THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Patricia Benner has provided essential understanding of how knowledge and skills are acquired and directly applied to nursing practice, education, research and administration. Specifically, her work indicates a growing concern with the development of explanatory frameworks for understanding the nature of nursing practice and the development of nursing expertise. Her research, unlike that of many of her contemporaries, progressed from practice to a useful model. It can be argued that this model is more practical when used as a philosophy. A nursing philosophy can be defined as the study of the principles underlying conduct, thought and the nature of the nursing practice. Philosophy begins when someone contemplates, or wonders, about something. Key to the discussion of whether Benner's model is a philosophy understands the basis of her work and her premises. It led to the publication of Benners' first book in 1984, From Novice to Expert and numerous articles. The AMICAE Project was 'an interpretive, descriptive study that led to the use of Dreyfus' five levels of competency to describe skill acquisition in clinical nursing practice' (Brykczynski 2002: 169). The Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition (originally developed with pilots) considers 'advancement in skilled performance, based upon experience as well as education, clinical knowledge development and career progression in clinical nursing' (Myrick & Barrett 1992: 55). The model posits that individuals, while acquiring and developing skills, pass through five levels of proficiency: novice/beginner, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and expert. The five different levels reflect changes in three general aspects of skilled performance: 1. A move from a reliance on abstract principles to the use of past concrete experiences; 2. A change from viewing a situation as multiple fragments, to seeing a more holistic picture with a few relevant factors; and 3. A movement from detached observer to active performer. A move from novice to expert is characterized by the transition from explicit rule- governed behavior to intuitive, contextually determinate behavior. Progression from novice to expert is not guaranteed; not every nurse becomes an expert. 'The Dreyfus model provides the concepts needed to differentiate between what can be taught by precept and what must be learned experientially from comparison of similar and dissimilar cases' (Benner 1984: 186). It is important to understand that Benner's and Dreyfus's work was specifically directed at proposing a viable alternative to traditional ways of understanding practice, theory and knowledge; not to devalue science. Figure 1. Benner’s Novice to Expert concept CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The paradigm below gives the over all view of the research under taken by the proponents. This study aims to know what are the factors affecting the performance of selected student nurses in their Related Learning Experience. A Socio- Factors that affect the E Demographic RLE performance S N Profile a. Personal Attitude S a. Age b. Study Habits H E b. Gender c. Family c. Civil Status Relationship A S d. Monthly d. Social Influence Family e. Clinical Instructors’ N S Income Teaching Strategies C M E E N D Result of the information gathered T RLE O PERFOR F Student Nurses MANCE Clinical T OF Instructors H 2nd year THE E 3rd year STUDENT 4th year NURSES D A T A FIGURE 2. Schematic Diagram of the Conceptual Framework First is the assessment of the data, by assessing the data we used socio- demographic profile of the respondents, which are their age, sex, civil status and monthly family income together with the factors that affect the RLE performance then correlate with each other to know the relationship that exists between the profile variables and factors that affect the performance of student nurses in their Related Learning Experience. Also using the assessment of the data we used as respondents the student nurses, which is the second year, third year and fourth year and their corresponding clinical instructors then correlate with each other to know the significant difference of the perceptions of the student nurses and clinical instructors in the factors that affect the performance in RLE. After gathering all information’s needed we get the results and come up enhancing the performance of the selected student nurses.