BACKGROUND: Nursing competence is of significant importance for patient care. Newly graduated nursing students rate their competence as high. However, the impact of different designs of nursing curricula on nursing students' self-reported nursing competence areas is seldom reported.
OBJECTIVES: To compare newly graduated nursing students' self-reported professional competence before and after the implementation of a new nursing curriculum. The study had a descriptive comparative design. Nursing students, who graduated in 2011, having studied according to an older curriculum, were compared with those who graduated in 2014, after a new nursing curriculum with more focus on person-centered nursing had been implemented.
SETTING: A higher education nursing program at a Swedish university.
PARTICIPANTS: In total, 119 (2011 n=69, 2014 n=50) nursing students responded.
METHODS: Nursing students' self-reported professional competencies were assessed with the Nurse Professional Competence (NPC) scale.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups of nursing students, who graduated in 2011 and 2014, respectively, with regard to age, sex, education, or work experience. Both groups rated their competencies as very high. Competence in value-based nursing was perceived to be significantly higher after the change in curriculum. The lowest competence, both in 2011 and 2014, was reported in education and supervision of staff and students.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that newly graduated nursing students - both those following the old curriculum and the first batch of students following the new one - perceive that their professional competence is high. Competence in value-based nursing, measured with the NPC scale, was reported higher after the implementation of a new curriculum, reflecting curriculum changes with more focus on person-centered nursing.
2015. Vol. 37, 178-183 p.
NPC scale, Nurse competence, Nursing curriculum, Nursing education, Nursing student, Professional nursing