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Psychometric Testing of an Instrument Measuring Core Competencies of Nursing Students

An Application of Mokken Scaling

Perng, Shoa-Jen, PhD; Watson, Roger, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e3182902020
Original Articles

Assessing the core competencies of nursing students provides information about students' learning outcomes for educational evaluation and improvement. The aim of this study was to develop the Nursing Students Core Competencies scale to measure 8 core competencies of nursing students in Taiwan. The study employed factor analysis and Mokken scaling analysis for psychometric testing of this instrument between a group of nursing graduates and their evaluators. The results indicated that the Nursing Students Core Competencies scale has demonstrated evidence of internal consistency, structural validity, unidimensionality, and a hierarchy of items for students' self-assessment and instructor's rating. The use of Mokken scaling analysis extends the knowledge of developing competence assessment tools; it can be used to reveal the domains or items of competency nursing students perceive that are easy or difficult, providing information for curricular design.

Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi College of Technology, Hualien, Taiwan (Dr Perng); and Department of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom (Dr Watson).

Correspondence: Shoa-Jen Perng, PhD, Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi College of Technology, 880, Section 2, Chien-Kuo Rd, Hualien 97005, Taiwan (;

Shoa-Jen Perng and Roger Watson contributed to study design, data analysis, manuscript preparation, and final approval of the version to be submitted. Shoa-Jen Perng also contributed to data collection.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2013Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins