Thursday, October 3, 2013


performance review, job description

Ashley was blindsided by her boss during her 6-month review. As a new nurse, Ashley thought she was doing a good job. Her boss, however, thought otherwise and told her she wasn’t meeting expectations.
Expectations according to what?

All nurses receive a job description during their first week of orientation. Typically it’s put in a folder with the other gazillion papers received and never looked at again. However, as a new employee, you are bound to comply with the expectations and responsibilities identified in your job description.
In Ashley’s case, her job description although not clearly articulated, indicated that she was responsible for rounding with physicians (collaborative practice), giving report to the nursing assistants (effective communication) and participating in daily huddles (teamwork). Ashley's boss pulled out her job description (which Ashley hadn't looked at since orientation) and went line by line giving her feedback on her performance. Because Ashley really didn't read her job description, she wasn't prepared to address the issues brought to her attention.
Job descriptions, while sometime more generic, are used as guidelines to set expectations and evaluate employees. As a new employee, it's essential that you know and understand the expectations according to this document.

To make sure you understand expectations, follow these tips:
·       Read thoroughly
Read your job description several times. Make sure you understand what is expected of you and be sure to ask questions to ensure clarity.
·       Review with your preceptor
This can allow you to create an orientation plan that addresses each component and ensures you understand HOW to meet expectations.
·       Review with your boss
Ultimately, you want to meet the expectations of your boss. Review your job description with your boss to make sure you are on the same page. Ask questions like, “What does collaborative practice mean?” This gives your boss the opportunity to define the vague expectations typically included in job descriptions.

Oh...and why did the boss wait until Ashley's 6-month review to let her know she wasn't meeting expectations??? bad...bad...bad....but I'll address that some other time. Many managers only give feedback during established performance review periods. However, DON'T WAIT! Ask for feedback throughout your first few months and beyond to make sure you don't get blindsided!

Remember, you are responsible for knowing the expectations of your role. Ignorance is not a defense!
Read your job description – ask for clarity – read it again.

Have you ever been blindsided at your evaluation? Would love to read your comments.

Thanks for reading and for choosing to become a nurse!

Take care and stay connected

For more great tips, make sure you "like" me on Facebook,"follow" me on Twitter and YouTube and subscribe to my blog. Also, check out my new book on nurse-to-nurse bullying and my new eBook titled, Survive and Thrive: A guide helping new nurses succeed! 

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