University of Oulu

Tohmola, A., Elo, S., Mikkonen, K., Kyngäs, H., Lotvonen, S., & Saarnio, R. (2022). Nursing students' competence profiles in gerontological nursing—A cross-sectional study. Nursing Open, 9, 199– 209.

Nursing students’ competence profiles in gerontological nursing : a cross-sectional study

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Author: Tohmola, Anniina1,2; Elo, Satu2; Mikkonen, Kristina1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Lapland UAS, Kemi, Finland
3Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, GeroNursingCentre, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Oulu UAS, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-05


Aim: The study aimed to describe and explain the self-assessed gerontological nursing competence levels of Finnish nursing students and factors relating to it.

Design: A cross-sectional study design, reported by The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology guidelines.

Methods: Data were collected with the GeroNursingCom instrument, which features 53 items relating to 11 competence factors. The K-clustering technique and the Chi-squared, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann Whitney tests were used to analyse the data.

Results: Seven hundred and ninety-nine nursing students from nine randomly selected higher education institutions were invited to participate in 2019. Three distinct student profiles were identified according to the data (N = 274): Profile A—lower intermediate competence (23.1% of students), Profile B—intermediate competence (45.8%) and Profile C—high competence (31.1%). The strongest competence area for all students was appreciative encounter and interaction, and the weakest was supporting the older person’s sexuality. Nursing students have diverse backgrounds and their overall competence in gerontological nursing is shaped in part by their previous education, motivations and work experience.

Relevance to clinical practice: Recognizing students’ different gerontological nursing competence profiles enables the implementation of targeted education to improve competence in clinical practice.

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Series: Nursing open
ISSN: 2054-1058
ISSN-E: 2054-1058
ISSN-L: 2054-1058
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Pages: 199 - 209
DOI: 10.1002/nop2.1054
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: State research funding (VTR), Finnish nurses’ association and University of Oulu Scholarship fund.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Nursing Open published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.