UMass Boston News

Dedicated Education Unit Founder Visits CNHS

College of Nursing and Health Sciences | September 15, 2010


DEU Faculty Katie Kafel and Esther Seibold with Kay Edgecombe (second from left) and Program Director JoAnn Mulready-ShickThe CNHS was proud to host the founder of the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) model, Australian Kay Edgecombe for a two-day visit to the school and affiliated hospitals. Ms. Edgecombe’s DEU model for nursing clinical education represents a dramatic shift in clinical experiences for nursing students, focused on staff nurses assuming the clinical instructor responsibilities for individual students per semester, as well as the entire clinical unit and all staff focused on student learning and immersion into the clinical setting.

Ms. Edgecombe is traveling extensively in 2010 examining how the DEU model has been adopted by nursing schools across the United States and Europe, including Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Portland, in addition to Scotland, England and Sweden. Her goal is to investigate variations of the model, to identify implementation strategies, and to evaluate the model’s educational outcomes.

While visiting CNHS, Ms. Edgecombe met with nursing faculty and gave a presentation on the inception of the theory identifying its characteristics as an effective teaching and learning model. The following day Ms. Edgecombe visited the CNHS original Dedicated Education Units at both Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General hospitals. Ms. Edgecombe was led on tours of each unit by DEU students and nurses, and then held discussion sessions with students, nurses and administrators.

About Kay Edgecombe

Kay Edgecombe, Founder of the DEU Model.Kay Edgecombe's research has studied the impact of the DEU clinical model in nursing education, including her Master’s thesis:
The Dedicated Education Unit is a new concept in clinical nurse education. It has the potential to shape major improvements in the teaching-learning relationship. It plays a major role in enhancing links between health care providers and the School of Nursing & Midwifery. It has created a more positive clinical learning environment, maximized the achievement of learning outcomes, nurtured the relationships between clinicians and academics, and ultimately possesses the potential to improve health care. The DEU promotes the concepts of the learning culture and climate as central to clinical learning and provides an empathetic response to clinicians and academics wanting a better, more accommodating model to enable them to deliver superior outcomes and meet students' particular clinical learning needs. Fundamental to this collaboration is the recognition of mutuality, respect and trust among the stakeholders.

Journal articles
Edgecombe, K. & Bowden, M., 2009. The ongoing search for best practice in clinical teaching and learning: a model of nursing students' evolution to proficient novice registered nurses. Nurse Education in Practice, 9(2), 91-101.

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