Evaluation of Austrian nurses’ competence and factors related to it: An exploratory cross-sectional study

Jan D. Kellerer, Matthias Rohringer, Daniela Deufert


Background and objective: The continuous assessment of Registered Nurses' (RNs') competence is important at individual, organizational and systemic levels. Qualifications, the professional working environment as well as experience influence nursing competence. Nursing has significantly changed over the last 25 years in Austria, but RNs’ competence has not been evaluated so far. The aim of the study was to assess nursing competence of Austrian RNs, considering relevant influencing factors.

Methods: An exploratory cross-sectional study was conducted. Between October 2021 and February 2022 a total of 841 RNs from 16 Austrian hospitals self-assessed their nursing competencies using the Austrian version of the Nurse Professional Competence Scale Short Form (NPC-SF-AUT). Multiple subgroup analyses with regard to theoretically reasonable influence factors on nursing competence were performed to explore differences in the extent of RNs’ competence.

Results: Competencies in scale factors Multi-professional development and cooperation as well as in Health promotion and safeguarding were found as lowest. The overall work experience as well as further education and training had a significant influence on nursing competence, whereas the type of nursing education (vocational vs. higher education), the professional understanding of nursing care and the type of medical discipline did not.

Conclusions: Appropriate structures must be implemented to ensure the development and application of Austrian RNs’ basically acquired competencies in practice.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v13n3p28

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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