From Novice to Expert: My Ahha Experience

This paper discusses the five stages from the novice to expert theory created by Patricia Benner and the incident, which triggered the author’s Ahha experience.

The paper explains that an Ahha moment is usually a sudden realization of an understanding of a concept. The author relates that her Ahha happened during an operation in which she, as a surgery nurse, was able to use her prior experience to pick up cues from the situation and act quickly, thus demonstrating Benner’s fifth stage of professional nursing development. The paper stresses that experience is essential for the development of professional expertise.
“In Stage One of Benner’s theory, the novice has little or no experience. The circulating nurse who had to be told to get the crash cart is an example of this stage. Stage Two is identified as the advance beginner. According to Benner, in this stage the nurse has experienced enough real situations to make judgments. In Stages Four and Five, the nurse is able to see the big picture. These two stages define expertise. A nurse finding herself in these two stages could trigger an Ahha experience. Hence, in the scenario, being able to extract from prior experiences highlighted my appreciation of the concept that nursing experience is crucial for the development of expertise skills.”