Introduction: Competencies is an important concept used for assessing health professionals' capability to perform their role. By means of a literature review of Japanese professional journals this paper will investigate the competencies concept, particularly with relation to disaster nursing. Methods: The literature research was conducted using the database ichu-shi (ver. 4). All literature is written and published in Japanese and was published between 2001 and 2008. Due to an unfamiliarity of the term 'competencies' in Japanese, the key words were sought while deconstructing the meaning and concepts of 'competencies' into terms more recognisable in the Japanese context. Twelve key words: disaster, capability, education, practice, licensure, ability, function, prevention, response, planning, emergency, and disaster nursing were chosen as being most likely to find literature relevant to the English language concept of competencies. The searched articles were then written into the disaster nursing competencies review worksheet for analysis. Result: One hundred and twenty articles were found by searching a combination of these key words. Of these articles, those that were not in the context of disaster nursing were eliminated. As a result, 43 articles were chosen as being suitable for analysis of the context. These articles are classified into four themes. Conclusion: These theme groups indicated a foundation for competencies in disaster nursing. The definition of competencies in Japanese nursing journals was quite varied and cannot be easily defined as common disaster nursing competencies. Given the variety of areas and the distinct phases in disaster nursing, as well as the 'what for' and 'who governs', disaster nursing competencies will need its own discussion in order to establish the common competencies internationally.
- Disaster nursing
- Literature review