BACKGROUND: One of the most important purposes of health-oriented educational centers is to train competent nurses. This study was intended to discover the meaning of "competency of nursing academic staff" among nursing students and instructors.
METHODOLOGY & METHODS: A qualitative study using the content analysis approach was conducted. The data was collected through in-depth interviews consisting of 30 individuals and a focus group.
RESULTS: Data analysis resulted in the extraction of 15 categories and 6 themes. The themes included 'providing effective education', 'increasing research capability of oneself and that of the students', 'promoting managerial competency', 'being a cultural and behavioral role model', 'motivating and nurturing the students', and 'boosting teaching values and disposition'.
CONCLUSION: This study resulted in discovering the real meaning of professional competency among the nursing faculty staff. The findings could be utilized in designing assessment tools for professional competency of nursing academic staff in nursing schools and other medical fields.