Benner, P. 1984 . From Novice Essay

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They must be applied to patient's lives -- this is the reason that Benner places such a strong emphasis on mentorship as a critical component of training. Mentors and the advice of other nurses are required to teach advanced beginners to begin to 'filter' experience and form meaningful principles (Benner 22). However, for the advanced beginner, mentors are still required to help individuals adapt to the situations they are exposed to, such as, to cite the example given by Benner, a ward of crying babies, all of whom need attention -- an advanced beginner may have trouble doing 'triage,' or understanding what is the most important thing to do in a situation, when confronted with a variety of demands.

Competency, the third stage is when the nurse begins to develop a more holistic sense of his or her personal philosophy of nursing practice. This stands in stark contrast to the nursing 'process' model used by the novice and the advanced beginner, where the philosophy of the academy is largely accepted. The competent nurse creates an evolving, situation-based approach and infuses what has been learned through practice with a stronger analytical foundation, based upon nursing experiences (Benner 24). But for Benner, competency is not enough -- the holistically-minded proficient nurse must not only function well and prioritize, but also use past experiences to deal with the unexpected. This stress upon the unexpected underlines Benner's driving thesis that the practice and thus even the early teaching of nursing itself should prepare nurses to deal with things on a case-by-case basis. Fostering a more interactive and open-ended style of education can facilitate a greater ability of individuals to master nursing skills, early on in their education.

Learning for Benner,

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