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  1. Hinck, Susan M. PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC


The purpose of this article is to discuss the five levels of skill acquisition (novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert) developed by Patricia Benner and colleagues, within the unique context of home health nursing. Descriptions of practice at each level are provided and can help nurses have reasonable expectations of performance. Recommendations are made for competence-based clinical support programs such as orientation, mentoring, and clinical ladders that identify, measure, and reward clinical knowledge and skill.