Clinical Corner: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Performance Evaluations

Clinical Corner

By Melissa Nguyen, Medical Solutions Clinical Nurse Manager

Here’s everything you need to know about performance reviews so you can come out on top!

Performance evaluations. As a traveler, you don’t have to worry about them anymore, right? Wrong! As a Clinical Nurse Manager to travel nurses, the majority of nurses I speak to are not aware of how frequently performance evaluations are given and how they can potentially impact their travel career. On average, nurses who work in permanent positions are given evaluations on a yearly basis. In contrast, travel nurses are evaluated after every assignment, which could mean up to four evaluations a year! So what do performance evaluations really mean to you and your travel career?

Performance evaluations give us feedback on how you represent Medical Solutions. There are 10 elements supervisors are asked to evaluate you on:

Adaptability (How quickly did you adapt to the assignment.)

Communication skills with your peers and managers

Communication skills with patients and families

Dependable/Punctuality (This is the number 1 reason travelers receive poor evaluations or ‘DNR’ evaluations)


Assessment skills

Can you identify, develop and implement care plans?

Overall clinical skills

Overall job performance

Would they hire you again?

Poor performance evaluations or DNR (Do Not Rehire) evaluations could impact you long after that assignment. 

A DNR evaluation for some facilities will make you a DNR for their entire healthcare system. For example, you received a DNR evaluation from St. Mary Hospital, which is part of the XYZ Healthcare System. Now, you are not only a ‘Do Not Rehire’ for St. Mary Hospital, but you could also be a ‘Do Not Rehire’ for ALL XYZ hospitals.

A DNR evaluation may make you a ‘Do Not Rehire’ for Medical Solutions or put you on ‘Caution’ status.  Being placed on ‘Caution’ status means there have been issues with your performance and too many issues during future assignments will eventually lead to becoming a ‘Do Not Rehire’ for Medical Solutions.  A ‘Do Not Rehire’ with Medical Solutions means you will no longer be able to travel with the company.

On the other hand, you can be rewarded for outstanding evaluations. There are several awards that Medical Solutions offers for travelers who have exceptional evaluations.  Those include:

Traveler of the Month: You must receive a ‘Perfect Evaluation,’ where every element on the evaluation form receives the highest possible rating. One traveler will be chosen each month and will receive a $100 Visa or Amazon Card.

Rising Star of the Month: You must receive a ‘Perfect Evaluation’ AND be a first-time traveler.  One traveler will be chosen each month and receive a $50 Visa or Amazon Card.

If you are having issues or concerns while you are on assignment, you also have resources available to assist you.  For non-clinical concerns (for example, you are having issues with bullying behavior from other staff), it is imperative to notify your recruiter. For clinical concerns, there are Clinical Nurse Managers on staff who will help guide and advocate for you. If you find yourself concerned with something clinical in nature, notify your recruiter and they will have a Clinical Nurse Manager from Medical Solutions call you as soon as possible.

Staying on top of issues as they arise will prevent future issues that lead to poor evaluations. Here at Medical Solutions, we pride ourselves on advocating and supporting our travelers, so please reach out should you need any assistance while on assignment.  

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