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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 536724, 12 pages
Research Article

Basic Competence of Intensive Care Unit Nurses: Cross-Sectional Survey Study

1Turku University of Applied Sciences, 20720 Turku, Finland
2School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere and University of Turku, 33014 Tampere, Finland
3Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Helsinki University Hospital, HUS, 00029 Helsinki, Finland
4Biostatistics, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
5Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
6Turku University Hospital, 20521 Turku, Finland

Received 28 December 2014; Accepted 23 April 2015

Academic Editor: Elizabeth Papathanassoglou

Copyright © 2015 Riitta-Liisa Lakanmaa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Critical care patients benefit from the attention of nursing personnel with a high competence level. The aim of the study was to describe and evaluate the self-assessed basic competence of intensive care unit nurses and related factors. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A basic competence scale (Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Competence Scale version 1, Likert scale 1–5, 1 = poor and 5 = excellent) was employed among Finnish intensive care unit nurses (). Intensive care unit nurses’ self-assessed basic competence was good (mean 4.19, SD 0.40). The attitude and value base of basic competence was excellent whereas experience base was the poorest compared to the knowledge base and skill base of intensive and critical care nursing. The strongest factor explaining nurses’ basic competence was their experience of autonomy in nursing care ( value 60.85, β 0.11, SE 0.01, and ). Clinical competence was self-rated as good. Nurses gave their highest competence self-ratings for ICU patient care according to the principles of nursing care. The ICU nurses also self-rated their professional competence as good. Collaboration was self-rated as the best competence. In basic and continuing education and professional self-development discussions it is meaningful to consider and find solutions for how to improve nurses’ experienced autonomy in nursing.