Patricia Benner: Exploring her writings and their relevance for the New Zealand nursing world
Sue Price, RGON, BA, Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Otago Polytechnic
Reference: Price,S. (1995). Patricia Benner: Exploring her writings and their relevance for the New Zealand nursing world. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 10(1), 4-11.
This paper will examine the work of Patricia Benner, exploring the context from which her ideas have evolved. Benner’s well known seminal (1984) work From Novice to Expert will be taken as a starting point, however more contemporary writing will also be explored. Benner’s writing has had immense impact on contemporary nursing, with influences on practice, education, research and knowledge development. This impact has included the New Zealand nursing world, so this will also be examined. Although the tremendous value of Benner’s work to the discipline of nursing cannot be underestimated, there is risk of adopting her ideas uncritically and without thought to the social, political and cultural influences on the context of practice. This is true for both differing practice specialty areas as well as wider international differences. In order to explicate contextual issues an overview of Benner’s writing is necessary. In this process historical and socio-political issues will emerge, therefore an attempt will be made to clarify these as they occur.