Embodied dispositions or experience? Identifying new patterns of professional competence

Larsen, Rischel V. and Jackson, K. 2008, Embodied dispositions or experience? Identifying new patterns of professional competence, Journal of advanced nursing, vol. 61, no. 5, pp. 512-621, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04543.x.

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Title Embodied dispositions or experience? Identifying new patterns of professional competence
Author(s) Larsen, Rischel V.
Jackson, K.
Journal name Journal of advanced nursing
Volume number 61
Issue number 5
Start page 512
End page 621
Total pages 110
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2008
ISSN 0309-2402
Summary Aim. This paper is a report of a study to explore nurses' competence as revealed during an admission assessment. Background. Studies of nursing competence and of models of competence have become virtually synonymous with the five-stage developmental model applied to nursing by Benner. However, the model has been criticized for its interpretation of intuition and also for the exclusion of the social elements and context of nursing practice. Method. The study was conducted in 2004. This paper draws on data from 12 structured non-participant observations of admission assessments in an orthopaedic ward by four nurses: two with <1 year' experience and two with more than 5 years' experience. Defined variables were observed using instantaneous and event sampling. The analysis was guided theoretically by the assumptions embedded in Benner's competence model and Bourdieu's theory of practice. Findings. Each nurse had unique patterns of practice that did not correspond to the level of competence expected in relation to their length of experience as a nurse. Nurses' competence seems to be situational rather than related to levels in the developmental model: in some observed variables, inexperience nurses acted as experts, while experienced nurses acted as advanced beginners, contrary to the expectations of Benner. Conclusion. The five-stage developmental competence model could not be verified empirically in this study. The findings suggest that further empirical research is needed to clarify the apparent links between situation and competence.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04543.x
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30063775

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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