Benner: From Novice to Expert

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Novice Level
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Beginning nursing student or any nurse entering a situation in which there is no previous level of experience. The learner learns via a specific set of rules or procedures, which are usually stepwise and linear
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Novice Nurse
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An experienced operating room nurse chooses to now practice in home health
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Advanced Beginner Level
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A nurse who has had some level of experience with the situation. This experience may only be observable in nature, but the nurse is able to identify meaningful aspects or principles of nursing care
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Competent Level
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A nurse who has been in the same clinical position for 2 to 3 years. This nurse understands the organization and specific care required by the type of patients.
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Proficient Level
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A nurse with more than 2 to 3 years of experience in the same clinical position. This nurse perceives a patient’s clinical situation as a whole, is able to assess an entire situation, and can readily transfer knowledge gained from multiple previous experiences to a situation.
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Expert Level
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A nurse with diverse experience who has an intuitive grasp of an existing or potential clinical problem. This nurse is able to zero in on the problem and focus on multiple dimensions of the situation.
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Expert Nurse
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He or she is skilled at identifying both patient-centered problems and problems related to the health care system or perhaps the needs of the novice nurse.
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Proficient Nurse
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This nurse focuses on managing care as opposed to managing and performing skills.
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Competent Nurse
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This nurse is a competent practitioner who is able to anticipate nursing care and establish long-range goals. In this phase the nurse has usually had experience with all types of psychomotor skills required by this specific group of patients

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