1. Section Editor(s): Thompson, Elizabeth M. MSN, RN, CNOR

Article Content

It is November, which means Perioperative Nurse Week is right around the corner. This week is a time to celebrate and recognize our role in promoting health and well-being for our patients. It is also a time to reflect and challenge ourselves professionally through scholarly activities. One way to enhance your perioperative nursing practice, stay current, and affect patient care is to become an external peer reviewer. As an external peer reviewer, you have the opportunity to review nursing manuscripts submitted to the journal for publishing. The content of peer-reviewed nursing journals has been examined by experts in the nursing profession, which provides credibility to the journal. The peer review process provides quality control for the publishing process.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Demonstrated experience

The responsibilities of an external peer reviewer are to review the content of the manuscript and provide input on whether: the information presented is accurate, pertinent to the journal, and reflects current practices. The external peer reviewer also provides comments on the readability of the manuscript, the appropriateness of the references, and makes recommendations to the editor whether the manuscript should be rejected or published. Most journals have a panel of peer reviewers reviewing each manuscript submitted. Other journals may require varying qualifications to be accepted as a peer reviewer. Generally speaking, journals require the peer reviewer to be actively practicing and demonstrate experience in his or her area of practice or specialty.


A critical eye

The OR Nurse 2015 journal offers peer reviewers an opportunity to receive American Nurses Credentialing Center(R) (ANCC) continuing-education credits proportional to the time spent reviewing the manuscript. In order to receive the credits, the reviewer answers several questions upon completion of the review. The questions include:


* Do you wish to earn continuing-education credit for this review?


* How long did it take to complete this review?


* Performing this review has improved my knowledge and ability to assess the scientific literature in order to make informed decisions in my practice. (YES or NO)


* Performing this review has improved my critical thinking and writing skills within my area of expertise. (YES or NO)



The peer reviewer also needs to provide supporting statements on advising for rejection or publication. Simply stating that the manuscript is interesting or well written is not practical feedback. Instead, comments should focus on the content or how the manuscript supports the professional perioperative nursing practice.


Through the process of reviewing manuscripts, the peer reviewer has the opportunity to acquire more knowledge about any given topic and support professional practice. Providing a critical eye to the manuscript offers the author an opportunity to improve the manuscript. The reviewer is advised to interpret manuscripts from a different viewpoint and become more self-aware and confident in his or her own practice and knowledge base.


Elizabeth M. Thompson, MSN, RN, CNOR

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Editor-in-Chief Nursing Education Specialist Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. [email protected]