Competency in nursing: a concept analysis

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2008 Feb;39(2):58-64; quiz 65-6, 94. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20080201-12.


Competency is a topic of great interest to educators and administrators in practice disciplines, particularly health care disciplines such as nursing. This article focuses on the role of competency in nursing. Through a concept analysis process, various elements of competency were assessed. The defining attributes of competency are the application of skills in all domains for the practice role, instruction that focuses on specific outcomes or competencies, allowance for increasing levels of competency, accountability of the learner, practice-based learning, self-assessment, and individualized learning experiences. The learning environment for competency assurance involves the learner in assessment and accountability, provides practice-based learning opportunities, and individualizes learning experiences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Competency-Based Education / organization & administration*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Employee Performance Appraisal
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational*
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Preceptorship