Jordan Journal of Nursing Research
Nurses’ Perceptions of Their Competency Levels and the Related Professional and Clinical Factors


Nahla Al Ali; Shereen Al-Rashdan; Tariq Al Dwaikat;


Background.  The competency-based approach to education and training is crucial. The application of competence to nursing is controversial, and little consensus exists on the factors associated with the competence level. 

Objective. To assess nurses’ perception of their level of competence and related factors.   

 Methods.  A convenience sample of 204 registered nurses working in an affiliated university hospital. The competency Inventory for Registered Nurses (CIRN) questionnaire was used to collect the data. Data were analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient, t-test, and one-way ANOVA tests.       

Results. The overall level of nurse competence was at the middle level. There was a statistically significant difference in the nurses’ perceived level of competence and education level (p=0.012). Nurses who reported having fair and objective annual evaluations perceived their competence level as higher than those who reported unfair evaluations (p=0.014). Also, nurses who reported an interest in nursing (p=0.006); and had no change in their unit(P=0.012) perceived their competence level as higher than other nurses.  

 Conclusion. Factors such as nurse education, nurses’ perception of their evaluation criteria, changing units, and interest in nursing should be considered in evaluating nurse competence.    It is necessary to upgrade nursing education programs at all levels and develop objective evaluation criteria for nurses.

Implications for Nursing Management. The transition of nurse preparation to the higher education sector insists on using the competency-based approach. Identifying the factors associated with nurse competence will assist nurse managers in developing competency standards and the tools required to assess the competence level in nursing practice.




Nurse Competence, Competency, clinical competence, perception, professional nurses.