Development and psychometric testing of the Gerontological Nursing Competence (GeroNursingCom) instrument.


Tohmola A(1)(2), Saarnio R(3), Mikkonen K(1), Kyngäs H(4), Elo S(2).
Author information:
(1)Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
(2)Lapland UAS, Kemi, Finland.
(3)Oulu UAS, Oulu, Finland.
(4)Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.


AIM: To develop and psychometrically test an instrument - GeroNursingCom - that measures gerontological nursing competence of nursing students. DESIGN: An instrument development guided by COSMIN guidelines. METHOD: The development and testing of the GeroNursingCom instrument proceeded according to four distinct phases: (a) establishing a theoretical background; (b) testing face and content validity; (c) examining structural validity; and (d) testing internal consistency. The items of instrument were based on a theoretical framework developed from a comprehensive literature review and focus group interviews with experts (N = 27) in spring 2018. Content validity was assessed by nine experts in gerontological nursing, while face validity was tested in a pilot study including 36 nursing students. Structural validity was examined with exploratory factor analysis with 267 nursing students from nine universities of applied sciences. The internal consistency was established with Cronbach's alpha. The data were collected in spring and autumn 2019. The data analysis was conducted with multivariate statistical methods. RESULTS: The GeroNursingCom development and testing process yielded an instrument that includes 53 items across 11 factors: (a) appreciative encounters and interactions with older people; (b) medication for older people; (c) nutrition for older people; (d) safe living environment for older people; (e) supporting the functioning of older people; (f) end-of-life care; (g) developing one's competencies; (h) supporting an older person's mental well-being; (i) supporting an older person's sexuality; (j) guiding self-care among older people; and (k) responding to challenging situations. The instrument was able to explain 66.15% of the total observed variance, while Cronbach's alpha values for individual items varied from 0.75-0.89. CONCLUSION: TheGeroNursingCom instrument can be used to measure gerontological nursing competence among nursing students to improve gerontological nursing education and/or geriatric care. IMPACT: Graduating nursing students must develop versatile competencies to face the multiple needs of older patients and curriculums need to be further developed to ensure students are prepared for gerontological nursing.