Despite the importance of neurological assessment, there is a lack of research directed at nurses' competency in performing these assessments. We aimed to identify nurses' competency levels in performing neurological assessments and prioritize their related training needs using importance-performance analysis. This survey research was conducted and reported based on the enhancing the quality and transparency of health research (EQUATOR) guidelines. A total of 213 nurses participated in a descriptive, cross-sectional survey study. Exploratory factor analysis identified seven factors that together accounted for 70.34% of the variance: cerebral function, signs and symptoms, pathologic reflexes, motor strength, assessment of an unconscious patient, reporting and documentation, and neurological assessment scales. [Correction added on 10 February 2020, after first online publication: the value of the variance has been corrected from '7.34%' to '70.34%' in the preceding sentence.] There were significant gaps between importance and performance for all seven factors. The importance-performance matrix identified the neurological assessment scales factor as a high priority for continuing education. Emergency department nurses reported lower neurological assessment competency when compared with ward and intensive care unit nurses. The analysis of training needs is beneficial for developing programs to enhance neurological assessment competency. Training in neurological assessment scales is a priority for nurses, and they prefer simulation- and practicum-based methods.
Keywords: competency; needs analysis; neurological assessment; nurse; survey.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.