What Is The Nursing Competence? An Overview Of Literature Reviews and Concept Analysis

What Is The Nursing Competence? An Overview Of Literature Reviews and Concept Analysis



Competence is considered a fundamental element in the management field, especially when measuring a nurse’s or student’s ability to provide nursing care. However there is no consensus on what competence really is. This study aims to review the existing meanings and models of nursing competence in order to identify how the competence interacts with the nursing performance. 


An overview of literature reviews and concept analysis was performed through a search on Pubmed, Cinahl and PsychINFO from January 2005 to September 2014. It included key words, such as: Competence Model; Professional Competence; Nursing Competence; Competency Model; Professional Competency; Nursing Competency. 


 A total of 14 papers were found, coming from educational or clinical nursing field. It was possible to identify some common themes: description of competence determinants; confusion around the competence concept; lack in competence evaluation; lack when competence have to be operationalized. Considering the different models that operationalize the concept of competence, it was possible to categorize them into two large families of models: those based on individual characteristic and those based on the working functions. 


The overview results, enriched by the literature coming out from the organizational studies, build the conceptual basis of an integrated model of nursing competence, which could be useful to clarify what competence really is and how it interacts with the nursing performance. More empirical research is needed to test the theoretical assumptions

Contact us

La Segreteria del Centro di Eccellenza is at your service for questions and insights

loading spinner