From the Field: A Maternal-Child Health Nursing Competence Validation Model

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

This group of Vermont community health nurses from different agencies collaborated to develop a competence validation framework for maternal and child health nursing in the practice areas of perinatal client teaching, breastfeeding, and prenatal, postpartum, and newborn nursing care. The framework is based on the work of Benner, using the “competent” level of nursing practice, and delineates three parameters of competence: technical skills, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking skills. Learning resource materials, including newborn and maternal assessment guidelines, were developed for each competence area. The four competence validation tools were successfully tested for validity and reliability as well as efficiency and effectiveness by nurses in all 13 home health agencies and 12 public health district offices in Vermont. This system of competence validation is now used to support a consistently high quality of care for all recipients of Vermont’s Healthy Babies, Kids, and Families services, and is available for use in other care settings.

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