A study of community healthcare competency among public health nurses

Shiau-Jing Guo, Chi-Ho Hsu, Chouh-Jiaun Lin
Journal of Nursing Research: JNR 2008, 16 (4): 286-96
The purpose of this study was to explore community healthcare competency of public health nurses (PHNs) and related factors in Taiwan. A cross-sectional research design was adopted to collect data. A community healthcare competency scale for PHNs was developed by the researchers based on a review of the literature to measure PHN competency (self-assessed) and task frequency rates. The instrument earned a content validity index score of .90, Cronbach's alpha of .97, split-half reliability of .95, and test-retest reliability of .97. The questionnaire was sent to 369 head nurses, who distributed copies to PHNs. A total of 2,956 questionnaires were sent out, with a return rate of 67.03%. Results indicate that (1) the PHNs scored high in cooperation with community-based healthcare services, community resources integration, and operation of community group and low on the ability to apply biostatistics, community health promotion activities initiation, and application of epidemiology; (2) implemented task frequency, years of work as a PHN, job position, education level and health station location were all significantly related to respondent competency scores. Results suggest that further examination is needed in the areas of years of work and training courses for incoming personnel and that further investigation of on-the-job training given by various locations of health stations is necessary in order to devise a training model for PHNs.

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