Nurse proficiency reports help you succeed and move to the next grade level.
Nurse proficiency reports help you succeed and move to the next grade level.

A nurse proficiency report demonstrates a nurse’s knowledge in her field. In nursing education, hospitals and health care training facilities, nurses are required to submit a record of their interactions with doctors and patients. The reports are an indication of the nurse’s ability to observe, record and communicate effectively under pressure. Proficiency reports are pivotal in pushing training nurses into the next grade level in their training programs.

Determine what information should go into your report. For example, if you are observing a patient’s symptoms, record the time and date that the symptoms were observed. Double-check and confirm that the patient information is correct and that you are writing about the correct patient. Write out all the symptoms and how the patient reports to be feeling.

Write objective information and leave out personal opinion, feelings and emotions. This information will be used by doctors and other nurses and only factual and accurate information should be reported.

Write as precisely as possible. If you are writing a report about administering a dressing change, do not simply state that. Instead, state specifically what you did, how you did it, what you used to clean the wound, how you covered it, what material you used to stick the gauze to the wound, as well as how the patient was feeling or acting during the process. Being precise and specific about each step of the process helps doctors and nurses envision the procedure, providing them with a full picture and enabling them to treat it effectively later if necessary. If administering medication, indicate which doctor prescribed it, how much and how often it was administered, as well as the patient’s side effects and reaction to the medication.

Avoid making statements that you cannot quantify. Reporting on the patient acting crazy, for example, could indicate negligence on your part and may be used against you in court. Remember that you are not the only person reading your report. In order to succeed to the next grade level, you have to embody professionalism and confidence as a nurse.

Find out from your facility how many attempts you have to demonstrate your nursing proficiency. Some facilities require new hires, promotional hires and transfers to submit proficiency reports during their orientation as a provision for their new grade level.

Determine what will happen if your proficiency report is not accepted. In some cases, a manager or director and nursing instructor will work with the student to help her if she fails her proficiency report for the first several tries. If she fails to demonstrate proficiency on her final attempt, she may be demoted or let go.