Pi Phi Chapter

Implementation of a Dedicated Education Unit

Nursing Research on the Green

2014 Abstract

Melanie K. Johnson, DNP, RN; Jessica A. Smith, BSN, RN; Cynthia Jones, MS, RN; Rachel Genz, MSN, RN; Winona State University and Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare

  • Background:  Traditional site-based clinical experiences for nursing students are often scheduled for portions of an eight-hour shift, with nursing faculty as the primary clinical instructor. This arrangement can limit professional nurse role socialization for nursing students and limit staff nurse engagement with students. In addition, multiple universities are vying for the same limited clinical placement sites, while seeking nursing faculty in order to accommodate the number of qualified nursing students.
  • Significance:  Multiple variables in both nursing education and clinical practice necessitate the development of innovative methods of clinical education.   
  • Purpose/objective:  The purpose of this collaborative pilot project was to explore the introduction and implementation of a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) on an acute care medical unit.                              
  • Methods/project:  A pilot of a modified DEU was implemented on a medical unit with eight second-semester baccalaureate nursing students. Unlike many DEUs which dedicate an entire unit to one academic partner, our model focused on dedicated preceptors (staff nurses) and students. Preparatory workshops were provided to ten designated preceptors. There were two students assigned to each shift, who then worked with an assigned preceptor for an eight-hour shift. Students were to complete the same written assignments as their classmates who were assigned to traditional clinical experiences. In addition, weekly reflection logs were completed by the DEU students to aid faculty in evaluation of students achieving course outcomes. The faculty role was focused on supporting preceptors and students, as well as coaching preceptors.                     
  • Results:  Positive feedback was received from students and preceptors with initial implementation. Simple revisions were made mid-semester due to student concerns. The DEU method of clinical education considered successful by nursing faculty, management, preceptors and students.              
  • Clinical Implications:  The success of the pilot DEU implementation has resulted in continuation of the DEU method. It is anticipated the involved unit will accept only DEU clinical groups by fall 2015.

Return to 2014 Abstracts