The concepts identified within Benner's Nineteen Eighty Four research 'From Novice to Expert' have been widely adopted within UK nursing education and development. This paper combines a narrative from a post-registration student with analysis of the literature as a case study for gaining greater understanding of Benner's work in practice. Delya's story both validates aspects of the concept of skill acquisition and challenges some of the interpretations of the model within professional education. The focus of the critique of Benner's work within the literature to date has been on a deconstruction of the concepts and semantics of her work. In presenting verbatim extracts from a case study this paper seeks to move the focus to nursing practice. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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