The influence of personal characteristics on perioperative nurses' perceived competence: Implications for workforce planning

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2013, 30 (3), pp. 14 - 25
Issue Date:
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Objective: To examine the influence of personal characteristics on perioperative nurses' perceived competence. Design: A cross-sectional survey design was used. Setting: A census of 3,209 operating room nurses who were members of the Australian College of Operating Room Nurses across all Australian states and territories was invited to participate. Primary Outcome Measure: The Perceived Perioperative Competence Scale-Revised, a 40-item survey consisting of six subscales measuring the dimensions of perioperative competence was used. Results: A total of 1,044 usable surveys were analysed representing 32.5% of the accessible population. Across the six subscales, demographic predictors accounted for 5% to 33% of the variance in nurses' perceived perioperative competence. Conclusions: These results may inform workforce planning initiatives designed to address the needs of this diverse specialty group. Efforts to retain older nurses need to be centered on redesigning workplaces, increased remuneration and professional recognition, and integrating technology to promote efficiency and safety. Workforce planning should include strategies such as creating academic partnerships with universities, to provide perioperative nurses access to specialty education and advanced skills programs.
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