Self-assessed anaesthesia nursing competence and related factors

Yunsuk Jeon, Riitta Meretoja, Tero Vahlberg, Helena Leino-Kilpi


Objective: Assessing the level of competence of nurses in anaesthesia care is important not only in ensuring the quality of anaesthesia care, but also in developing a competence-based nursing education programme. This study aimed to assess Finnish nurses’ competence in anaesthesia nursing and to describe factors associated with it. This study will provide knowledge to support a competence-based education approach to anaesthesia nursing.

Methods: A cross-sectional research design was used. A self-assessment (Anaesthesia Nursing Competence Scale) was developed for this study. The scale (39 items, 7 domains) used a Visual Analogue Scale (0 = not competent at all, 100 = excellent). Data were collected from registered nurses (n = 222) in anaesthesia departments at university hospitals in Finland (May-October 2017).

Results: The overall level of anaesthesia nursing competence was self-assessed as good (Mean 88, SD 9.0). Of the seven competence domains, collaboration within patient care was assessed as being the highest and knowledge of anaesthesia patient care the lowest. Longer work experience and completion of specialised anaesthesia nursing education were factors positively associated with anaesthesia nursing competence.

Conclusions: This study suggests that the general nursing education of nurses should provide more opportunities to improve nurses’ competence in the theoretical knowledge of anaesthesia. A specialised programme of anaesthesia nursing education at a master’s level might be one suggestion to meet the challenges in anaesthesia nursing in Finland. Further studies with different data collection methods such as observation, a knowledge test, or patient interviews would provide a more extensive picture of anaesthesia nursing competence.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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