Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This paper is a study of current perceptions of perioperative nurses view of competency in the operating room. Perioperative education, competency standards, and competency assessment have been used to guide clinical and professional nursing behaviors. The need for a standardized education program and competency assessment tool has been identified, but inconsistencies and disagreement about the components that should be included for these areas still remains. A review of current literature was conducted to include topics involving perioperative education, competency assessment, and nursing perceptions regarding competency. A survey of current practicing perioperative nurses was also conducted; both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and analyzed. From the analysis of available literature and a survey of perioperative nurses, three themes were identified: perioperative nurse competency is essential for patient safety, communication and teamwork were perceived as strong characteristics of competency traits, and subspecialty education programs and the educational level of the nurse were not perceived as valuable for achieving competence. These findings indicate that teamwork and communication should be incorporated into perioperative nursing competency standards. Current accepted standards from the Association of perioperative Nurses does not currently address teamwork and communication as indications of perioperative nursing competency. It also revealed that the need for further research related to competency and the standardization of perioperative education