A nurse graduated from nursing school 3 years ago. He worked at one hospital on the telemetry unit for 6 months. He then transferred to the cardiac care unit (CCU) at a teaching hospital, and has been working there for 2.5 years. According to the novice-expert model of nursing, he is considered

  1. novice.
  2. expert.
  3. competent.
  4. advanced beginner.
Number 3 is correct.
Rationale: A nurse who has been working in the same, or similar, position for 2 – 3 years is considered a competent nurse. Competent nurses are expected to use their experience to analyze problems that arise, and have developed solid critical thinking skills. However, a nurse at the competent level does not yet have the intuition and life or situational experience an expert nurse can rely on. The novice-expert model is based on Dr. Patricia Benner’s work, which describes a novice as a beginner with no experience, an advanced beginner as a nurse who can demonstrate marginally acceptable performance, and an expert nurse as one who has a background to practice independently.