Nursing competence in Austria: Brightening the Black Box-A mixed methods study to estimate the content validity of the German version of the Nurse Professional Competence Scale

Jan Daniel Kellerer, Matthias Rohringer, Isabella Raab, Daniela Deufert


The assessment of nursing-related competences by suitable instruments has become more relevant. Internationally, applicable instruments have been developed. The German-language version of the Nurse Professional Competence (NPC) Scale seems to be appropriate to measure competences of registered nurses in Austria. The psychometric properties of the scale have not been tested so far. The aim of this study was to examine the content validity of the German version of the NPC Scale. A mixed methods design was applied. Qualitative data were summarized by interpretative-reductive technique; the content validity index (CVI) was used to analyze the quantitative data. Data interpretation was performed by merging the results of the quantitative and qualitative analysis. As a result of the content analysis, five categories were determined to summarize the comments and critique. These categories referred to insufficient precision of terms and items, lacking profile-specific scale content to the theoretical construct of nursing-related competences, missing adequacy of the scale for the use in all nursing-related settings, and annotations for the revision of single items. Quantitative analysis showed 85 of 88 items as content valid by computing each single item. The dimension-specific CVI/Averages ranged between 0.90 and 0.97, the CVI/Average for the whole scale was 0.93. After merging the results of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis, the NPC Scale can actually not be evaluated as a content valid instrument for assessing nursing-related competences in an Austrian context. Substantial item-specific and dimension-specific deficiencies imply that competences cannot be thoroughly assessed. A substantial contentual revision of the current German version of the NPC Scale is recommended.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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