Nurses' Competence Development During the First 5 Years of Practice


More than 2,000 practice anecdotes emailed by new nurses during their first 5 years of practice were analyzed to describe nurses’ definitions of competence and how it developed over time. Nurses defined competence as efficient care amid complex priorities; rapid response to subtle changes in patients’ conditions; seeing the big picture and working the system on patients’ behalf; interpersonal warmth, respect, and authority; and a committed desire to learn and improve. Support for development of these qualities may promote nursing care quality in high-acuity practice environments.

Margaret H. Kearney, PhD, RN & Kevin Kenward, PhD, MA
Kearney, M.H., & Kenward, K. (2010). Nurses’ competence development during the first 5 years of practice. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 1(1), 9-15.
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Continued Competence, Education, Practice, Research
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