Patient safety is a priority in health care systems. Nurses' safety competence along with environmental and personal factors plays a role in patient safety.
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships among safety competency, structural empowerment, systems thinking, level of education, and certification.
A cross-sectional exploratory design was used to collect data from nurses (n = 163) practicing in a large Midwestern hospital system.
There were significant positive correlations between safety competency and (a) structural empowerment, (b) systems thinking, and (c) certification. Systems thinking explained 12.9% of the variance in the knowledge component of safety competency and 6.8% of the variance in the skill component of safety competency. Certification explained 2.4% of the variance in the skill component of safety competency.
Understanding factors that affect safety competency supports the development of effective interventions that may improve safety.