She attended Pasadena College where she majored in nursing and received a Baccalaureate of Arts degree in 1964. She continued with her education and received a master’s degree from the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing (UCSF) in 1970 and a doctor of philosophy degree in 1982. Benner was an associate professor and then a professor in the Department of Physiological Nursing.
Benner has received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the year not once, but four times for her publications. She first received the award in 1984, then again in 1989, 1996 and 1999. She also once received the American Journal of Nursing media CD-ROM award for Clinical Wisdom and Interventions in Critical Care: A Thinking-in-Action Approach (Alligood, 2014). She has published numerous books: From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice; The Primacy of Caring: Stress and Coping in Health and Illness; Caregiving: Readings in Knowledge, Practice, Ethics, and Politics; The Crisis of Care: Affirming and Restoring Caring Practices in the Helping Professions; Nursing Pathways for Patient Safety Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation; Interpretive Phenomenology in Health Care Research: Studying Social Practice; Lifeworlds, and Embodimen...
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...heory alone would be inadequate for providing proficient patient care. Because of this, the importance of examining nurse practice is invaluable to further the development of nursing theory (Alligood, 2014).
Another mentor of Benner was Richard Lazarus for whom she assisted in studies of stress and coping. From these studies Benner incorporated the concept of stress as a situational disruption and coping as the response to the situation. She applied this to the idea of clinical nursing practice and how various elements of any given situation can result in a number of different reactions and outcomes. Benner also cites a multitude of others for inspiring and influencing her work such as Aristotle, Charles Taylor, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alistair MacIntyre, Onora O’Neill, Kari Martinsen, Knud Logstrup, Joseph Dunne, Jane Rubins, and Virginia Henderson (Alligood, 2014).
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