Challenges experienced by professional nurses during performance assessment at a tertiary Hospital in Polokwane Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa

16 Nov 2015

The performance assessment process is confronted with a great deal of criticisms and challenges from the employees and their unions. There are several issues being put forward such as the raters’ ability, accuracy of the system, fairness, discrimination, quota system and other aspects. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the challenges experienced by professional nurses whose performance was assessed by nurse managers at a Tertiary hospital. A qualitative research approach applying the exploratory and descriptive and contextual design was used. Purposive and convenience sampling were used to select the participants. The population was all professional nurses. Data were captured by writing field notes and the use of a voice recorder during unstructured face-to-face interviews. Data saturation was reached after interviewing fourteen participants. Data were analysed using Techs’ open coding method of qualitative data analysis. The results indicated that there is lack of evidence to support performance due to poor attendance of workshops during the reviews and that nurse managers lacked knowledge about the performance assessment process and therefore, feedback about performance was not given. It is recommended that nurse managers receive on-going training regarding performance assessment and that the change of the Performance Management Sytem will remedy the situation.