How Serving as a Peer Evaluator Boosts Your Career
by Greg Donaldson, BA, Senior Editor at the ACEN
Volunteering as a peer evaluator for the ACEN has many benefits. Many peer evaluators are former nursing faculty members who find themselves in new administrative positions. During site visits, these peer evaluators have a unique opportunity to view the innerworkings of ACEN-accredited programs that are run by experienced nurse administrators. Observing such programs can provide inspiration in terms of how to better perform one’s own job as well as improving their nursing program. Time management, budget coordination, working with faculty and coordinators, and conducting effective committee meetings are just a few of the areas someone in a new position of authority might benefit from watching an experienced nurse administrator execute firsthand.
In addition to observing the nurse administrator of the program being reviewed, peer evaluators also benefit greatly from talking to and collaborating with the other members on the site visit team. This is a great way to network with other nursing professionals in a setting that is more comfortable and informal than a large nursing conference. As cheesy as it may sound, being on a site visit team is a great way to make new friends, not to mention the potential benefits of conversing with peers about nursing education in general.
Hopefully, it is not too forward to say that serving as a peer evaluator looks great on a résumé. Many hiring parties are often impressed by this professional experience, and serving as a peer evaluator is also beneficial when applying for tenure.
Anyone serving as a peer evaluator most likely will eventually find themselves hosting an ACEN accreditation site visit at some point in the future. Familiarity with the ACEN, specifically the consistent application of the Standards and Criteria, benefits these peer evaluators when it comes time for their own site visits. Whatever one’s reason for choosing to become a peer evaluator, these are ways to boost their own career as well as the effectiveness of their own nursing program, including diminishing the stress often associated with accreditation visits. As it states on the ACEN website, serving as a peer evaluator is the ideal way to “expand your expertise in nursing education accreditation” and “foster your development as a nurse educator.”