Study of the Relationship between Nurses' Work Experience and Clinical Competency


1 PhD Candidate, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Professor, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Department of Biostatistics, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.



Background: Assessing nurses’ clinical competency (CC) would play a crucial role in managing the process of providing care and achieving care goals. The importance of the scope of this type of assessment lies in identifying the issues that need to be improved and determining the training needs of nurses. Hence, this study aimed to determine the relationship between nurses’ work experience and their CC.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2020 on participating clinical nurses at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Sampling was performed in a multi-stage cluster-stratified manner. The clinical competence of 234 nurses was assessed by the Competency Inventory for Registered Nurses (CIRN) questionnaire which consists of 55 items and includes seven dimensions. A total score of 220-275 was considered a high qualification group; 165-220 was considered medium, and less than 165 was considered a low qualification group. Data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 25.0).
Results: CC score was a minimum of 160 and a maximum of 263 with an average of 226.6+ 21.7. There was no significant relationship between work experience and CC of employed nurses (r = 0.06, P = 0.48). Additionally, there was no statistically significant relationship between different groups regarding university education, marital status, gender, and the level of CC of nurses. However, this relationship was significantly different among the employment groups (P=0.04).
Conclusion: The level of clinical competence of nurses did not develop with increasing work experience. Environmental and organizational factors can affect the nurses’ CC. The results of this study require more attention from teaching hospitals managers and the nursing education system.