Nurses and their demographic profile
In the study, it was found that the larger population had Bachelor’s Degree (48%) and it almost constituted half of the population. The remaining half was almost equally composed of Diploma holders and post graduates. However, this is in contrast to the Delhi Nursing Council (DNC) Statistics of 2015, where the largest group was that of Diploma holders (55.1%), followed by that of B.Sc Nurses (39.4%) and the least (5.5%) was that of auxiliary nurses. Unfortunately, they did not have an account of the nurses who have attained any other higher degrees.
A characteristic, which was revealed from the study, was that the larger proportions of nurses (55.9%) were females. Only 42.4% were males, and 1.7% of the population, did not mention their gender. These findings are similar to a study conducted among few Western countries, assess the health workforce, in which it was proved that about 62% of health sector was occupied by women and it was attributed that this skew was due to the female dominance in nursing. It was also commented in the study that nursing, inspite of being a highly complex skilled profession, has not received a market value in accordance to the level of skills involved in it, courtesy, perception of it as “women’s work” .
Nurses’ interest to work in rural or urban areas
The study suggests that a majority of the population has an interest to work in rural areas. However, as per the WHO report on human workforce, only 39.6% of nurses work in rural sector and among them, only 9.9% of them had a medical qualification. The rest 67.1 % had qualification less than secondary schooling, 9.3% had technical or non- technical diploma, 23.7% had basic or post graduate degree. Also, 73 districts had no nurses with a medical qualification . According to the study, about 85.5% of the nurses are working in public sector. But, this is in contrast to the study done by Karan et al , where about three- fourth of the nurses were employed in private sector. An appropriate and equal distribution of nurses in rural and urban areas, and in public and private sector is a mandate to ensure universal access to healthcare.
Utilization of nursing competencies- skill and knowledge
According to the study, when the participant nurses were asked to rate the utilization of their knowledge on a 5- point scale, the highest proportion of them rated it as 4 and 5, accounting to about 28.9% and 28.2%, respectively. At the same time, 19.9 % of them rated it at 3, 8.8% at 2 and 7.6% at 1. On the other hand, when the utilization of skills were assessed, largest group of them, that is 30.6% and 27.7% of them felt that it was at 5 and 4, on the rating scale, respectively. However, 34.8% of them felt that their skills were under- utilized, irrespective of the high level of training and expertise they have attained. About 6–7% of participants missed to give this information. Though there are few studies on assessing the competencies of nurses, this was a pioneer study in the perception of the extension to which nursing competencies are exploited.