Journal of Nursing Education

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Research Briefs 

Critical Clinical Competencies in Undergraduate Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

Fredricka Leigh Gilje, PhD, RN; Patsy Mae Ellen Klose, MS, RN, CS; C. Judith Birger, MS, RN, CS

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2007;46(11)
  • Posted November 1, 2007

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Clinical competencies in nursing education provide the foundation for the development of competencies in nursing practice. Literature pertaining to clinical competencies in psychiatric-mental health nursing is extremely sparse. The purpose of this study was to explore nurses’ perceptions of undergraduate students’ critical clinical competencies. A purposive sample of 18 nurses with experience in psychiatric care and nursing education completed a 198-item survey, which included eight criterion-referenced critical clinical competencies. The results, in which 80% of items were rated strongly agree or agree, have implications for nursing education, practice, and research. The results support the use of the items in the instrument as a pedagogical tool, as a guide in assessing and evaluating students’ clinical performance, and as a guide for novice faculty and practitioners. Further research about critical clinical competencies in psychiatric-mental health nursing is needed.

AUTHORS

Received: August 3, 2005

Accepted: July 30, 2006

Dr. Gilje is Associate Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, Anchorage, Alaska. Ms. Klose is Clinical Instructor, Jamestown College, Department of Nursing, and Ms. Birger is Clinical Nurse Specialist, South Central Human Service Center, Jamestown, North Dakota.

Address correspondence to Fredricka Leigh Gilje, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4614; e-mail: afflg@uaa.alaska.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Clinical competencies in nursing education provide the foundation for the development of competencies in nursing practice. Literature pertaining to clinical competencies in psychiatric-mental health nursing is extremely sparse. The purpose of this study was to explore nurses’ perceptions of undergraduate students’ critical clinical competencies. A purposive sample of 18 nurses with experience in psychiatric care and nursing education completed a 198-item survey, which included eight criterion-referenced critical clinical competencies. The results, in which 80% of items were rated strongly agree or agree, have implications for nursing education, practice, and research. The results support the use of the items in the instrument as a pedagogical tool, as a guide in assessing and evaluating students’ clinical performance, and as a guide for novice faculty and practitioners. Further research about critical clinical competencies in psychiatric-mental health nursing is needed.

AUTHORS

Received: August 3, 2005

Accepted: July 30, 2006

Dr. Gilje is Associate Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, Anchorage, Alaska. Ms. Klose is Clinical Instructor, Jamestown College, Department of Nursing, and Ms. Birger is Clinical Nurse Specialist, South Central Human Service Center, Jamestown, North Dakota.

Address correspondence to Fredricka Leigh Gilje, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4614; e-mail: afflg@uaa.alaska.edu.

ABSTRACT

Clinical competencies in nursing education provide the foundation for the development of competencies in nursing practice. Literature pertaining to clinical competencies in psychiatric-mental health nursing is extremely sparse. The purpose of this study was to explore nurses’ perceptions of undergraduate students’ critical clinical competencies. A purposive sample of 18 nurses with experience in psychiatric care and nursing education completed a 198-item survey, which included eight criterion-referenced critical clinical competencies. The results, in which 80% of items were rated strongly agree or agree, have implications for nursing education, practice, and research. The results support the use of the items in the instrument as a pedagogical tool, as a guide in assessing and evaluating students’ clinical performance, and as a guide for novice faculty and practitioners. Further research about critical clinical competencies in psychiatric-mental health nursing is needed.

AUTHORS

Received: August 3, 2005

Accepted: July 30, 2006

Dr. Gilje is Associate Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, Anchorage, Alaska. Ms. Klose is Clinical Instructor, Jamestown College, Department of Nursing, and Ms. Birger is Clinical Nurse Specialist, South Central Human Service Center, Jamestown, North Dakota.

Address correspondence to Fredricka Leigh Gilje, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4614; e-mail: afflg@uaa.alaska.edu.

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