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Australas Emerg Nurs J. 2016 Feb;19(1):11-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aenj.2015.12.001. Epub 2016 Jan 14.

A new scale for disaster nursing core competencies: Development and psychometric testing.

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School of Nursing & Midwifery, Monash University, Australia; College of Applied Medical Science, Taif University, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Monash University, Australia.
School of Nursing & Midwifery, Monash University, Australia; Nursing Research, Monash University and Peninsula Health, Australia. Electronic address:



All nurses must have core competencies in preparing for, responding to and recovering from a disaster. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as in many other countries, disaster nursing core competencies are not fully understood and lack reliable, validated tools. Thus, it is imperative to develop a scale for exploring disaster nursing core competencies, roles and barriers in the KSA.


This study's objective is to develop a valid, reliable scale that identifies and explores core competencies of disaster nursing, nurses' roles in disaster management and barriers to developing disaster nursing in the KSA.


This study developed a new scale testing its validity and reliability. A principal component analysis (PCA) was used to develop and test psychometric properties of the new scale. The PCA used a purposive sample of nurses from emergency departments in two hospitals in the KSA. Participants rated 93 paper-based, self-report questionnaire items from 1 to 10 on a Likert scale. PCA using Varimax rotation was conducted to explore factors emerging from responses.


The study's participants were 132 nurses (66% response rate). PCA of the 93 questionnaire items revealed 49 redundant items (which were deleted) and 3 factors with eigenvalues of >1. The remaining 44 items accounted for 77.3% of the total variance. The overall Cronbach's alpha was 0.96 for all factors: 0.98 for Factor 1, 0.92 for Factor 2 and 0.86 for Factor 3.


This study provided a validated, reliable scale for exploring nurses' core competencies, nurses' roles and barriers to developing disaster nursing in the KSA. The new scale has many implications, such as for improving education, planning and curricula.


Competence; Disaster; Management; Principal component analysis; Saudi Arabia

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