Personal Philosophy of Nursing As a Nurse, Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Personal Philosophy of Nursing

As a nurse, the words that have always resonated with me the most as a description of the nursing process can be found in the writings of Patricia Benner. Benner, the author of the 'novice to expert model' writes: " One way to separate the instrumental and expressive aspects of nursing is to regulate caring as the art of nursing (Benner, 1984, 170) Without caring the nurse cannot connect with the patient. If the nurse cannot connect, trust will not develop. Without this trusting relationship, therapeutic nursing will not take place" (Benner 1984). Benner stresses that a truly 'expert' nurse has integrated caring into her vocabulary of expertise. Benner's model is not anti-science -- far from it. Technical understanding of nursing is required for a nurse even to have a novice status in the model. But expertise comes with integrating lived, personal knowledge and practical learning into the process of caring for the patient.

When I first embarked upon a career in nursing, what drove me to select the profession was my desire to care for others. I believe this is true for most nurses, when they choose this demanding yet rewarding career path. However, as a student nurse I was at first overwhelmed by the responsibilities I had, and what I needed to know when dispensing patient care. This is normal, according to the Benner model. Gradually, technical processes become intuitive and part of the unconscious thinking patterns of the nurse. There is a "movement from relying on abstract principles to using past concrete experiences to guide actions" (From novice to expert: Patricia Benner, 2011, Nursing Theories).

Moving to the 'expert' level of Benner's continuum (the stages are novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert) is not something which is achieved in a singular fashion, like reaching the summit of a mountain. Rather, competency is an evolving process. Sometimes, with some patients, I feel a seamless blend between my knowledge and my ability to connect with a patient in a caring fashion. Other times, I feel as if I must fall back to my technical knowledge, when the cause or treatment of patient's illness seems elusive and I must stress my scientific fact-finding abilities. And still at other times, even as a nurse, in a scientific discipline, the 'caring' part must be stressed, when I am confronted with the limits of…

Sources Used in Document:


From novice to expert: Patricia Benner. (2011). Nursing Theories. Retrieved:

Patricia Benner's model of novice to expert. (2001). Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.

Educator's Resource: Integration of Best Practice Guidelines, 2005. Retrieved:

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