Short hospital stays and new demands for nurse competencies


Correspondence: Niina Hamström, Kätilöopisto Maternity Hospital, Sofianlehdonkatu 5 A, BOX 610, FI-00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland. Email:


Short hospital length of stays present new challenges for nurse competencies. The purpose of this study was to describe Finnish nurses’ self-assessed level of competencies and their actual use in the ambulatory surgery setting. A cross-sectional descriptive design was used, and the data were collected electronically using the Nurse Competence Scale. Statistical methods were used for analyses. The nurses self-assessed level of competence items ranged from moderate to excellent along with the increased frequency of using competencies. Statistically significant relationship between the level competence and age, work experience, work rotation and permanent position were found. The findings indicate that patient-centred education and ensuring of patients’ well-being and safety are the most essential competencies in this setting. Managerial intervention can be focused to increase nursing competencies in these areas.