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Korean J Med Educ. 2012 Sep;24(3):223-31. doi: 10.3946/kjme.2012.24.3.223. Epub 2012 Sep 30.

Impact of critical thinking disposition, general self-efficacy, and leadership on clinical competence in nursing students.

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College of Nursing, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea.
College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships among critical thinking disposition, general self-efficacy, leadership and clinical competence, and identify the factors influencing clinical competence in nursing students.


In this descriptive study, 153 nursing students (from 2nd to 4th school year) of a university in South Korea were enrolled in December 2010. The instruments for this study were the Korean versions of the Critical Thinking Disposition Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Leadership Inventory, and Clinical Competence Scale. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, t-test, MANOVA, Pearson correlation, and multiple linear regression with PASW 18.0 software.


The mean scores (ranging from 1 to 5) in nursing students for critical thinking disposition, general self-efficacy, leadership, and clinical competence were 3.44, 3.51, 3.55, and 3.42, respectively. Positive correlations were found for clinical competence with critical thinking disposition, general self-efficacy, and leadership. The strongest predictor of clinical competence was leadership. In addition, leadership, nursing school year, and subjective academic achievement accounted for 34.5% of variance in clinical competence.


This study revealed that developing leadership, critical thinking disposition, and self-efficacy in undergraduate nursing education is important to improve clinical competence of nursing students.


Clinical competence; Critical thinking disposition; General self-efficacy; Leadership; Nursing students

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