Mississippi nursing schools and healthcare institutions are challenged to partner, develop, and implement new, unique approaches to address the needs of nursing students as well as retain the experienced nurse. Education and practice are working together to develop models that support the most advantageous clinical learning experiences and incorporate the contributions of experienced nurses. The Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) is a patient unit developed into an optimal teaching/learning environment through the collaborative efforts of nurses, management, students, and faculty.
The DEU is an Academic-Service Partnership that:
- Uses existing resources.
- Supports the professional development of nurses.
- Is a potential recruitment and retention tool.
- Allows for the clinical education of increased numbers of students.
Key features of the DEU:
- Exclusive use of the unit by one School of Nursing.
- Use of staff nurses who want to teach as clinical facilitators.
- Preparation of facilitators for their teaching role through collaborative staff and faculty development activities.
- Faculty role to work directly with staff
- As coach, collaborator, teaching/learning resource to develop clinical reasoning skills, to identify clinical expectations of students, and evaluate student achievement.
- Commitment by all to collaborate to build an optimal learning environment.
Expectations of DEU:
- Practice informs education and education influences practice.
- Patient satisfaction and clinical quality either remain stable or improves.
- All nurses, especially in Magnet facilities, help to educate the next generation of nurses.
- Clinical teaching will be better than under previous teaching methods.
- Faculty and staff have a mutual respect for one another’s knowledge and skills.
- Budget neutral, effectively uses existing resources.
Outcomes of DEU – Increased capacity – Expansion of faculty role – Increased professionalism of nurses:
- Return to school for BSN or MS
- Clinical ladder promotion
- DEU advocate and unit leadership
- Ownership “We are a DEU”