Background: Growing rates and causes of medical errors made by nurses have just arisen as a substantial concern that can consequence to mortality and frailty of numerous individuals annually. Evaluating nurses’ competency is challenging as no single method is deprived of its assessment. Thus, it led to recognize influencing characteristics towards nurses’ competency in healthcare services delivery.
Methods: This descriptive, cross-sectional study assessed nurses’ competency of a purposive sample of 211 registered nurses employed in selected private and public hospitals of Central Luzon, Philippines.
Results: Most of the respondents were under 21-60 years old (mean=31.64, SD=2.46), predominantly single 146 (69.20%), female 131 (62.10%), registered nurses 162 (76.80%) that were permanently employed as staff nurses 128 (60.70%) for 1-30 years in service (mean=6.43, SD=1.85) that earned Php 6,000-60,000 (mean=17.951, SD=3.68) which is less than expected to receive. Overall, nurses had positive perceptions toward their competency (mean 4.49 ± SD 0.88). Among the seven-dimension competency scale, ‘legal/ethical practice’ was the highest mean score (mean 4.60 ± SD 0.55) reported, while ‘teaching-coaching’ (mean 4.36 ± SD 0.62) the lowest. Permanent nurses revealed higher self-perceived competencies than non-permanent ones. Comparing nurses’ nature of work, nurses had better self-perceived competencies than other field of work. It was also emphasized that demographic and work-related characteristics towards perspective on nursing competency had significant differences using multivariate analyses.
Conclusion: This study highlighted nurses’ competency in delivering healthcare services in the Philippines. Demographic (marital) and work-related (nature of work, salary, length of service) characteristics affect their competency level. They have greater competency level in their workplace with permanency at work. Finally, the results provided unique theoretical underpinning that expands on previous knowledge and literature on factors that affect the nurses’ competency level.