Managerial competencies and challenges of nursing leaders at public hospitals in Kabul, Afghanistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine the managerialcompetencies of nursing leaders at public hospitals in Kabul, Afghanistan, and also, to identify barriers that hinder the performance of nursing leaders.Methods A cross-sectional study design was used to recruit participants from 17 public hospitals in Kabul. A self-administered questionnaire was used with a total of 86 nursing managers and head nurses, who rated: I) their proficiency in 50 managerial competencies 2) the importance of these competencies to them and 3) the frequency of challenges they faced. Results Nursing Managers (NMs) rated themselves more proficient in self management then in leading, while Head Nurses (HNs) rated themselves more proficient in legal and ethical issues then self-management. However, both NMs and FINs rated themselves less proficient in the areas of organizing and planning. Although the NMs rated themselves comparatively higher than the HNs in all areas of competencies, statistically, there was a significant difference (p<0.05) in the mean proficiency of NMs and HNs in the areas of self-management, planning, and leading. NMs rated self-management and health/clinical skills as the most important competencies in comparison to leading and planning, while HNs rated health/clinical skills and legal and ethical issues as the most important competencies, in comparison to self-management and leading. However, statistically, there was a significant difference in the mean ratings (p<0.05) in the areas of organizing and self-management.The result of the t-test indicates that the most frequent challenges of NMs were: staff absenteeism (2.50+0.760) and too many responsibilities. In contrast, lack of recognition from heads (1.36+0.745) and lack of management experience (1.89+0.761) were reported by NMs and FINs, respectively, as the least frequently faced challenges. ConclusionThis study provides recommendations for developing the capacity of the nursing leaders within the public sector, and for designing strategies to overcome the current challenges that hinder their performance. ImplicationsThe findings of this study can inform policy makers at the Ministry of Public Health, and aim to draw their attention towards improving the capacity and status of nursing administration within the country

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