Psychometric testing of the Nursing Competencies Questionnaire (NCQ) and Self-Efficacy in Clinical Performance (SECP) clinical competence scales for nursing students: application of Mokken Scale Analysis.

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    Background: The assessment and measurement of clinical competence of nursing students is important to gauge their professional development and educational needs. A need for further testing of the reliability and validity of existing instruments used to measure nursing students’ competence has been highlighted in the international literature.
    Method: A non-randomly selected sample of n=248 2nd year nursing students completed NCQ, SECP and demographic questionnaires. Mokken Scaling Analysis (MSA) was used to investigate structural validity and scale properties; convergent and discriminant validity and reliability were also tested for each scale.
    Results: MSA analysis identified that the NCQ is a unidimensional scale with strong scale scalability coefficients Hs =0.581; but limited item rankability HT =0.367. The SECP scale MSA suggested that the scale could be potentially split into two unidimensional scales (SECP28 and SECP7), each with good/reasonable scalablity psychometric properties as summed scales but negligible/very limited scale rankability (SECP28: Hs = 0.55, HT=0.211; SECP7: Hs = 0.61, HT=0.049). Analysis of between cohort differences and NCQ/SECP scores produced evidence of discriminant and convergent validity; good internal reliability was also found: NCQ α = 0.93, SECP28 α = 0.96 and SECP7 α=0.89.

    Conclusions: Measurement of perceived self-competence could start early in a nursing programme to support students’ development of clinical competence. Further testing of the SECP scale with larger nursing student samples from different programme years is indicated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 12 Jun 2017

    ID: 131818292