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Implementation of a competency assessment tool for agency nurses working in an acute paediatric setting.AIM: This paper reports on the implementation of a competency assessment tool for registered general agency nurses working in an acute paediatric setting, using a change management framework. BACKGROUND: The increased number of registered general agency nurses working in an acute children's hospital alerted concerns around their competency in working with children. These concerns were initially raised via informal complaints about 'near misses', parental dissatisfaction, perceived competency weaknesses and rising cost associated with their use. METHOD: [Young's (2009) Journal of Organisational Change, 22, 524-548] nine-stage change framework was used to guide the implementation of the competency assessment tool within a paediatric acute care setting. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: The ongoing success of the initiative, from a nurse manager's perspective, relies on structured communication with the agency provider before employing competent agency nurses. Sustainability of the change will depend on nurse managers' persistence in attending the concerns of those resisting the change while simultaneously supporting those championing the change. These key communication and supporting roles highlight the pivotal role held by nurse managers, as gate keepers, in safe-guarding children while in hospital. Leadership qualities of nurse managers will also be challenged in continuing to manage and drive the change where resistance might prevail.