Original Article 

Exploring Discrepancies in Perceived Nursing Competence Between Postgraduate-Year Nurses and Their Preceptors

Shu-Hwa Chen, MBA, RN; Li-Yu Chien, PhD, RN; Mei-Ling Kuo, MS, RN; Yi-Hui Li, MN, RN; Ming-Chu Chiang, MS, RN; Ya-Ching Liu, MBA, RN

Abstract

Background:

Postgraduate clinical training programs improve the core competence of nurses. How postgraduate-year (PGY) nurses perceive their clinical competence and their preceptors' perceptions may affect program effectiveness. This study compared the perspectives of clinical competencies of PGY nurses engaged in a residency program in Taiwan with their preceptors' perspectives.

Method:

A cross-sectional study was conducted at a medical center in Taiwan. The Nursing Competence Questionnaire was used to obtain data from 99 pairs of PGY nurses and preceptors.

Results:

PGY nurses' scores were higher than their preceptors' for communication, patient education, and management competencies (p <.05). Preceptors with more years of clinical experience exhibited greater assessment discrepancies for clinical care, communication, patient education, research awareness, and overall competence (p <.05).

Conclusion:

Preceptor development courses should be grounded in a strong pedagogical framework. An assessment tool with explicit behavioral indicators would be needed for objective evaluation from both perspectives.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2017;48(4):190–196.

Authors

Ms. Chen is Supervisor, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Fooyin University; Ms. Liu is Supervisor, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, and Lecturer, School of Nursing, MeiHo University, Pingtung; Ms. Kuo is Associate Director, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Lecturer, School of Nursing, Cheng Shiu University; Ms. Li is Head Nurse, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, and Lecturer, School of Nursing, National Tainan Junior College of Nursing; Dr. Chien is Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan; and Ms. Chiang is Director, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Lecturer, Yuh-Ing Junior College of Health Care & Management, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China.

The Kaohsiung Chung Gung Memorial Hospital provided research funding and sponsorship for this study (CDRPG8E0021).

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The authors thank all participants who have helped in conducting the research at Kaohsiung Chung Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan.

Address correspondence to Li-Yu Chien, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, No. 261, Wenhua 1st Road, Guishan District, Taoyuan City, 33303, Taiwan; e-mail: lychien@mail.cgust.edu.tw.

Received: June 08, 2016
Accepted: November 10, 2016

10.3928/00220124-20170321-10

Background:

Postgraduate clinical training programs improve the core competence of nurses. How postgraduate-year (PGY) nurses perceive their clinical competence and their preceptors' perceptions may affect program effectiveness. This study compared the perspectives of clinical competencies of PGY nurses engaged in a residency program in Taiwan with their preceptors' perspectives.

Method:

A cross-sectional study was conducted at a medical center in Taiwan. The Nursing Competence Questionnaire was used to obtain data from 99 pairs of PGY nurses and preceptors.

Results:

PGY nurses' scores were higher than their preceptors' for communication, patient education, and management competencies (p <.05). Preceptors with more years of clinical experience exhibited greater assessment discrepancies for clinical care, communication, patient education, research awareness, and overall competence (p <.05).

Conclusion:

Preceptor development courses should be grounded in a strong pedagogical framework. An assessment tool with explicit behavioral indicators would be needed for objective evaluation from both perspectives.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2017;48(4):190–196.

Ms. Chen is Supervisor, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Fooyin University; Ms. Liu is Supervisor, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, and Lecturer, School of Nursing, MeiHo University, Pingtung; Ms. Kuo is Associate Director, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Lecturer, School of Nursing, Cheng Shiu University; Ms. Li is Head Nurse, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, and Lecturer, School of Nursing, National Tainan Junior College of Nursing; Dr. Chien is Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan; and Ms. Chiang is Director, Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Lecturer, Yuh-Ing Junior College of Health Care & Management, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China.

The Kaohsiung Chung Gung Memorial Hospital provided research funding and sponsorship for this study (CDRPG8E0021).

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The authors thank all participants who have helped in conducting the research at Kaohsiung Chung Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan.

Address correspondence to Li-Yu Chien, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, No. 261, Wenhua 1st Road, Guishan District, Taoyuan City, 33303, Taiwan; e-mail: lychien@mail.cgust.edu.tw.

Received: June 08, 2016
Accepted: November 10, 2016
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