Self-reported conflict management competence among nursing students on the point of graduating and registered nurses with professional experience

Janeth Leksell, Ann Gardulf, Jan Nilsson, Margret Lepp


Objective: It has been shown that specific competence is necessary for preventing and managing conflicts in healthcare settings. The aim of this descriptive and correlation study was to investigate and compare the self-reported conflict management competence (CMC) of nursing students who were on the point of graduating (NSPGs), and the CMC of registered nurses (RNs) with professional experience.

Methods: The data collection, which consisted of soliciting answers to items measuring CMC in the Nurse Professional Competence (NPC) Scale, was performed as a purposive selection of 11 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Sweden. Three CMC items from the NPC Scale were answered by a total of 569 nursing students who were on the point of graduating and 227 RN registered nurses with professional experience.

Results: No significant differences between NSPGs and RNs were found, and both groups showed a similar score pattern, with the lowest score for the item: “How do you perceive your ability to develop the group and strengthen competence in conflict management and problem-solving, based on knowledge of group dynamics?”. RNs with long professional experience (>24 months) rated their overall CMC as significantly better than RNs with short (<24 months) professional experience did (p = .05). NSPGs who had experience of international studies during their nursing education reported higher CMC, compared with those who did not have this experience (p = .03). RNs who reported a high degree of utilisation of CMC during the previous month scored higher regarding self-reported overall CMC (p < .0001).

Conclusions: Experience of international studies during nursing education, or long professional experience, resulted in higher self-reported CMC. Hence, the CMC items in the NPC Scale can be suitable for identifying self-reported conflict management competence among NSPGs and RNs.


Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.