Nursing Theory

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Nursing Theory


The concepts identified within Benner's Nineteen Eighty Four research 'From Novice to Expert' have been widely adopted within UK nursing education and development.

Delya does feel like a novice, and falls back to seeking out propositional knowledge to help her feel secure. She needs to systematically learn new tasks, and to master the technical skills in the new area.

Benner's (1996) response to Cash is interesting, and perhaps begins to shed some light on this area.

Four concepts underlie the meta-paradigm of nursing and are the basis of the program of study: human beings, environment, health, and nursing practice.

The analysis of Benner's work which has been initiated through Delya's story highlights the fact that context, whilst important to Benner's work, is not a concept which has been scrutinised in any depth.

Within the UK, there has been an enthusiastic adoption of and at times, adaptation of Benner's work for use in curriculum design and delivery.

Cash (1995) highlights this area as part of his critique of Benner's work. He suggests that there is an incompatibility between the developmental nature of the model, and the focus on context:

The competent stage of skill acquisition is typically a time of heightened planning for what are now more predictable immediate futures.

Summary of the Model

Benner et al. (1996) identify within their work a group of nurses who, despite many years of experience are not characterised as experts, either in the judgement of their peers, or within the criteria developed within the research. In addition to this, both Macleod's research (1996) and the implications of this case study are that some nurses are more naturally disposed to develop expertise than others. If this is the case, and starting from the assumption that an expert nurse will give better care, then one of the challenges to researchers into nursing practice is to gain greater understanding of what makes an expert nurse, and what educational systems best facilitated his or her development.

Quite apart from any learning regarding expertise and the work of Patricia Benner, it is worth noting that the reason Delya wrote the narrative was to fulfil the requirements for PREP. Through this initiative the UKCC have encouraged practitioners to examine in greater depth their professional practice. In turn, educational establishments who offer courses to qualified nurses have needed to develop learning experiences which see analysis of practice as a central element. Whilst many educational institutions may argue that they were doing this anyway, the advent of PREP could potentially herald within the UK a challenge to any theoretical developments which are not firmly grounded within practice. (Benner 2004)

Nursing Theory

Major Concepts In Benner's Theory

The concepts identified within Benner's Nineteen Eighty Four research 'From Novice to Expert' have been widely adopted within UK nursing education and development. This paper combines a narrative from a post-registration student with analysis of the literature as a case study for gaining greater understanding of Benner's work in practice. Delya's story both validates aspects of the concept of skill acquisition ...
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