Using a Delphi technique to develop infection control competencies for new graduates in Australia and Taiwan
The aim of this study is to establish the essential infection control competencies required for newly graduating nurses in Australia and Taiwan by using a modify Delphi technique. One hundred and twenty-two participants from clinical and educational backgrounds in both countries were invited to participate in the study. A questionnaire outlining possible areas of competency, based on a similar study in Canada was developed for the Delphi survey. Participants were asked to indicate how highly they rated each competency area using a 5 point likert scale, in terms of their applicability and importance for newly graduating nurses. An expert reference group helped to validate the original questionnaire. Respondents were also asked to identify any gaps in the competencies outlined in the questionnaire. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS 15.0 and qualitative data collected were content analyzed with similar items combined into themes. This research was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Wollongong prior to the commencement of any data collection. In the first round, 93 experts returned completed questionnaires. The first round data demonstrated that 71% items were successful in reaching the majority of agreement. Items that had not achieved consensus and additional items identified by the Delphi panellists from the first round were included in a second round in November 2008. Participants were asked to use the same rating system. It is envisaged that after completing two rounds of this survey, we will have obtained a consensus of expert opinion on essential infection control competencies for newly graduating nurses in Australia and Taiwan. The results of this study are expected to make a contribution to future curriculum planning in nursing programmes as well as improve Infection Control standards in health facilities in Australia and Taiwan, with obvious benefits for patients and society more generally.