Dr Patricia Benner has proposed the concept Benner's theory which deals with the concept that expert nurses develop skills and understanding of patient care with time duration and through sound educational base as well as by gaining a multitude of experience. In view of Dr Patricia Benner, she proposed that one could gain knowledge and skills without ever learning any theory. Benner's theory states that the development of knowledge in any applied disciplines such as medicine and nursing is totally based on extension of practical knowledge and clinical experiences (Reed, P. G., & Shearer, N. B. C. (2017)). Moreover, she has described the five different levels of nursing experiences which include novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and expert. This paper is mainly emphasis on Benner's theory “ From Novice to Expert” and is its overall experience in applied nursing practices. The paper covers the outlining of Benner's Theory and describes the different stages through which nurse undergoes to become expert. This paper also involves how Benner's theory is put into practices in the profession of nurses so that they become an expert.
1. Discussion on the Benner's Theory of Novice to Expert
Dr Patricia Benner is one of famous nursing theorist who has proposed the model for the stages of clinical competence in her classic book that is “ From Novice to Expert”: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice”. Benner's nursing theory states the in order to become expert in the profession of nurse both educational background along with the multitude of experiences is crucial. Patricia Benner's research theory works allows and provides the profession of nursing with we know as the Novice to Expert model which is also known as Benner's Stages of Clinical Competence (Westra, B. L., & et. al. (2015)). Patricia Benner's theory was applied in the nursing profession and was adapted by the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition. Dr Benner has categorised nursing into five levels of capabilities which is described in detail below:
Novice: This level of nursing deals with those nursing students who are in the first year of their clinical education. Their clinical experience and behaviour is very limited and inflexible. Novice level nurses are having limited capability to predict the condition and situation of the patient. Patient's sign and symptoms could be recognized only after novice nurse gain some experience to handle the patients with common similar symptoms.
Advanced Beginner: This level is considered for those who are new grads in their fresher job. In this level, nurses earn more experiences that allows them to recognize and handle the situation of patient health-care and treatment. In this level nurse have the knowledge but they do not have enough in-depth experiences (Radtke, K., Obermann, K., & Teymer, L. (2014)).
Competent: At this level nurses lacks the flexibility and speed of performing their specific roles but they become competent in making advance planning and organizational skills. Competent nurses are able to recognize patterns of clinical practice and situations more quickly in comparison to advanced beginner.
Proficient: At this level are to handle and tackle overall patient situation in comparison to parts. Proficient nurses learn from their experience and are able to modify plans in different situations.
Expert: At this level, nurses become expert at their roles and responsibilities. They know what to do is required situation of patient health and treatment.