5 competencies needed by new baccalaureate graduates.
As nurse educators prepare new graduates for practice, part of the challenge is to ensure that these nurses are capable of functioning in a broad continuum of care with increased responsibilities. To identify competencies needed by new baccalaureate graduates in today's health care environment and determine whether these competencies fall into particular dimensions, a cross-sectional survey design was used to query 363 nurse administrators from three health care settings. Nurse administrators rated the importance of 45 nursing competencies. Factor analysis was conducted on the competency items, and factor scores were calculated to determine the importance ratings by work setting groups. Findings revealed a simple six-factor competency structure (Health Promotion Competency, Supervision Competency, Interpersonal Communication Competency, Direct Care Competency, Computer Competency, and Caseload Management Competency). MANOVA indicated significant differences in the importance of these competence factors by work setting. The findings are an important beginning for evidence-based decision-making about nursing curriculum reform, both in the classroom and clinical practice areas. The study also provides a foundation for further measurement of nursing competencies.
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