Applying Benner’s Theory to APN Role

Advanced practice nurse is a nurse with advanced specialized clinical knowledge and skills to deliver healthcare to a diverse population. According to Difazio, and Vessey (2014), the role of the ARN is to improve access, quality, and provide cost-effective healthcare. Additionally, an APN practices in a wide range of clinical practices including taking the role of nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, certified nurse specialist, and certified registered nurse anesthetist. Consistently, to become an advanced practice nurse it requires one to have a master’s degree for each role under the APN and gain clinical experience. As an advanced practice, Patricia Benner’s theory speaks directly to my APN practice and provides guidance for my future practice.

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Nursing is a scientific profession that requires a scientific basis of theories. According to Oshvandi, Khatiban, and Cheraghi (2016), theories provide a framework and goals for assessment and recognition of nursing practices. The nursing theory by Patricia Benner proposes that expert nurses develop skills and understanding through a chronological order of proper educational background and an extensive range of experience (Carlson, MacMullen, & Tymkow, 2016). Applying Benner’s stages of clinical competence, an APN must first go through the first stage of being a novice and gain the relevant clinical education and experience of the clinical setting, then proceed to advanced beginner, and the third stage, which is competent. As an advanced practice nurse, I believe I am in the fourth stage of proficient. At this level, I will be expected to analyze situations and see them as a whole. I understand that I should be able to learn from experience and modify plans to respond to different levels as they occur. By consistently gaining clinical expertise and practice will gradually enable me to graduate to the next level of expert, where I will be in charge of situations and not rely on rules to inform my actions but intuition and experience.


Carlson, S., MacMullen, N., Tymkow, C., & Comer, S. (2016). Creating a flexible nursing staff within an urban level III perinatal environment: Creating a flexible staffing model. Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice, 15(1), 1-13.

Difazio, R. L., & Vessey, J. (2014). Advanced practice registered nurses: Addressing emerging needs in emergency care. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 4(1), 43-49.

Oshvandi, K., Khatiban, M., Cheraghi, F., Borzu, R., Moradi, Y., & Moghadam, A. S. (2016). On the application of novice to expert theory in nursing; a systematic review. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 9(4), 3014-3020.

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