Family Nurse Practitioner and the Benner’s Theory

As a family Nurse Practitioner who is committed to fulfilling her roles, one requires a qualified clinical preceptor to provide him with mentorship. The receptor plays the role of maintaining the focus of the course content to the objectives of the course program (Cervero, 1988). They provide guidance to student on the use of resources, such as the treatment procedure. They also adopt vital information from novice prerequisites considered to serve as a clinical preceptor. They have to be well conversant with the contents of the preceptor manual and the study curriculum stipulated by the faculty. Their attitude must demonstrate a willingness to mentor clinical nursing students (Cervero, 1988). Their experience as a clinical practitioner should not be less than two years. They have to set optimal time for each process of learning in the clinical practicum.

During and after the clinical nurse training, the student has to be ready to take up the responsibilities in both the clinical practicum and the future nursing endeavors. During the training, under the mentorship of the preceptor, the student is obliged to fulfill certain roles as a demonstration of the newly acquired expertise. One of the roles is to contact the preceptor regularly, discuss the clinical schedule, and arrange a mutually appropriate calendar (Benner, 1984). Secondly, he or she selects and elucidate the underlying principle for selection of a hypothetical structure suitable to conduct research connected to a practical clinical challenge. Thirdly, the clinical practitioner confers with the preceptor or the faculty to bridge the gap whenever there is a sentiment that his or her experience does not conform to the study objectives.

Dr Banner brought the idea of from Novice to Expert to light in what scholars formally known as Dr Banners Novice to Expert Model (Benner, 1984). This is the summary of transitions of what takes place in nurses training from the beginners level (Novice) to the expert level. As the transition moves from the beginning to the end, theoretical aspect gradually fades away giving way to practicality. At Novice level, a clinical practitioner has no practical experience (Walker & Avant, 1995). All the learning is entirely theoretical. The second stage is the advanced beginners’ level, where the learners have a little experience and understanding of the operating principles in clinical nursing (Walker & Avant, 1995). The clinical nurse records repeated experimental challenges and slowly learn to apply these lessons into the lives of patients in practical scenarios. The third stage, which Dr. Benner describes as the Competent Stage, is arrived at when a clinical nurse overstays in similar job position (George, 2004). This long exposure strengthens the clinician’s competence and enables them to master the flow of events. This is the middle stage, and a real balance between theories and practical. Benner’s fourth stage is the Proficient Stage. Nurses here begin to understand problems and can apply their problem solving skills and decision-making strategies. The last stage of the sequence is the Expert Stage. The experts no longer adhere to regulations and guiding principles to grab the circumstances to take appropriate action (George, 2004). The expert performs at an extremely high level and is exceptionally flexible in decision-making. The proficient nurse, due to enormous experience, is able to include practical nursing into patient. This stage is more practical than theoretical, with minimal theories.

Banners Model plays a role as the agenda for career development. This model applies a smart strategy to achieve a comprehensive scope of training. The vitality of it is that, the steps are well calculated with the prerequisite are brought first. At the end of the five stages, both the clinical nurses and the preceptor evaluate each other as a joint effort for the purpose of accountability (Walker & Avant, 1995). The student is able to develop and use personal learning objectives and discuss learning needs with the preceptor. The model also provides a feedback mechanism, which instills a sense of responsibility on students.


Benner, P.E. (1984). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley.

Cervero, R. (1988). Effective continuing education for professionals. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.

George JB (2004). Nursing Theories, The Base for Professional Nursing Practice. Norwalk: Appleton & Lange.

Walker, L. O., & Avant, K. C. (1995). Strategies for theory construction. East Norwalk,CT: Prentice –Hall, Inc.