Analysis and Evaluation of Novice to Expert Theory – Week 5 Assignment Solution

This assignment covers Analysis and Evaluation of Novice to Expert Theory.


Analyze Benner\’s novice to expert theory. Your analysis should include a(n):

  • Description of the theory\’s background and influencing factors, including worldview
  • Explanation of the underlying assumptions
  • Evaluation of major strengths and weaknesses
  • Application strategies for clinical practice
  • Citation of case example from personal or professional life that describe the application in practice

Cite a minimum of three in-text sources, and include a page or slide with APA-formatted references, depending on how you format your assignment.


Analysis and Evaluation of Novice to Expert Theory

Background, Worldview, and Influencing Factors

 Theoretically based practices are the basis of nursing practice. Each upcoming development leads to a continuous change in the nursing practice. The nursing profession is dependent on the growth and development through nurses’ experience. Growth and experience play a key role in patients’ care and practice.

The growth of Benner’s theory of Novice to Expert offers a process through which nurses can become experienced. With Fawcett and Desanto-Madeya’s Analysis and Evaluation, this essay explores Benner’s theory and its influence on nursing and other professional growth and development.

Underlying Assumptions

Patricia Benner proposed the Novice to Expert Theory. This theory contains the theoretical features and addresses the metaparadigm that is the basis of the nursing theory. It also utilizes the four components of the metaparadigm. These relevant well-defined elements include nursing, patient, health, and environment.  

Benner initiated her theory on the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition. The basis of her idea is that people acquire learning through education and experience. Both the nurses and students are required to maneuver through the various stages of learning.

There are five learning stages in most diagrams, which include Novice, beginner, and advanced beginner, competent, and proficient (Lyon, 2015). These stages are similar to a pyramid or a ladder. On the same note, Benner’s theory of Novice to an expert has its basis on inductive reasoning, personal experiences in nursing, nurses’ interview surveys, and evidence from observations.

In Benner’s theory, the presence of inductive reasoning shows through the applications used by the theory. These applications can predict, dictate, and estimate the impact on behavior. Over time, a new nursing graduate can be guided by this model from being a novice through being an expert.

About clarity, Benner’s theory of Novice to Expert is readily comprehensible and introduces no additional concept on the Dreyfus model. All the major existing concepts of this theory have a clear definition that does not use unnecessary words. The theory’s consistency depends on the association of each concept of the theory. The theory’s concepts that are consistently utilized together are consistent with each other and are consistently utilized together.

Benner’s Novice to expert theory has a simple format. Well-defined concepts also have straightforward explanations. This model can guide the identification of the various nursing practice levels based on experiences and observations from nursing practices that are actual. On the other hand, the differentiation of the five-level of competency represents the theory’s complexity. For rapid progression through the respective revels, specific goals, skills, and experience need to be met.

This theory can be universally applied to different ages, gender, and locations but are also applicable in illness or health in the nursing practice. The concepts can be broad, and their descriptions can change depending on how they are applied. Each nurse has unique characteristics, and their experiences in life vary. This theory’s importance relies on the individual how each individual understands the five-level of competency and their necessary elements and meanings. 

Evaluation of Major Strengths and Weaknesses

Benner’s theory emphasizes the importance of having clinical expertise, knowledge, and personal development in the nursing profession. One of the strengths of this theory is that it is universally applicable in other disciplines and professions. It is crucial for the growth and development of the nursing profession.

This theory’s framework acts as a guide to each person’s growth into an experienced, competent, and morally rooted nurses. It does not only offer a tool for assessing nursing staff, but it also provides quality patient care. Furthermore, this theory addresses each aspect of the metaparadigm, allowing nurses to have holistic care for the patients

Besides the strengths of this theory, there are a few weaknesses. This theory emphasizes learning through experimental science and the realization of skills. It has a little emphasis on the role played by learning academic aspects and focuses on direct patient care and clinical experiences. Clinical experiences have to go hand in hand with the knowledge and education that schooling provides.

As mentioned earlier, this theory lacks operational definitions. It does not have the necessary elements required for quantitative applications. It can only be universally applied as a framework, although it depends on each individual’s situation. The capacity to rate the theory concepts could be helpful in the theory’s application and effectiveness.

Application Strategies for Clinical Practice

Qualitative research studies have been used in testing Benner’s theory of Novice to expert. However, this theory lacks quantitative application. Benner utilized the Dreyfus model to conduct three research studies for 21 years. These studies were composed of nurses from a wide range of skills and experiences. After interviewing each nurse, some nurses in the clinical setting were followed.

Benner says that through the studies, the understanding of the Dreyfus model was extended to complex, fast-paced, and undetermined practices. The involvement and moral agency development links with expertise development and change. Nurses become more skilful. Those who faced challenges in understanding the practice ends and their interpersonal skills did not progress to the expert level.

The formation of Benner’s theory has been utilized in directing changes in the nursing profession, clinical and nursing practice. It is used in healthcare organizations to advance nursing practice, the formation of the nursing program curriculum, mentorship, and mentorship. Benner’s theory also impacted the creation of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses model of synergy. 

The synergy model describes the association of patient characteristics and outcomes and nursing competencies. The model states that distinct competency levels can influence patient outcomes (Georgiou et al., 2018). The nursing profession is differently classified into levels of certifications and expertise with Benner’s theory laying a foundation for several medical ladders in the nursing profession (Ozdemir, (2019).

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Analysis and Evaluation of Novice to Expert Theory
Analysis and Evaluation of Novice to Expert Theory

Each step of the ladder has its basis on the diverse clinical competency levels. These ladders are used in the progression and retention of experienced nurses. The career ladder is similar to the clinical ladder in how it works and serves as a guide to recognition, promotions, and staff development.

Case Example from Personal Life That Describes the Application in Practice.

This model applies to my nursing practice. I am now skilled and can understand the different skill acquisition levels and can my level in different situations. Having been a nurse for years now, I have gained understanding and believe that I am transitioning to higher competency; hoping to advance into an expert. For the education, skills, experience, and information that I have gained, I guide my instruction. While still relying on rules and frameworks, I can now orient and precept nursing students, incoming and graduate nurses.

Definition of Terms

In nursing theories, Phenomena are terms, descriptions, or labels given in describing a response or an idea, process, situation, or a group of situations. An event or a group of events can also be described. Examples include caring, stress, and self-care.

Mental images or ideas that give a description or label a phenomenon are known as concepts. Concepts can be psychological, physiological, developmental, social, cultural, or spiritual and. They may relate to stressors, defense mechanisms, illness prevention, health, and wellness. 

While propositions refer to statements that expound on the relationship between concepts (Smith & Parker, 2015), assumptions refer to the taken or granted statements. These statements explain the nature of definitions, concepts, relationships, structure, and purpose of theory.

To conclude, Benner’s knowledge is essential in the development of knowledge and professional growth in nursing. Each medical situation presents an opportunity to learn reflection and experience helps nurses have a deeper understanding of the nursing practice and themselves. Eventually, there is an ultimate improvement in patient care outcomes. An understanding of the students’ skill level facilitates successful learning.


Georgiou, G., Amenudzie, Y., Ho, E., & O’Sullivan, E. (2018). Assessing the application of the Synergy Model in haematology to improve care delivery and the work environment. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 28(1), 13.

Lyon, L. J. (2015). development of teaching expertise viewed through the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 88-105.

Ozdemir, N. G. (2019). The development of nurses’ individualized care perceptions and practices: Benner’s novice to expert model perspective. International Journal of Caring Sciences12(2), 1279.

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice. FA Davis.

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