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Instrument Development for Evaluation of Gerontological Nurse Specialists Core Competencies in China

Chen, Hongxiu BSN, RN; Pu, Lihui MSN, RN; Chen, Qian PhD, RN; Xu, Xiaofeng BSN, RN; Bai, Chunlan BSN, RN; Hu, Xiuying PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000469
Feature Article

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the core competencies of Chinese gerontological nurse specialists and test the psychometric properties of a core competency self-evaluation instrument.

Methods: This study consisted of 2 stages. A literature review, theoretical analysis, and the Delphi methods involving 28 experts were performed to identify the core competencies required of gerontological nurse specialists in China. Then, a self-evaluation instrument developed based on the results of stage I was tested among 225 certified gerontological nurse specialists. An exploratory factor analysis was applied to test the construct validity, and the content validity and reliability were also evaluated.

Results: The core competencies of gerontological nurse specialists comprised 3 first-level domains, 9 second-level dimensions, and 69 third-level items. The average scale-level content validity, overall instrument’s Cronbach’s α, and test-retest reliability were 0.963, 0.983, and 0.834, respectively. The results of the exploratory factor analysis indicated that the factors in the 3 first-level domains (attitude, skill, and knowledge) explained 68.579%, 69.599%, and 75.872% of the variance, respectively.

Conclusion: The results showed that the core competencies of Chinese gerontological nurse specialists were reliable and that gerontological nurse specialists could use this self-evaluation instrument to assess their core competencies.

Author Affiliations: West China School of Nursing, West China Hospital, Sichuan University (Mss Chen, Xu, and Bai), Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China; Menzies Health Institute & School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane Queensland, Australia (Ms Pu); and Department of Geriatrics, West China Hospital and National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics (Dr Chen) and Department of Nursing (Dr Hu), West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China.

C.H. and P.L. contributed equally to this work.

This research was supported by the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province of China (grant 2018SZ0404).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

The views expressed in the submitted article are the authors own and not an official position of the institution and funder.

Correspondence: Hu Xiuying, PhD, RN, Department of Nursing, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, PO Box 610041, No. 37 Guo Xue Street, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China (

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