Background: A review of the literature showed that the core competencies needed by newly graduated Chinese nurses were not as of yet undocumented.
Objective: To develop a psychometrically sound instrument for identifying and measuring the core competencies needed by Chinese nursing baccalaureate graduates.
Design: Descriptive correlational and multicentre study.
Setting: Seven major tertiary teaching hospitals and three major medical universities in Beijing.
Participants: 790 subjects, including patients, nursing faculty members, doctors and nurses.
Method: A reliable and valid self-report instrument, consisting of 58 items, was developed using multiple methods. It was then distributed to 790 subjects to measure nursing competency in a broader Chinese context. The psychometric characteristics of reliability and validity were supported by descriptive and inferential analyses.
Results: The final instrument consists of six dimensions with 47 items. The content validity index was 0.90. The overall scale reliability was 0.97 with dimensions range from 0.87 to 0.94. Six domains of core competencies were identified: professionalism; direct care; support and communication; application of professional knowledge; personal traits; and critical thinking and innovation.
Conclusion: The findings of this study provide valuable evidence for a psychometrically sound measurement tool, as well as for competency-based nursing curriculum reform.