Effect of the Dedicated Educational Unit on Student Self-Efficacy

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:00 AM

Lynn E. George, PhD, RN, CNE1
Lisa Wetmore Locasto, DNP, RN2
Katrina A. Pyo, PhD, RN, CCRN2
(1)School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Robert Morris University, Moon Twp, PA
(2)School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Robert Morris University, Moon Township, PA

Learning Objective 1: Describe the effect of the Dedicated Educational Unit (DEU) on student self-efficacy.

Learning Objective 2: Relate the outcomes of this study to a growing body of evidence about the DEU as a clinical educational model.

Two landmark publications, Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard & Day, 2010) and The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2011) challenge educational institutions to enhance both the quality of nursing education and the capacity of those educational programs. One new model for clinical education, the Dedicated Educational Unit (DEU) shows promise as a strategy to achieve these goals. In the DEU, nurses and nurse educators form a partnership that combines the expertise of both with a focus on creating the most effective clinical learning environment for the student. Additional evidence is needed to support the use of the DEU as an effective clinical educational model that expands faculty capacity.

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the use of the DEU on nursing students’ confidence in their knowledge and ability to achieve expected clinical performance in a junior level medical surgical nursing course. The exploratory study used a quasi-experimental design with a convenience sample of 35 junior level nursing students.  Participants were enrolled in a 15 week medical-surgical nursing course with a clinical education component and were assigned to either the DEU or a clinical rotation using a traditional clinical education model.  The construct of self-efficacy was measured prior to and at the completion of their clinical rotation using a general self-efficacy scale (SE) adapted for this study.  Students in the DEU reported higher scores on seven of the 10 items of the SE scale when compared with the scores of students who were assigned to the traditional clinical education model. The differences were statistically significant.