Nurse-Led Competency Model for Emergency Physicians: A Qualitative Study

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Study objective:

To develop a competency model for emergency physicians from the perspective of nurses, juxtapose this model with the widely adopted Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) model, and identify competencies that might be unique to the nurses' perspective.


The study relied on secondary data originally collected as part of nurses' assessment of emergency physicians' nonclinical skills in the emergency department (ED) of an academic medical center in the Middle East. Participants were 36 registered nurses who had worked in the ED for at least 2 years and had worked for at least 2 shifts per month with the physician being evaluated.


Through content analysis, a nurse-led competency model was identified, including 8 core competencies encompassing 33 subcompetencies. The 8 core competencies were emotional intelligence; problem-solving and decisionmaking skills; operations management; patient focus; patient care, procedural skills, and medical knowledge; professionalism; communication skills; and team leadership and management. When the developed model was compared with the ACGME model, the 2 models diverged more than they converged.


The nurses' perspective offered distinctive insight into the competencies needed for physicians in an emergency medicine environment, indicating the value of nurses' perspective and shedding light on the need for more systematic and more methodologically sound studies to examine the issue further. The differences between the models highlighted the competencies that were unique to the nurse perspective, and the similarities were indicative of the influence of different perspectives and organizational context on how competencies manifest.

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