A competence assessment tool that links thinking operations with knowledge types

Y Botma, N Janse van Rensburg, J Raubenheimer


Background. Although there is a need for a greater number of nurses to meet the demands for universal health coverage, these trained nurses should also be competent. However, assessment of nurses’ competence remains a challenge, as the available instruments do not focus on identifying the knowledge level that is lacking.

Objectives. To report on the development and reliability of an instrument that can be used to assess undergraduate student nurses’ competence.

Methods. A methodological research design was used. The authors extracted items from existing competence assessment instruments, inductively analysed the items and categorised them into themes. The extracted items were used to draft a new instrument. Review by an expert panel strengthened the content and face validity of the instrument. Twenty assessors used the developed assessment instrument to assess 15 student nurses’ competence via video footage.

Results. The Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.90 and intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.85 indicate that the instrument is reliable and comparable with other instruments that assess competence.

Conclusions. Nurse educators can use the developed instrument to assess the competence of a student and identify the type of knowledge that is lacking. The student, in collaboration with the educator, can then plan specific remedial action.

Authors' affiliations

Y Botma, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

N Janse van Rensburg, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

J Raubenheimer, Discipline of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Australia

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2020;12(4):175-178. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2020.v12i4.1350

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-12-01
Date published: 2020-12-01

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