Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School Name

Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr Sherill Cronin



Peer review is described as a best practice in assessing professional competence for all levels of nurses. However, barriers exist in implementing peer review among nurses in leadership roles. Nurse leaders have limited interactions to observe how others manage their units making assessment of professional competence difficult. A gap analysis of peer review in an acute care hospital revealed a need to revise the peer review program for nurse leaders. The American Organization of Nurse Executives list of leadership competencies was used as a framework to revise peer review instruments for the nurse leaders. Each instrument included a self-assessment and peer review component. To address limited opportunities for direct observation, a pod method was created. Leaders met in small groups and self-reported about leadership performance from the previous year. The peers evaluated each other’s accomplishment of goals based on information that was shared. Peer review education was provided to all leaders prior to starting the project. A perception survey was used to evaluate the revised program based on three subscales: comfort and knowledge, satisfaction, and professional development. Independent samples t-test analysis was performed to compare pre-project and post-project means. Results indicated a significant improvement in professional development. Additionally, positive interchanges were observed during pod meetings suggesting a possible mentoring benefit. The revised nurse leader peer review program and tools were perceived as better than the previous program in addressing professional development, facilitating the creation of leadership goals and increasing awareness of leadership development opportunities.