Clinical competence in nursing: A concept analysis

Clinical competence in nursing: A concept analysis



In nursing, clinical competence is a central issue for patient care and a clear understanding of the concept is critical for nursing education and nursing discipline.


To perform an analysis of the concept of 'clinical competence' in nursing to better understand its meaning.


The Walker and Avant's concept analysis model was used. A systematic literature review on international databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, Cochrane, Ovid, Open Grey) from 1993 to 2015 was conducted. In the retrieved articles, the utilization of the concept of "clinical competence in nursing" was examined.


According to Walker and Avant's method all the 8 steps were described on the basis of the findings of the literature review. Attributes, antecedents, consequences and empirical referents of the clinical competence in nursing have been identified and discussed and model, borderline, opposite cases were constructed. The relevance of the concept both for education and nursing professionalism have been also debated.


This concept analysis has defined 'clinical competence in nursing' as 'a mix of skills, knowledge, attitudes and abilities that each nurse must possess to perform acceptably those duties directly related to patient care, in a specific clinical context and in given circumstances in order to promote, maintain and restore the health of patients'.


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