September marked a “new beginning” in nurse education at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
The traditional model of nursing education at Barnes-Jewish has featured an instructor from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College leading a group of eight students through a semester of clinical learning on a nursing unit. The Dedicated Education Units (DEU) will facilitate skills development for students and provide the opportunity for a team of nurses to prepare the next generation of nurses.
On Sept. 24, DEUs were launched on nursing units 11300 and 17400. DEUs consist of one Barnes-Jewish staff nurse instructing two students throughout a term under the guidance of Goldfarb faculty.
The new model is expected to help nursing students make a smoother transition to clinical practice and to provide nursing staff with new professional development opportunities. Where nurses previously served as “preceptors” for student nurses in their last term of nursing school, this program transitions their role to “BJH/GSON DEU clinical instructors,” providing them the ability to develop students throughout their education.
It’s believed this education model could extend the availability of faculty at nursing schools, which are challenged to keep up with demand for new nurses as the population ages.
“This new collaboration benefits both of our institutions,” says Angelleen Peters-Lewis, PhD, RN, chief nurse executive and vice president of patient care services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “It develops graduate nurses better prepared for the realities of clinical practice and it provides a new opportunity for our staff nurses for professional development as educators.”
Peters-Lewis adds that the new program also allows Barnes-Jewish to showcase the value of its work environment, with the goal of employing the participating student nurses when they graduate.
“This new format allows the participating staff nurse to mentor their students and increase critical-thinking and critical-action skills,” says Angela McConachie, DNP, MSN-FNP, RN, associate professor at Goldfarb School of Nursing and a faculty mentor for the program. “On the academic side, we’re hoping some nurses find they really enjoy that role and it inspires them to become a part-time or full-time member of the faculty.”
This phase of a student’s education now takes place in the middle of their training as opposed to the end, so students have the full experience of a nurse’s 12-hour shift earlier in their education.
While Barnes-Jewish provides clinical training for students from other nursing schools, this program represents an exclusive collaboration between the hospital and Goldfarb School of Nursing.
Following evaluation of the pilot, the new model will be considered for hospital-wide rollout.
Programs like DEUs enhances BJH’s ability to be responsive to the changing landscape of healthcare delivery.