The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing opened a dedicated education unit (DEU) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in August. The unit, which opened Aug. 27, is located at the Children’s facility in the Avondale area in Cincinnati.
The DEU is housed in the pediatric gastroenterology department at Children’s. The unit will host students from the UC College of Nursing, pairing each student with a staff nurse who serves as his or her clinical instructor (CI). The CI works with the student for an extended period, guiding the student's clinical learning and helping them become a full and active member of the patient care team. A clinical faculty coordinator from the College of Nursing supports the CI’s teaching efforts and remains accountable for the educational outcomes of students.
“The DEU is an innovative way to educate tomorrow’s nurses and, if you know anything about the UC College of Nursing, you know that innovation is embedded in our efforts to educate nurses to provide the best care possible to all patients,” says Greer Glazer, dean of the UC College of Nursing. “By having Children’s clinical instructors work one-on-one with students for an extended period, they have the chance to more closely guide student clinical learning and help students become active members of the patient care team and unit culture.”
The DEU model supports clinical teaching development, facilitates knowledge and skill transfer, allows students to experience immersive engagement in the clinical practice setting and patient care and fosters development of practice readiness.
“Getting to this point took a lot of commitment, time and dedication from both our teams,” says Barbara Tofani, senior vice president of patient services for Cincinnati Children’s. “For more than a year now, we’ve been exploring creating a DEU as a way to expand on our existing high-impact institutional-academic partnerships. I’m excited to partner with the UC College of Nursing in this initiative. I’m positive that students, nurses and faculty will benefit from this experience.”
Dean Glazer says the College of Nursing’s experiences with already established DEUs at UC Medical Center and Cincinnati VA Medical Center have produced improved patient outcomes and patient-centered care, improved evidenced-based practice at bedside, increased retention rates when students are hired as new registered nurses and focused attention on quality improvement initiatives.
Photo of Dean Glazer courtesy of Cincinnati Children's