Main Article Content
Competent head nurses are essential for the achievement of healthcare improvement. There are no functional competency scales to evaluate head nurses in Thai community hospitals. The purpose of this study was to develop and examine the psychometric properties of the Competency Assessment Scale for Head Nurses in Community Hospitals. The conceptual framework for the scale was based on the 2013 Head Nurses’ Competencies of Thailand Nursing and Midwifery Council. One hundred twenty-five competency items were generated. After achieving a scale content validity of .94 assessed by a panel of six experts, 55 items remained. After reliability testing with 30 head nurses, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for this scale was .99. Field testing was conducted with 614 head nurses working in Thai community hospitals.
After exploratory factor analysis, the Competency Assessment Scale for Head Nurses in Community Hospitals was composed of five factors with 52 items: leadership; healthcare environment management; policy implementation and communication; management; and professional ethics. Each factor accounted for ≥60% of the total variance and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranged from .93 to .96. Testing of a contrast group of new nurse graduates was found to be significantly different when compared with head nurses. The scale that was developed demonstrated acceptable levels of reliability, content validity, and construct validity. Therefore, the scale holds promise as a useful instrument that can be used to evaluate head nurses in Thai community hospitals.
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