Using Benner's Novice to Expert as a Framework to Involve Nurses in Research

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Jeanne Siegel, PhD, ARNP, BC
Nursing, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, Coral Gables, FL
Denise Korniewicz, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

Learning Objective 1: discuss Benner's Novice to Expert Framework.

Learning Objective 2: Describe the steps in developing a nurse who participates in research.


To gauge the effectiveness of a program of study for hospitals wanting to increase nurse participation in research activities, evidenced based practice, and quality improvement.

Methods: The foundation of evidenced based practice and quality management is the ability to look at outcomes and compare the results of different interventions on the patient within the health care environment.  In order to understand research and its role in this environment a conceptual matrix was designed using Benner’s Novice to Expert Framework in order to teach nurses about research and to increase the knowledge base and responsibility incrementally as their experience improves.

Fifty nurses with no research experience were given an introductory course (novice stage) on research and its application in the hospital setting. Additionally, they participated in a mini research project called “Cookie Monsters Research Project” designed to demonstrate the basics of data collection, data entry, informed consent, and basic statistical analysis. A pretest, post test and a test at six weeks was conducted to determine the effect of the project in increasing their knowledge base and desire to participate in a research project. 


Inservices and research experiences have to be tailored to meet the needs and experiences of the nursing staff. Six unique inservices were developed to meet the needs of nursing staffing in the intensive care units, post anesthesia care unit, orthopedics, and neurosurgical services. Staff expressed increase interest in participating in research and in using evidence in determining practice.


There is a need in all clinical settings to increase the knowledge and participation in research.   Not only is research necessary to support evidenced based practice but also to evaluate interventions in the health care setting.