Biomedical Research

Journal Banner

Evaluation of core competencies of nurses by novel holistic assessment system

Objective: To develop an integrated measurement system for competence assessment of nurses.

Methods: Extensive literature review was performed to acquire data on relevant competence frameworks, study methods, and background information. Initial draft was developed as a result of utilizing theoretical analysis approach for data analysis, comparison, and synthesis. Delphi method was adopted to screen and identify core competencies for completing this assessment system. Content validity of the assessment scale was tested by evaluation from a sub-group of Delphi experts, and a questionnaire survey was conducted among nurses to determine its reliability.

Results: This assessment system for core competencies of nurses identified 9 main domains of core competencies (the first-level domains) for nurses, which were divided into a total of 31 constituent subcompetencies (the second-level domains). Items included in the first-level domains and their corresponding weights were as follows: clinical nursing competency (W=0.1271), professional quality (W=0.1250), level of knowledge (W=0.1197), communication competency (W=0.1188), physiopsychological constitution (W=0.1165), management competency (W=0.1027), teaching competency (W=0.0983), scientific research competency (W=0.0972), and development work (W=0.0951). Participating experts rated the importance of the second-level domains by composite index, with the three most important items of sense of responsibility, first-aid skills and specialized nursing skills, while teaching organization, patient family management and research awareness were rated as the lowest importance. Validity examination of the competency assessment scale resulted in the Item-level Content Validity Index (I-CVI) of 0.92-1.00, and the Scale-level Continent Validity Index (S-CVI) of 0.94, with the inter-rate agreement of 0.94. Weighted Kappa coefficient was 0.77 ± 0.14 for test-retest reliability of this assessment scale.

Conclusions: This assessment system for core competencies of nurses provides honest, objective and comprehensive evaluation for ICU nurses’ core competencies.

Author(s): Yanhong Zheng, Xueyan Shi, Shumin Jiang, Zhenyun Li, Xiuyun Zhang