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competency evaluation, nurse specialist, older adults, reliability, validity



  1. Chen, Hongxiu BSN, RN
  2. Pu, Lihui MSN, RN
  3. Chen, Qian PhD, RN
  4. Xu, Xiaofeng BSN, RN
  5. Bai, Chunlan BSN, RN
  6. Hu, Xiuying PhD, RN


Purpose: This study aimed to determine the core competencies of Chinese gerontological nurse specialists and test the psychometric properties of a core competency self-evaluation instrument.


Methods: This study consisted of 2 stages. A literature review, theoretical analysis, and the Delphi methods involving 28 experts were performed to identify the core competencies required of gerontological nurse specialists in China. Then, a self-evaluation instrument developed based on the results of stage I was tested among 225 certified gerontological nurse specialists. An exploratory factor analysis was applied to test the construct validity, and the content validity and reliability were also evaluated.


Results: The core competencies of gerontological nurse specialists comprised 3 first-level domains, 9 second-level dimensions, and 69 third-level items. The average scale-level content validity, overall instrument's Cronbach's [alpha], and test-retest reliability were 0.963, 0.983, and 0.834, respectively. The results of the exploratory factor analysis indicated that the factors in the 3 first-level domains (attitude, skill, and knowledge) explained 68.579%, 69.599%, and 75.872% of the variance, respectively.


Conclusion: The results showed that the core competencies of Chinese gerontological nurse specialists were reliable and that gerontological nurse specialists could use this self-evaluation instrument to assess their core competencies.