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Patricia Benner’s Theory of Nursing: Concept Synthesis Analysis

Patricia Benner’s theory of nursing has made it easier for many clinicians to achieve their career goals. The name of her theory is “From Novice to Expert”. The nursing theory encourages caregivers and medical professionals to embrace the power of practical skills and knowledge. The practice will produce appropriate concepts towards offering evidence-based health support. According to the Benner’s theory, “continued practice and use of evidence-based concepts with produce competent nurses and caregivers who understand the needs of their respective patients” (Gobet & Chassy, 2008, p. 132). Masters (2014) believes strongly that the theory can support different nursing practices.

Nursing challenges and problems are common in various healthcare settings. Nurses must be ready to combine various theories and competencies in order to provide the best patient care. Patricia Benner’s theory offers succinct discussions that support the best philosophy for professional nursing practice. This essay uses Patricia’s “From Novice to Expert” theory to examine the four meta-paradigms of nursing. The paper will also offer two-practice specific concepts that are specific to my personal practice.

The Four Meta-paradigms of Nursing


Patricia’s theory treats nursing as a powerful practice that makes it possible for caregivers to connect with their patients. They should also strive to improve their competencies and skills in order to support every patient. Nursing is a calling whereby “clinicians show the highest level of participation and involvement” (Risjord, 2010, p. 29). This practice will result in the best patient-nurse relationships. The theorist explains why caregivers should combine their nursing experiences with these relationships. They should also “describe the issues associated with illnesses, diseases, and health conditions” (Gobet & Chassy, 2008, p. 131).

The theory offers powerful aspects through which “clinicians and nurses can widen their competencies within a specified period” (Gobet & Chassy, 2008, p. 134). This practice will make every nurse a competent healthcare provider. This description can guide nurses to widen their skills in order to support their nursing practices.


Patricia’s model of nursing explains why “human beings are not predefined at the time of birth” (Risjord, 2010, p. 42). Such individuals will “eventually get defined in the course of their lives” (Risjord, 2010, p. 58). Every person also acquires a new understanding of his or his body in the universe. That being the case, the “person” is part or participant in the universe. Several aspects also play a critical role towards defining a “person”. Benner’s theory identifies various aspects that make it easier for people to deal with their issues. These four aspects include “the role of the body, the role of temporality, the role of the situation, and the role of personal concerns” (Jarrin, 2007, p. 86).


The theorist defines health as something that is easy to explore and assess. Benner’s theory focuses on the experience of being sick or healthy. That being the case, the theory treats well-being as the experience of human wholeness. Becoming sick is a new way of experiencing life on earth. This situation explains why a person is healthy despite having a specific disease. According to the theory, health is not “the absence of illnesses in the body” (Risjord, 2010, p. 58). Human beings can have a disease without necessarily experiencing “illness”. The theorist goes further to “describe illness as a critical human experience defined by dysfunction” (Risjord, 2010, p. 59). Human beings “can only assess the presence of a disease at the physical level” (Jarrin, 2007, p. 92).


The surrounding environment will always determine the health conditions of different human beings. Benner treats the surrounding environment as a “situation” that has unique social aspects and meanings. The theorist uses the term “being situated” to describe people’s interactions with their social environments. The relationship or interaction formed by individuals and the social environment is essential towards understanding the development of diseases (Risjord, 2010). Nurses must analyse this situational interaction in order to deal with various diseases affecting the lives of different patients.

Two Practice-Specific Concepts


This is a practice-specific concept towards achieving the best goals as a caregiver. Patricia Benner’s theory supports the importance of caring. Nurses should use their competencies and skills to improve their practices. This practice “will be critical towards supporting the changing needs of those who require the best care” (Hill, 2010, p. 28). I am planning to support my competencies using Patricia Benner’s theory of nursing.

I will explore new concepts and evidence-based ideas in order to become a competent caregiver. Caring must be honest, persistent, intuitive, and non-judgmental. Caregivers must focus on the health outcomes of their respective patients (Hill, 2010). It is appropriate to overcome prejudices and biases whenever supporting different patients. Nurses should embrace the power of evidence-based practices and informed strategies in order to promote the best health outcomes. Benner’s theory offers an effective model that can make it easier for caregivers to improve their skills. This theory will be relevant towards supporting my caring abilities.


Nursing is a powerful practice characterised by continuous learning and acquisition of new skills. Patricia Benner’s theory “From Novice to Expert” offers useful tools and steps that can create competent healthcare providers. Caregivers should always examine their gaps and weaknesses whenever supporting the health needs of different patients. The use of evidence-based approaches will result in acceptable practices and interventions (Masters, 2014). Nurses should engage in new activities that can equip them with better skills. Holism is a unique practice-specific concept that will support my career goals. The meta-paradigms of nursing describe the best concepts that can result in better health outcomes.

Nurses should “evaluate these meta-paradigms using Benner’s theory in order to improve the health conditions of their respective clients” (Hill, 2010, p. 31). It is agreeable that “an individual is an integrated whole that is independent of the sum of the parts” (Gobet & Chassy, 2008, p. 132). Caregivers should “embrace a holistic approach in an attempt to create the best harmony between the body, emotions, spirit, and mind” (Hill, 2010, p. 31).

This strategy will focus on the best ideas towards dealing with the issues affecting every targeted patient. The “practice will eventually re-pattern the targeted harmony thus improving every patient’s situation” (Gobet & Chassy, 2008, p. 133). Holism is therefore an ethical concept that focuses on the best health outcomes. I will always use this practice-specific concept whenever supporting the health needs of my patients. The practice will eventually make me a professional healthcare provider.

List of Propositions

The above practice-specific concepts can be critical towards achieving the targeted health goals. Nurses should use various propositions to guide them whenever addressing the changing health needs of their patients. Patricia’s nursing theory offers powerful insights that encourage nurses to engage in continuous learning (Jarrin, 2007). This practice will make it easier for NPs to acquire new competencies and eventually become expert healthcare providers. The five propositions presented below clearly connect with the concepts described above.

  1. Practical reasoning is always an ongoing situation.
  2. Caregivers and nurses must adapt new interventions in order to address the needs of their patients.
  3. A nurse’s ability to act will play a significant towards influencing every health situation.
  4. It is impossible to separate good nursing practices from ethical concepts of positive health outcomes for patients.
  5. Caregivers must engage in continuous learning in order to offer quality patient support.

The above assumptions will make it easier for different caregivers to provide quality care to their patients. It is necessary for clinicians “to understand the relevance of the environment towards supporting the health situation of a person” (Jarrin, 2007, p. 94). Nurse Practitioners (NPs) should use evidence-based ideas and practices in order to improve the wellness of their patients. My current position calls for better practices and concepts in an attempt to achieve my objectives. I will also engage in practical reasoning. The strategy will support my goals and objectives.

The above theory offers unique strategies towards improving a person’s skill set. Response-based practice is another powerful strategy that can make it easier for nurses to offer holistic care to their patients. Such professionals should identify better interventions in order to fulfill the expectations of their clients. The other important consideration is engaging in ethical practices. My future objective is to embrace the best ethical concepts and ideas. It is agreeable that good medical practices should be in accordance with every ethical theory. The practice will be relevant “towards getting the best health outcomes for families, communities, and patients” (Hill, 2010, p. 28).

Reference List

Gobet, F., & Chassy, P. (2008). Towards an Alternative to Benner’s Theory of Expert Intuition in Nursing: A Discussion Paper. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45(1), 129-139.

Hill, K. (2010). Improving Quality and Patient Safety by Retaining Nursing Expertise. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 15(3), 23-36.

Jarrin, O. (2007). An Integral Philosophy and Definition of Nursing. Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 2(4), 79-101.

Masters, K. (2014). Framework for Professional Nursing Practice. Web.

Risjord, M. (2010). Nursing Knowledge: Science, Practice, and Philosophy. New York, NY: Wiley.

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