Basic competence in intensive and critical care nursing: development and psychometric testing of a competence scale

Authors

  • Riitta-Liisa Lakanmaa MNSc, RN,

    Doctoral Student, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nursing Science, Finnish Post-Graduate School in Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    • Correspondence: Riitta-Liisa Lakanmaa, Doctoral Student, Finnish Post-Graduate School in Nursing Science and Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Betaniankatu 12 B 26, 20810 Turku, Finland. Telephone: +358 50 365 2885.

      E-mail: riitta-liisa.lakanmaa@turkuamk.fi

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  • Tarja Suominen PhD, RN,

    Adjunct Professor, Professor
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Nursing Science, School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
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  • Juha Perttilä MD,

    Head
    1. Department of Intensive Care, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
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  • Marita Ritmala-Castrén MNSc, RN,

    Doctoral Student
    1. CNS Helsinki University Hospital, , University of Turku, Helsinki, Finland
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  • Tero Vahlberg MSc,

    Biostatistician
    1. Department of Biostatistics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
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  • Helena Leino-Kilpi PhD, RN

    Professor and Chair
    1. Department of Nursing Science and South-Western Hospital District, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To develop a scale to assess basic competence in intensive and critical care nursing. In this study, basic competence denotes preliminary competence to practice in an intensive care unit.

Background

There is a need for competence assessment scales in intensive care nursing practice and education. The nursing care performed in the intensive care unit is special by its nature and needs to be assessed as such. At this moment, however, there is no tested, reliable and valid scale in this field.

Design

A multi-phase, multi-method development and psychometric testing of the scale was conducted.

Methods

The scale was developed in three phases. First, following a literature review and Delphi study, the items were created. Second, the scale was pilot tested twice by nursing students (n= 18, n= 56) and intensive care nurses (n= 12, n= 54), and revisions were made. Third, reliability and construct validity were tested by graduating nursing students (= 139) and intensive care nurses (= 431).

Results

The Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Competence Scale (ICCN-CS-1) is a self-assessment test consisting of 144 items. Basic competence is divided into patient-related clinical competence and general professional competence. In addition, basic competence is comprised of knowledge base, skill base, attitude and value base and experience base. ICCN-CS-1 is a reliable and tolerably valid scale.

Conclusions

The ICCN-CS-1 is a promising scale for use among nursing students and nurses. Future research is needed to evaluate its construct validity further and to assess its suitability for completion during intensive care unit's orientation programmes and nursing students' clinical practice in an intensive care unit.

Relevance to clinical practice

The ICCN-CS-1 can be used for basic competence assessment in professional development discussions in intensive care units, in mentor evaluation situations during nursing students' clinical practice and in intensive care nursing education.

Ancillary