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Competence profiles of recently registered nurses working in intensive and emergency settings

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salonen a.h., kaunonen m., meretoja r. & tarkka m.-t.(2007) Journal of Nursing Management15, 792–800



Competence profiles of recently registered nurses working in intensive and emergency settings Background 

Preceptorship is an essential method of supporting nurse competence, guaranteeing high quality care and increasing job satisfaction. Aim 

To describe recently registered nurses’ perceptions of their competence level, and to identify factors influencing these perceptions. Method 

The survey was conducted by using Meretoja's Nurse Competence Scale. The sample comprised 235 registered nurses working in intensive and emergency settings. The data were analysed by using statistical methods. Results 

Nurses’ self-assessed competence level ranged from moderate to good. A statistically significant association was seen between competence level and age, length of current work experience and the frequency of using competencies. Conclusions 

The results shed useful light on the educational needs of nurses and provide important clues for the development of preceptorship programmes. The Nurse Competence Scale proved to be a reliable and valid instrument in assessing the competence of recently registered nurses. Implications for nursing management 

We recommend that management strategies be developed to enhance and support positive learning environments for competence development. We recommend preceptorship programmes based on systematic competence assessments made by nurses themselves, their preceptors and managers.
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Keywords: evaluation research; intensive care; nurse competence; self-assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Ward Manager, Joint Authority of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki 2: Docent, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Tampere University Hospital, Research Unit, Tampere 3: Development Manager, Corporate Headquarters, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki 4: Docent, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

Publication date: 01 November 2007

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