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Self-assessment of nursing competency among final year nursing students in Thailand: a comparison between public and private nursing institutions

Authors Sawaengdee K, Kantamaturapoj K, Seneerattanaprayul P, Putthasri W, Suphanchaimat R

Received 21 April 2016

Accepted for publication 7 June 2016

Published 8 August 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 475—482


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Krisada Sawaengdee,1,2 Kanang Kantamaturapoj,3 Parinda Seneerattanaprayul,1 Weerasak Putthasri,1 Rapeepong Suphanchaimat,1,4

1International Health Policy Program (IHPP), 2Praboromrajchanok Institute for Health Workforce Development, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, 3Banphai Hospital, Khon Kaen, 4Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Introduction and objectives:
Nurses play a major role in Thailand’s health care system. In recent years, the production of nurses, in both the public and private sectors, has been growing rapidly to respond to the shortage of health care staff. Alongside concerns over the number of nurses produced, the quality of nursing graduates is of equal importance. This study therefore aimed to 1) compare the self-assessed competency of final year Thai nursing students between public and private nursing schools, and 2) explore factors that were significantly associated with competency level.
Methods: A cross-sectional clustered survey was conducted on 40 Thai nursing schools. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaire consisted of questions about respondents’ background, their education profile, and a self-measured competency list. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and multivariate regression analysis were applied.
Results: A total of 3,349 students participated in the survey. Approximately half of the respondents had spent their childhood in rural areas. The majority of respondents reported being “confident” or “very confident” in all competencies. Private nursing students reported a higher level of “public health competency” than public nursing students with statistical significance. However, there was no significant difference in “clinical competency” between the two groups.
Conclusion: Nursing students from private institutions seemed to report higher levels of competency than those from public institutions, particularly with regard to public health. This phenomenon might have arisen because private nursing students had greater experience of diverse working environments during their training. One of the key limitations of this study was that the results were based on the subjective self-assessment of the respondents, which might risk respondent bias. Further studies that evaluate current nursing curricula in both public and private nursing schools to assess whether they meet the health needs of the population are recommended.

Keywords: public health, factor analysis, regression analysis, confidence

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