Relationships of new nurses' perceptions and measured performance-based clinical competence

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2009 Sep;40(9):426-32. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20090824-02.


Background: This study examined the relationship between new nurses' performance-based measurements and perceptions of clinical competence.

Methods: Descriptive correlational designs were used to examine the relationships. Performance-based clinical competence was measured by the Performance Based Development System developed by Del Bueno (1990), and perceived competence was measured by specific items on the Casey-Fink Graduate Nurse Experience Survey (1999).

Results: Findings showed a significant difference in mean patient scores and professional role scores. Nurses who met the criteria for problem management had significantly higher scores on the patient care scale and the professional role scale than those who did not meet the criteria. Nurses with previous work experience (44%) were more likely to meet the criteria for problem management. Black participants scored lower on the patient care scale compared with others.

Conclusion: This study provides a beginning understanding of the relationship between new nurses' perceptions and performance-based clinical competence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • North Carolina
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Retrospective Studies