【Objectives】To develop a learning needs assessment tool for nurse managers, which has well-established reliability and validity.
【Methods】There were three stages in developing the scale: (a) Making items for the scale based on qualitative and inductive research findings (Nakayama & Funashima, ongoing submission to a nursing conference in Japan). (b) Examining the content validity with a panel of experts and a pilot study. (c) Conducting two surveys and testing the reliability and validity of the scale.
【Results】A Learning Needs Assessment Tool for Nurse Managers (LNAT-NM), consisting of 25 items with a 6-point Likert scale, was constructed using the afore-mentioned three stages.
In the 1st survey, the instrument packets, including the LNAT-NM and a demographic questionnaire, were distributed to 1,191 nurse managers working at 435 hospitals all over Japan. Six hundred and eleven nurse managers (52.3%) responded, and 512 valid data were analyzed. Cronbach’s alpha, a reliability coefficient of the LNAT-NM, was 0.940. The result signifies that the LNAT-NM has high internal consistency. Nurse managers with under 2 years’ experience at their nursing unit had learning needs higher than nurse managers with above 5 years’ experience at their nursing unit (t=2.837, p=0.005). Nurse managers who perceived their management competency to be low had learning needs higher than nurse managers who perceived them to be high (t=2.675, p=0,008). The results indicate that the LNAT-NM has construct validity by the known-group method.
In the 2nd survey, the instrument packets, including the LNAT-NM and a demographic questionnaire, were distributed to 156 nurse managers working at 21 hospitals selected for convenience to examine stability. Forty-four valid data were analyzed. Test-retest reliability was 0.746 (p<0.001). The result shows that the LNAT-NM has stability.
The LNAT-NM consists of 25 questions, including items such as “basic skills and knowledge of nursing management for effective and efficient provision of nursing services”, “knowledge and skills necessary for patient safety”, “organization and management according to the specialty and characteristics of a nursing unit”, “educational support and career development necessary for human resource development”, “improvement of a working environment and reduction of turnover for retention of human resources” and “management and business knowledge needed to participate in management planning in a hospital”.
【Conclusions】The reliability and validity of the LNAT-NM was ascertained, and it has been found that hospital clinical nurse educators can measure the learning needs of nurse managers using the LNAT-NM, and use the results to offer continuing education programs for nurse managers designed to meet their learning needs.