Development and psychometric testing of the nursing student mentors' competence instrument (MCI): A cross-sectional study

Nurse Educ Today. 2018 Sep:68:93-99. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.05.028. Epub 2018 Jun 5.


Background: Mentors require competence at a diverse array of skills to mentor students during clinical practice. According to the latest evidence, competence at mentoring includes: knowledge, skills and attributes of individual students' learning objectives, core elements of nursing, learning processes, a reciprocal and trustful relationship, feedback, evaluation, cooperation with stakeholders, and the mentor's personal qualities.

Objective: The purpose of the study was to test psychometric properties of a mentor's competence instrument developed to self-evaluate mentors' competence at mentoring nursing students in clinical practice.

Design: A cross-sectional, descriptive, explorative study design was used.

Settings: Data were collected from mentors at five university hospitals in Finland in 2016.

Participants: A total of 576 mentors participated in this study.

Methods: The instrument was developed through systematic review, experts' evaluations, and pilot versions of the instrument tested in previous studies. The construct validity and reliability of the instrument were tested using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with promax rotation and Cronbach's alpha.

Results: A 10-factor model showed that the instrument has acceptable construct validity. Cronbach's alpha values for the subscales observed ranged from 0.76 to 0.90.

Conclusions: The instrument exhibited acceptable psychometric properties, thereby proving itself a valuable tool for evaluating mentors' competence at mentoring students. Further assessments of its reliability, validity and generality for measuring mentor's competence for mentoring students in different contexts and cultures are recommended.

Keywords: Clinical practice; Instrument development; Mentoring; Nursing; Psychometric testing; Students; Validation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Mentors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Students, Nursing
  • Surveys and Questionnaires