Developing and validating the Clinical Competence Questionnaire: A self-assessment instrument for upcoming baccalaureate nursing graduates

Shwu-Ru Liou, Ching-Yu Cheng


Background: Although researchers have evaluated nurse competence in past studies, few have focused on the compe-
tence levels of nursing students immediately prior to graduation. Additionally, many of the competence scales were not supported with strong evidence of reliability or validity. The purpose of this study was to develop and test the psycho-
metric properties of the Clinical Competence Questionnaire (CCQ) that measures the perceived clinical competence of upcoming baccalaureate nursing graduates.

Methods: The Clinical Competence Questionnaire was developed based on Patricia Benner’s “From Novice to Expert” model. This developed instrument was evaluated in a cross-sectional study. A total of 340 baccalaureate students in their final semester of a 2-year RN-to-BSN program in Taiwan completed and returned the questionnaire. Out of the 340 students, data from 293 students who did not have work experience were used to test reliability and validity of the scale. The instrument was tested for content, construct, and criterion-related validity.

Results: The Cronbach’s alpha for the entire CCQ was .98. Content and known-groups validity were confirmed. Principal component analysis showed a high degree of explanation of competence and revealed four components of competence: nursing professional behaviors, core nursing skills, general performance, and advanced nursing skills.

Conclusion: The results from our study indicate the CCQ demonstrates good reliability and validity for measuring the perceived clinical competence of upcoming baccalaureate nursing graduates. The CCQ is also a useful tool and is easy to administer for the self-assessment of nursing clinical competence. Study limitations and further recommendations for nursing are discussed.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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