Brenner Theory of Skill Acquisition

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Nursing Theory to Practice Shaunda Bueno Northern Arizona University Knowledge Development in Nursing NUR 510

Novice to Expert Nursing Theory Part A Introduction The first nursing theories began to emerge in the late 1800s when nursing education came under question by the medical field seeking proof of the scientific basis of nursing practice. Nursing theories sought to explain and describe nursing care, guide nursing practice and create a foundation for clinical decision making in nursing. Nursing theory is defined as “a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action” (Nursing Theory, 2013, p# 1). When nursing theory is applied to nursing practice patient care, patient outcomes and nurse-patient communication are improved. Theory is thereby derived from practice and practice is altered or extended by theory. In the early 1980’s a nursing theorist named Patricia Benner applied the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition to nursing practice and knowledge development to define steps by which nurses can attain expert status in nursing practice. Patricia Benner describes five levels of nursing experience and skill acquisition starting with novice, then advanced beginner, next is competent, then proficient and finally expert level of clinical practice. In this paper I will discuss Benner’s theory of skill acquisition, the many uses of this theory, as well my personal review and critique of this nursing theory. I will further discuss key concepts of the theory, uses of the concepts, cases, and finally apply a graphic model of the theory as well as modifications to the model for use in my personal practice. Theory Summary Major Concepts In Patricia Benner’s theory of skill acquisition she adapted the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition to nursing practice and clinical knowledge development.

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