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Nurses should be creative when choosing a peer to help them assess their practice: it’s an opportunity to choose someone whose opinion they respect and judgment they trust.


  • Prepare the information you want to discuss with your peer.
  • Select a time and place with privacy and without distractions for your conversation.
  • Briefly indicate what you would like to cover and why it is important.
  • Discuss and review some of your practice experiences.
  • Use your self-assessment to guide the discussion.
  • Be specific about your abilities, identified strengths and areas for growth, learning and enhancement.
  • You may want to share ideas about learning activities and even plan to address them together or with a group.


  • Prepare the information from your self-assessment so that you can be specific and focused during the conversation.
  • Take time to listen, understand and consider what is being said by rephrasing and being interested in your peer’s point of view.
  • Ask questions and be curious about how your peer sees you. Ask for suggestions on how to enhance your practice and grow professionally.
  • Two questions you may want to consider: What do I do best? Is there some aspect of my practice I can improve?
  • Show appreciation for the feedback you receive. Giving feedback is not an easy thing to do.


  • Check your reasons for accepting the invitation to give feedback.
  • Make sure you understand what your peer is asking for by restating the request in your own words.
  • Direct your feedback to what is specifically asked.
  • Be specific in your comments. Be guided by your peer and their self-assessment when offering your feedback. Be supportive and constructive in your comments.
  • Be attentive to feelings and non-verbal cues expressed by each of you. This can be done by asking “is it okay” during the conversation.
  • Be thoughtful in your comments and tone.
  • Provide time to create an opportunity for validating and exploring practice strengths, needs and ideas.

Applying the feedback

Once the peer feedback process is complete, nurses can integrate this information into their professional development plan, which should focus on identified learning needs, based on the nurses’ self-assessment and peer feedback.