Peer Evaluator Spotlight
Written by Greg Donaldson, BA
ACEN Senior Editor
Published August 2022
For this issue of “Bridges,” the ACEN decided to interview an experienced, supremely reliable peer evaluator, Dr. Angela Balistrieri. Dr. Balistrieri, for as long as this author can remember, has exemplified what the ACEN looks for in a peer evaluator; she is thorough, punctual, and responsive to suggestions from ACEN Directors and Editors. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule and respond to the following questions:
Tell us about yourself! Where do you work and live?
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and am the Program Director at UPMC Mercy School of Nursing. Our school of nursing is a diploma RN program. We are part of the world-renowned UPMC Health System, which stretches across PA and into NY and MD. Within the health system, we have four diploma programs with six educational sites. I oversee the curriculum and educational technologies for all programs within the system. I have been in nursing education for 21 years.
How long have you been in nursing and nursing education, and what are your credentials, including degrees and certificates?
I have been a nurse for 26 years and a nurse educator for 21 years. I have obtained an RN degree, an MSN, and a DNP.
How many ACEN site visits have you gone on?
Oh, I’ve lost count. Maybe 20?*
What are your favorite memories of going on site visits? What did you learn?
The best part of the visit is getting to meet new people and share ideas. I learn something new with each visit, whether it is about curriculum, students’ resources, educational technologies, or accreditation. I’ve gotten to see areas of the country that I might not have visited otherwise and was able to learn about local culture.
Have you ever served for the Evaluation Review Panel? What was that like?
Yes. I enjoy this. This really makes you a stronger peer evaluator. Seeing the process at this level helps one understand what they need to focus on when conducting visits and the importance of narrative. It also makes you a better leader in your own school, as you can bring lots of ideas back to your nursing program.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a peer evaluator and go on site visits or serve on a panel in the future?
Take the leap of faith. It’s a collaborative team approach, and you will learn so much in the process. It really opens your eyes as an educator.
What’s the thing you least expected as a nurse entering nurse education?
Not sure I have an answer for this. I entered education early in my career. It’s an ever-evolving learning process for the faculty and students.
*ACEN records indicate that Dr. Balistrieri has served as a Team Chair, a Team Member, and at ERP since 2013.