Original Research

Operational nurse managers’ perceptions on the competence of community service nurses in public settings in the Western Cape

Vatiswa Makie, Karien Jooste, Tendani B. Mabuda, Theresa Bock, Guinevere M. Lourens, Martha van As, Jennifer Chipps
Curationis | Vol 44, No 1 | a2174 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v44i1.2174 | © 2021 Vatiswa Makie, Karien Jooste, Tendani B. Mabuda, Theresa Bock, Guinevere M. Lourens, Martha van As, Jennifer Chipps | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 July 2020 | Published: 31 March 2021

About the author(s)

Vatiswa Makie, Western Cape College of Nursing, Cape Town, South Africa
Karien Jooste, Department of Nursing Science, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Tendani B. Mabuda, Western Cape College of Nursing, Cape Town, South Africa
Theresa Bock, Western Cape College of Nursing, Cape Town, South Africa
Guinevere M. Lourens, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Martha van As, Western Cape College of Nursing, Cape Town, South Africa
Jennifer Chipps, School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Community service nurses placed in the Western Cape Government public health facilities render essential healthcare to underserved populations. Anecdotal evidence from operational nurse managers indicated concerns that community service nurses may lack competence in basic required nursing competencies.

Objectives: To investigate operational nurse managers’ perceptions of the competence of community service nurses in public health facilities in the Western Cape.

Method: A quantitative survey was conducted with an all-inclusive sample of 297 operational nurse managers in the Western Cape. A self-administered questionnaire with 65 questions with a 4-point rating scale was used to rate perceived competence of community service nurses across the South African Nursing Council (SANC) competencies. Descriptive and inferential statistics were calculated per competency domain.

Results: The survey (response rate: 59%) showed that the operational nurse managers perceived the community service nurses to be competent in the clinical patient care domain and mostly either developing proficiency or proficient in the SANC competencies of legal framework and ethical practice, interprofessional relationships, leadership, quality management and management competency domains.

Conclusion: Community service nurses were found to be competent in the clinical patient care, possibly because of the integration of theory and practice focus of work-integrated learning in the programme. Education and practice supportive strategies for community service nurses should be developed to support the successful transition from students to community service nurses, especially around the development of research and critical thinking skills.


Keywords

competencies; community service nurse; professional nurses; public healthcare; clinical patient care

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