University of Oulu

Kristina Mikkonen, Anna-Maria Tuomikoski, Tuulikki Sjögren, Meeri Koivula, Minna Koskimäki, Marja-Leena Lähteenmäki, Hanne Mäki-Hakola, Outi Wallin, Marjorita Sormunen, Terhi Saaranen, Camilla Koskinen, Monika Koskinen, Leena Salminen, Arja Holopainen, Maria Kääriäinen, Development and testing of an instrument (HeSoEduCo) for health and social care educators' competence in professional education, Nurse Education Today, Volume 84, 2020, 104239, ISSN 0260-6917,

Development and testing of an instrument (HeSoEduCo) for health and social care educators’ competence in professional education

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Author: Mikkonen, Kristina1; Tuomikoski, Anna-Maria1,2,3,4; Sjögren, Tuulikki5;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Nursing Research Foundation, Finland
3The Finnish Centre for Evidence-based Health Care: A Joanna Briggs Institute Affiliated Group, Finland
4WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Helsinki, Finland
5Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
6Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
7Degree Programme in Physiotherapy, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland
8Pedagogical R&D, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland
9Degree Programme in Social Services, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland
10Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
11Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
12Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Caring and Ethics, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
13Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
14Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-10-31


Background: Health and social care education is highly important for preparing future professionals for their future roles in sustainable health and social care. However, previous studies have emphasized that health and social care educators’ competence is complex and poorly defined. Thus, there is a clear need for a psychometrically validated instrument to enable clarification and assessment of the required skills.

Objective: To develop and psychometrically validate an instrument (the HeSoEduCo) for assessing health and social care educators’ competence in higher and professional education.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: A HeSoEduCo instrument, with items inviting 1–4 Likert scale responses, was developed, based on one systematic review and one qualitative study, then validated in terms of face, content and construct validity and internal consistency (Cronbach′s alpha values). All health and social care educators based in all 21 universities of applied sciences in Finland and seven vocational colleges were subsequently invited to participate in a large-scale application of the instrument in fall 2018. In total, responses of 390 of these educators are analyzed here.

Results: The face and content validity of 71 newly developed items were assessed by experts in two evaluation rounds. The final content validity showed high scores for the instrument’s relevance and clarity. Confirmatory factor analysis (to test construct validity) yielded eight factors (43-items remaining), defining the following competence areas of educators: evidence-based practice, digital collaborative learning, student-centered pedagogy, collaboration & societal, leadership & management, cultural & linguistic diversity, mentoring student into professional competence development and subject & curriculum. Cronbach’s alpha values for the factors ranged from 0.70 to 0.89.

Conclusion: The instrument can be used to obtain self-evaluations of educators’ competence when assessing their general competence levels and help human resources departments and managers to identify suitable continuous education programs for their staff.

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Series: Nurse education today
ISSN: 0260-6917
ISSN-E: 1532-2793
ISSN-L: 0260-6917
Volume: 84
Article number: 104239
DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104239
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Copyright information: © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license