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How to Write Your Yearly Self-Evaluation

How to Write Your Yearly Self-Evaluation

Terri Polick | NursingLink

It happens every year. Nurses must write a self-evaluation when it’s time to get their raise. No worries, right? Wrong! What you write can affect what your boss is willing to shell out of his or her pocket at the beginning of the fiscal year. Learn how to write a self-evaluation that will make your boss think you’re the greatest nurse since Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale.

The Basics

Spelling and grammar counts. You can’t claim to be a smart professional worthy of a hefty raise when a fifth grader has a better command of the English language than you do. I’ve helped many nurses write their self-evaluation after I’ve read their abysmal drafts. These people weren’t stupid, they were bright professionals who forgot some basic principles of grammar, had a rusty vocabulary, and forgot to use spell check.

Don’t use words you don’t understand. Look up the definition of a word if you aren’t sure of its meaning before you use it in a sentence. And don’t be afraid to go to the library and check out a grammar book before you start your draft. My favorite books are The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White Good, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grammar and Style by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. Your communication skills are important when you’re writing your self-evaluation because you are painting a self-portrait with your words.

The next thing to do is to write a draft. Start by writing a detailed outline of why you think you deserve a raise. Look at the big picture. Create categories that describe who you are as a nurse. Think about your clinical competences, leadership abilities, and how you get along with your colleagues. Also consider your professional growth and development as a nurse, and go from there. Fill in the big picture with detailed facts.

Because You’re Worth It

Show don’t tell your boss that you deserve a raise. For example, don’t just say that you’re a competent nurse, write statements with facts and measurable outcomes, such as: “I am competent at giving medications as evidenced by the concise, accurate, and timely manner in which I distribute medications to my patients." Mention facts like no incident reports were generated because you administered medications improperly and that your documentation proves that you reevaluate your patients one hour after administering analgesics.

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