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Clusters of competence: Relationship between self-reported professional competence and achievement on a national examination among graduating nursing students.
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5892-9897
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing. Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8682-2045
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, ISSN 0309-2402, E-ISSN 1365-2648Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

AIMS: To identify clusters based on graduating nursing students' self-reported professional competence and their achievement on a national examination. Furthermore, to describe and compare the identified clusters regarding sample characteristics, students' perceptions of overall quality of the nursing programme and students' general self-efficacy.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study combining survey data and results from a national examination.

METHODS: Data were collected at two universities and one university college in Sweden in January 2017, including 179 students in the final term of the nursing programme. The study was based on the Nurse Professional Competence Scale, the General Self-Efficacy scale and results from the National Clinical Final Examination. A Two-Step Cluster Analysis was used to identify competence profiles, followed by comparative analyses between clusters.

RESULTS: Three clusters were identified illustrating students' different competence profiles. Students in Cluster 1 and 2 passed the examination, but differed in their self-assessments of competence, rating themselves under and above the overall median value respectively. Students in Cluster 3 failed the examination but rated themselves at the overall median level or higher.

CONCLUSION: The study illustrates how nursing students' self-assessed competence might differ from competency assessed by examination, which is challenging for nursing education. Self-evaluation is a key learning outcome and is, in the long run, essential to patient safety.

IMPACT: The study has identified clusters of students where some overestimate and others underestimate their competence. Students who assessed their competence low but passed the exam assessed their general self-efficacy lower than other students. The findings illuminate the need for student-centered strategies in nursing education, including elements of self-assessment in relation to examination to make the students more aware of their clinical competence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
cluster analysis, nursing education, nursing students, professional competence, questionnaires, self-assessment, survey
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Welfare
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-30964DOI: 10.1111/jan.14222PubMedID: 31576579Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074600928OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-30964DiVA, id: diva2:1361392
Available from: 2019-10-16 Created: 2019-10-16 Last updated: 2019-12-06Bibliographically approved

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