How to write a self appraisal for registered nurses

Nursing is an important profession because it involves caring for people who are sick and in need of help. In order to maintain high standards, hospitals must be vigilant in personnel reviews, and a part of that information can sometimes be a registered nurse's self appraisal of her work.

Writing a self-appraisal can be nerve-racking: You don't want to be too critical of your work, but you also want to be honest, as this will help you improve in your chosen profession.

Review the patient records you've kept since your last self-appraisal. Although there are patients and cases that stick in your memory, there are plenty of episodes that will slip your mind. Focus on the best and worst cases you've handled. This way, you can inform your bosses about the quick thinking you did to save lives, as well as the mistakes you have made.

Organise your self-appraisal in a way that puts you in the best light. Begin by detailing some of the day-to-day ways you approach your work and the care you provide. Detail some of those positive specific cases, then some of the negative cases, but finish the section on a positive note. Check with your bosses to see if there is additional information you need to include.

Identify your specialities in the section containing your positive cases. Make it clear that you enjoy palliative care most, for example. Point out, perhaps, that you have a knack for identifying possible drug interaction problems caused by a lack of communication in the chain of command. Conversely, mention the duties you enjoy least and believe you have slightly less talent for.

Lay out your plan for the future and what you will do to improve yourself professionally. This could mean taking additional classes or attending conferences to learn about new medical techniques and pharmaceuticals in development.

Assume a tone that is professional but entertaining. The people who will read the self-assessment don't necessarily want the biggest words and the most complicated sentences. They are likely looking to see how you evaluate your own work and how you plan to improve.

Once you have composed your self-assessment, double check it to make sure you've included any of the bits required by your particular hospital. For example, Maxim Staffing has prospective nurses fill out a form that lists the kinds of procedures you have performed. If you think it will impress the powers that be, bind your self-assessment in an attractive folder.