The correlation between professional competencies and self-efficacy among nursing students and registered nurses. An observational cross-sectional study

The correlation between professional competencies and self-efficacy among nursing students and registered nurses. An observational cross-sectional study


  • Emanuela Prendi University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
  • Alessandro Stievano Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarship, OPI, Rome, Italy
  • Rosario Caruso Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • Blerina Duka University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
  • Florian Spada University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
  • Gennaro Rocco Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarship OPI, Rome, Italy
  • Ippolito Notarnicola Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarship OPI, Rome, Italy


clinical practice, nursing competencies, nursing professional competence scale, observational study, professional competence, self-efficacy.


Background and aim of the work: The assessment and application of professional skills in registered nurses and undergraduate nursing students during clinical practice are essential in nursing education. Self-efficacy positively affects the professional competence of nursing students and registered nurses, but studies have yet to focus on the relationship between professional competence and self-efficacy. This study examined professional competence and its association with self-efficacy among undergraduate nursing students and registered nurses. Research and Methods: A cross-sectional, observational, and correlational study was conducted through a two-questionnaire-based survey. Sampling was conventional. Data was collected through the Italian version of the Nurses’ Professional Competence Scale Short Form (I-NPCS-SF), which investigates professional competencies, and Nursing Professional Self-Efficacy Scale (NPSES), which investigates self-efficacy and a socio-demographic questionnaire. The study was based on a convenience sample of 320 individuals: nursing students (n=116) in Albania and Italian nurses (n=204). Results: Factors associated with professional competence, particularly ethical values, of nursing students (M = 77.57) and registered nurses (M = 83.18) obtained the lowest average score, while other factors were almost the same for the two groups of nurses. Self-efficacy did not play an essential role in the development of professional competence of nursing students and registered nurses, as our investigation found no correlation between these two elements. Conclusions: The results of this study can be applied as a reference for improving nursing education programs by augmenting students' professional competence and, consequently, future nurses. 

Author Biographies

Gennaro Rocco, Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarship OPI, Rome, Italy


Ippolito Notarnicola, Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarship OPI, Rome, Italy



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How to Cite

Prendi E, Stievano A, Caruso R, Duka B, Spada F, Rocco G, et al. The correlation between professional competencies and self-efficacy among nursing students and registered nurses. An observational cross-sectional study. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2024 Jun. 21 [cited 2024 Jul. 20];95(3):e2024117. Available from: