Title. Testing of a measurement model for baccalaureate nursing students’ self-evaluation of core competencies.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study to test the psychometric properties of the Self-Evaluated Core Competencies Scale for baccalaureate nursing students.
Background. Baccalaureate nursing students receive basic nursing education and continue to build competency in practice settings after graduation. Nursing students today face great challenges. Society demands analytic, critical, reflective and transformative attitudes from graduates. It also demands that institutions of higher education take the responsibility to encourage students, through academic work, to acquire knowledge and skills that meet the needs of the modern workplace, which favours highly skilled and qualified workers.
Methods. A survey of 802 senior nursing students in their last semester at college or university was conducted in Taiwan in 2007 using the Self-Evaluated Core Competencies Scale. Half of the participants were randomly assigned either to principal components analysis with varimax rotation or confirmatory factor analysis.
Results. Principal components analysis revealed two components of core competencies that were named as humanity/responsibility and cognitive/performance. The initial model of confirmatory factor analysis was then converged to an acceptable solution but did not show a good fit; however, the final model of confirmatory factor analysis was converged to an acceptable solution with acceptable fit. The final model has two components, namely humanity/responsibility and cognitive/performance. Both components have four indicators. In addition, six indicators have their correlated measurement errors.
Conclusion. Self-Evaluated Core Competencies Scale could be used to assess the core competencies of undergraduate nursing students. In addition, it should be used as a teaching guide to increase students’ competencies to ensure quality patient care in hospitals.