According to Benner, there are five levels of experience regarding nursing (2001). The levels of nursing range from novice to expert (Benner, 2001). This information is based on the Dreyfus Model which was designed by Stuart Dreyfus (Benner, 2001). It is important for nurses to become experts in their field and to guide novice nurses. The first stage of nursing practice is novice (Benner, 2001). A novice is a beginner who has no experience. During this time the novice nurse is adjusting to the environment and picking up basic skills. A novice can include a brand new nurse or a nurse who has recently moved to a new unit (Benner, 2001). This nurse is focused on learning the rules and is not at a point where she can be very flexible. She lacks the judgment to make decisions outside of the rigid rule-set she is being taught (Benner, 2001). The second stage is the advanced beginner. The advanced beginner is still very focused on rules (Benner, 2001). This nurse has some experience with this patient base and is able to make acceptable decisions (Benner, 2001). This nurse has difficulty prioritizing because she is so focused on completing all of the tasks that are at hand (Benner, 2001). Clinical experiences should be guided by a competent nurse so that they are offered more than guidelines (Benner, 2001). third stage of experience by the nurse is competent. This typically means the nurse has been in this field for two years or more (Benner, 2001). This nurse is able to plan out her day but is not as fast as a higher stage of experience. She does feel comfortable with the aspects of nursing on her unit (Benner, 2001). She does make deliberate choices to make her day move more smoothly (Benner, 2001). The fourth stage of experience is proficient. This nurse sees the whole picture (Benner, 2001). She is able to feed off of her experiences. She is able to make goals for her patient and to visualize the path they will take (Benner, 2001). The proficient nurse is able to understand what is most important in the tasks she must complete. She is guided by the flow of the unit and not overwhelmed by her patient acuity. She can use her past experience to help her current situation (Benner, 2001). The expert nurse is the final stage of experience (Benner, 2001). This nurse is on autopilot. The answers seem obvious to this nurse because she uses her experiences and not guidelines to make her decisions (Benner, 2001). This nurse is able to speak and make decisions with a certainty because it is second nature to her (Benner, 2001). She is able to understand the patient and what is going on with them (Benner, 2001). Over a year ago I changed my area of nursing to the psychiatric field. Prior to that point I had some patients with a primary psychiatric diagnosis but mainly medical patients. I had experience with a family member who suffers from bipolar disorder as well. At this point I feel as though my stage of experience is competent. A competent nurse is able to plan out her day but may not be as fast as a more experienced nurse (Benner, 2001). When I come into work in the morning I already know about my day. I am prepared for the unit that I will be working on that day. Ahead of time I have secured items that will make the shift run more smoothly. I have a deck of cards for patient use, coloring books, arts and crafts, and cigarettes. Many times there is a lapse of time in the schedule and patients who are bored tend to act out aggressively. Some of the patients who come in do have a smoking habit but no cigarettes, I keep a pack in my work bag because I have seen an entire unit erupt in chaos over a cigarette. Preparation is the way I control my day in an uncontrollable environment. Having the right tools makes the day manageable. I have a packet of nursing group topics so that I can start a group at a moment’s notice. The schedule does not always go as planned. A...
References: Benner, P. (2001). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. (Commemorative ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Bowers, L. (2010). How expert nurses communicate with acutely psychotic patients. Mental Health Practice. 13(7), 24-26. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/217220210?accountid=12085
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