Title. Self-reported competence of home nursing staff in Finland.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study to investigate the self-reported competence of home nursing staff and whether this is associated with their education, job descriptions, access to help and support and with factors in their psychosocial work environment, such as opportunities for personal growth and development at work.
Background. Home nursing staff face increasing demands on their competence. Advances in information technology and working methods have increased the need for education. Thus, information on the factors associated with the competence of home nursing staff help us to support them in a way that improves the quality of care.
Method. The data were gathered via a questionnaire completed in 2003 by the home nursing staff of 24 municipalities in different regions of Finland. A total of 2366 home care staff (response rate 63%), of whom 790 were home nursing staff (response rate 65%), were sent questionnaires. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used as main statistical methods.
Findings. The best predictors for self-reported competence of home nursing staff were their reading scientific or professional journals, opportunities for skill development, decision-making latitude and work demands.
Conclusion. Simple and practical ways for updating the competence of home nursing staff should be created. These staff are a very important source of information for home care clients. Supporting the knowledge of home nursing staff is also an efficient way of keeping clients and their informal caregivers informed about care guidelines, health and social services and social benefits.