Effects of Nurses’ Perceptions of Actual and Demanded Competence on Turnover Intentions

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Abstract

With the growing focus on continuous professional development, demands placed on nurses to uphold nursing competence have been increasing. This study examined how nurses with different lengths of clinical experience perceived the relationship between their actual competence and the competence they felt was demanded of them, and how this relationship was related to their turnover intentions. Survey questionnaires were distributed to 1,377 nurses, of whom 765 returned usable completed forms. The results showed that across all the groups of clinical experience, nurses perceived the demanded competence levels to be higher than their actual competence levels. However, turnover intentions were not related to nurses’ perceptions of demanded competence and were negatively related to perceptions of actual competence. The levels of competence demanded should not be considered as threats for nurses. Improving nurses’ competence may reduce their turnover intentions.

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