By Angela Koenig
In the University of Cincinnati Medical Center’s surgical amphitheater, the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing and University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) announced a partnership that establishes a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) at UCMC.
A DEU is a unique clinical teaching model and is an innovative way of providing clinical education to nursing students. Traditionally, nursing students go to a hospital as a group of approximately eight to 10 students with one faculty member. In the DEU model, a hospital unit hosts students from a single school of nursing, and staff nurses share in the clinical education of nursing students. Specifically, the DEU clinical education model is designed to give nursing students the best clinical experience available by pairing UCMC staff nurses one-on-one with individual junior UC nursing students through an entire term.
These staff nurses have partnered with the College of Nursing and received additional training for the clinical instructor role and are overseen by nursing faculty.
The DEU designated at UCMC is a 24-bed surgical unit of post-operative patients staffed by seven nurses during the day and eight at night.
The DEU model of nurse education, says Greer Glazer, PhD, dean of the nursing college, not only gives the students a more individualized clinical experience, tailored to the college’s curriculum, but also encourages staff nurses to engage in professional development.
"The short-term goal of this project is to develop a partnership with UCMC through which we cultivate an interest among staff nurses to consider expanding their role to include clinical teaching. The long-term impact of this project is to generate a pool of qualified clinical teachers to address the national nursing faculty shortage,” says Glazer.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says U.S. nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2011 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors and budget constraints.
The DEU will also assist UCMC with nurse staffing, says Jennifer Jackson, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient affairs at UCMC: "We will have spent two years educating them and we will want to keep them as nurses here.”
In conjunction with this announcement, the college has been awarded $198,330 from the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) Nurse Education Grant Program (NEGP) to provide a program to recruit, educate and retain staff nurses who will transition into the clinical instructor role. A portion of the grant will be used to develop coaching support and educational pipeline for UCMC staff nurses who have a desire to advance their degree and enter into a clinical teaching role, says Claudia Mitchell, PhD, executive director of undergraduate programs.
The OBN awards NEGP funds to nurse education programs that have partnerships with other education programs, community health agencies, health care facilities, or patient centered medical homes for the purpose of increasing the nurse education program’s enrollment capacity.
Tuition and fees for the credentialing will be borne by the individual or the institution.
UC’s junior-year nursing students are expected to begin their clinical practices on the unit in the fall.