Background: Competency of nurses is vital to safe nursing practice as well as essential component to drive quality of nursing services. There exists little up to date information concerning actual competency among Vietnamese nurses. Purposes: The purpose of this study is to identify the actual nursing competency among nurses in clinical settings in Vietnam. Methods: A qualitative study, ethnographic method, comprised of the participant-observation, in-depth interview, and focus group discussion with multidisciplinary groups of nurses employing in Cho Ray hospital, Vietnam, managers/administrators, nurse teachers, medical doctors, other health care providers, patients and family members which derived from purposeful sampling technique. Content analysis was used for data analysis. Results: Five essential themes of nursing competencies among nurses were identified include (1) knowledge, (2) skills, (3) attitude and value-based nursing practice, (4) legal and ethical competencies, and (5) transcultural competencies. Basic and advanced knowledge were identified as further two dimensions of knowledge. There were five sub themes identified as further dimensions of skills include technical skills, communication skills, organizing and management skills, teamwork and interrelationship, and critical thinking skills. Conclusions: The findings from this study provide valuable information and understanding of the actual competency among nurses in clinical settings in Vietnam. It is expected that this understanding would assist in developing a guide to nursing education and training, nursing practice and relevant policy regulation used for promoting nursing competency among nurses.
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