The technical competence of registered nurses in the administration of oral medications.

D. D. Ignatavicius, P. A. Naumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


An individual who desires to become a registered nurse (RN) may choose from three types of education: associate degree, diploma, and baccalaureate degree programs. The dilemma of this decision is heightened by the strong disagreement within the nursing profession regarding which of the three modes best prepares a nurse to become a competent practitioner. The purpose of this study was to examine variables which might explain variance in the technical competence of RNs as evidenced by skill in administering oral medications. Six variables were investigated as possible predictors of the variance in oral medication administration procedure, i.e., basic nursing education, drug knowledge, age, previous RN experience, previous nursing experience, and highest nursing education completed. Sixty volunteer RNs in a Baltimore community hospital (252 beds) were observed twice each as they administered two oral medications to a patient. A Technical Competence Tool (TCT) was used to record performance of the 16 critical behaviors deemed essential for safe and accurate drug administration. The total scores from observation one and two were summed to obtain a total competence score. Each nurse also completed a 14-item Drug Knowledge Profile (DKP) and Demographic Data Sheet (DDS). Although there was a wide range of total competence scores, only three percent of the variance was explained by the six predictor variables. It was concluded that the selected variables were not significant predictors of the technical competence of RNs in the administration of oral medications.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-337
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of nursing education
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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