiveness as well. Dig it out and read it. If you can't find it, go to the human resources department and ask for a copy. The people to ask about the contract are the people in the human resources department. In general, once all the conditions of a contract have been met by all parties, the contract is over. You go to the status of a regular employee, I would think.
    Quote from confused101
    I know at our facility you have to give a significant amount of time before you switch jobs for notice or you are banned from the facility. I know it is at least a month. I almost think it is longer. I know I have seen nurses not being able to transfer because a manager would not let them go. Makes for interesting complications.
    This, too, is a question that you can get an answer from the human resource people. It should also be posted in the facility policy manual. Many facilities have a policy that specifies an exact amount of notice they want when an employee is going to resign. Often, it is the same as the pay periods (usually two weeks). However, some facilities have other specific rules and this period can be a long as 4 weeks or more. It is safer to write a letter of resignation that is dated with particular attention to the dates and keep a copy for yourself as well. However, the fact is that with employment an employee is not a slave, and theoretically you can quit tomorrow and never go back to work there. However, the facility would most likely put a ban on ever rehiring you. That's their little punishment to you. However, they cannot withhold providing information about your employment with them to other employers you are applying to. You can specifically direct them to NOT reveal that you did not give their required notice of termination to employers you have applied to. That is your right.

    Transfers are a tricky business. There is also a facility policy regarding when you can transfer out of your present job. This might also be written into your contract. It usually means that one manager is loosing one of their staff while another manager gets them. Since I was a manager I can tell you that just as there are cliques within the nursing staff, there are also cliques within the management staff as well. I've seen managers pull some pretty nasty tricks on each other to gain staff over the others. Once one got wind that one of their employees was wanting to transfer to another's unit, they would start bad mouthing the employee to the other manager, "why would you consider her?", "she's a troublemaker on my staff and I've been trying to find a way to get rid of her" (trying to let the other manager think they are being friendly). And, then, when the transfer never went through, that staff nurse was targeted for some exceptionally bad treatment by the manager in retaliation. The unit manager who the employee has sought to transfer to usually goes to human resources (if they are smart) and looks at the personnel file of the employee to see just what kinds of problems, if any, there have been. Many times an employee wants to transfer in order to wipe their slate clean of problems they have been having on a unit where they have been working. As a manager I was aware of some of the bad management that went on at some of the other units so I knew when some of the requests were legitimate. They will also talk very tactfully with others to get the real low down on the person who wants to transfer--at least a fair-minded manager does. I never went for this back-biting gossip from the other managers about other employees when transfers were in the air. Set red flags up all around me. But, I did listen during our management meetings when other managers were talking, in general, about some of the problems on their units. Certain names of trouble-making staff nurses get brought up and are well-known to the managers and supervisors. Bet many of you staff nurses didn't know that. I don't know how it works in all places, but our Director of Nursing had the final say on all staff transfers.

    My advice is to feel out the place you want to transfer to. Have casual discrete talks with the manager at first and not make your real intention of transfer known. Make your talks more like you just want to find out about their unit, that you might be considering making a change in your field of nursing. Make a friend of them first. When you feel the time is right then slowly hint at possibly working with them. You might even offer to work some extra or PRN days to fill in gaps in their schedule to show your interest in their unit. What better way to get a foot in the door? This process takes time. Sometimes months, but it's worth it. If you are going to transfer, you need that manager on your side. In all those little conversations, you are already having your job interview, you're just kind of leading it along at your own pace.

    Good luck to you.

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