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Nursing competence: psychometric evaluation using Rasch modelling


  • Marianne Müller PhD

    Professor of Statistics, Corresponding author
    • Institute of Data Analysis and Process Design, School of Engineering, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland
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Correspondence to M. Müller:e-mail:



To test the psychometric properties and evaluate the German version of the Nurse Competence Scale.


Nursing competence is an important factor for high-quality healthcare. However, there are only few instruments available, which try to assess nurse competence and there is limited knowledge about the psychometric quality of any of these instruments.


A cross-sectional survey of 679 nurses was used.


Analysis of the psychometric properties of the 73-item Nurse Competence Scale was undertaken using confirmatory factor analyses and Rasch modelling with data generated in a study in 2007.


The 7-factor model of the Nurse Competence Scale could not be confirmed. However, six scales consisting of 54 items demonstrated adequate fit to the Rasch model. The six subscales could also be combined into an overall competence scale.


There are concerns about the psychometric properties of the Nurse Competence Scale. The reduced set of items removes redundancy among items, is free from item bias and constitutes six unidimensional scales.