Introduction: Competence of nurses is a complex combination of knowledge, function, skills, attitudes, and values. Delivering care for patients in the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) requires nurses’ competences. This study aimed to explain nurses' competence in the ICCU. 

Methods: This was a qualitative study in which purposive sampling with maximum variation was used. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 23 participants during 2012-2013. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed by using the content-analysis method. 

Results: The main categories were “clinical competence,” comprising subcategories of ‘routine care,’ ‘emergency care,’ ‘care according to patients’ needs,’ ‘care of non-coronary patients’, as well as “professional competence,” comprising ‘personal development,’ ‘teamwork,’ ‘professional ethics,’ and ‘efficacy of nursing education.’ 

Conclusion: The finding of this study revealed dimensions of nursing competence in ICCU. Benefiting from competence leads to improved quality of patient care and satisfaction of patients and nurses and helps elevate nursing profession, improve nursing education, and clinical nursing.


Keywords: competence, nurses, intensive cardiac care unit, content analysis, professional ethics
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