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Newly Qualified Nurses’ Perception of Their Competency Achievement on Leaving University: A Qualitative Study

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Nursing Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain
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Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine Department, Faculty of Education Sciences, Nursing and Physiotherapy, University of Almería, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 Almería, Spain
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Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Santiago 4780000, Chile
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214284
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 3 November 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
Background: After implementing the Tuning Educational Structures in Europe Project, numerous efforts have been made to define, establish, and evaluate nursing competences. The European Federation of Nurses Association played a key role in enacting the nursing competences included in Directive 2013/55/EU. Nevertheless, assessing competences remains elusive, and there is little research into nurses’ perceptions of the competency training provided by their universities. The purpose of the study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of newly qualified nurses about the competences they acquired during their university education. Methods: A qualitative research study was developed in a Spanish university. Twelve semi-structured interviews with newly qualified nurses were conducted, and two focus groups made up of twelve students were carried out in order to triangulate the results. Participants were recruited through email contact. Interviews focused on clinical training, theoretical content, and the reality of healthcare. Data was analyzed thematically. Results: Two main themes emerged: (1) improving theoretical content and (2) rethinking practical lessons and clinical training. A lack of knowledge about mental health, pharmacology, or critical care has been found; in addition, it was highlighted, among others, the need to improve communication skills in difficult and conflictive situations. Conclusions: Considering the participants’ perception of deficiency in some aspects of most of the competences established by the European Federation of Nurses Association, further research has been suggested to include other stakeholders’ views. View Full-Text
Keywords: qualitative research; students, nursing; nurses; competency-based education; education; nursing qualitative research; students, nursing; nurses; competency-based education; education; nursing
MDPI and ACS Style

López-Entrambasaguas, O.M.; Martínez-Yebenes, R.; Calero-García, M.J.; Granero-Molina, J.; Martínez-Linares, J.M. Newly Qualified Nurses’ Perception of Their Competency Achievement on Leaving University: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4284.

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