Peer Review

Peer Review may be defined as being the evaluation of work by others with similar work experience, education, or study. Nursing peer review may be described as the clinical evaluation of skills and competence by fellow nurses within the same field or specialty. Peer Review processes can be an effective and beneficial if used in a safe and effective manner and not for malicious intent. Unfortunately, nurse peer reviews may be used by organizations simply as an arm of their disciplinary action procedures as opposed to genuine professional practice violations. Nurses may find themselves in the hot-seat fending off feelings of fear, intimidation, and punishment rather than experiencing the true spirit of the peer review process; a fair and unbiased process of learning and discovery used to determine if and to what extent a deficiency in a nurse’s judgment, knowledge, training, and/or skill factored into a complaint filed against this nurse. The peer review process must consider factors beyond the control of the nurse in question. Now consider the realities facing a nurse who is subject to a nursing peer review within their place of employment. The peer review committee or panel convened consists of representatives appointed by the organization. Frequently, the committee or panel members are paid employees of this organization.

Ask yourself the following:

Do the current peer review statutes outlined by the State Board of Nursing support a fair and unbiased process? Who on the panel or committee is advocating for the nurse in question? How does a nurse protect themself from unfair and biased peer review processes? Does the State Board of Nursing rules and regulations allow for a nurse representative to be present during peer review meetings? Is the peer review committee or panel selected solely by the nurse’s employer, or is the nurse in question allowed to select representatives as a mechanism for minimizing panel bias and unfair processes?

NAA wants to advocate for you, the nurse who may find themselves involved in a peer review. As a member of the NAA we will work with you to respond to peer review actions that have been brought against you. We want to assist you by providing you with the education and resources available to the NAA. Through our collaborative efforts we can improve the practice environment including the peer review processes which influence our nursing practices.

NAA welcomes you to share you peer review experiences in the Breakroom! Join NAA today.

Reference list

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