Dedicated Education Unit: Improving graduating nursing students’ preparedness for practice

Persephone Vargas, Kimberly Dimino, Spencer Mullen


Background and Objective: Majority of new graduate nurses are not adequately prepared to assume the dynamic and complex role of today’s professional nurse. The Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) is a clinical teaching model developed in response to the limitations of traditional clinical model (TCM). The aim of the study is to examine the readiness for practice and level of confidence in clinical decision making among graduating nursing students in the DEU and compare it with the students in the TCM.

Methods: A pre-test/post-test design was used.  The Casey-Fink Readiness for Practice was utilized in the pre and post-test surveys and the Nursing Anxiety and Self-Confidence in Clinical Decision-Making was used in the post test. Data were analyzed in aggregate and pre-test scores were compared to post-test scores at the cohort level using t-test.

Results: The pre-test results showed no significant difference between the DEU and TCM groups. However, the post-test results showed higher levels of readiness for practice and higher self-confidence and lower anxiety in clinical decision making among the DEU students.

Conclusions: The study provides evidence on the impact of the DEU in providing graduating nursing students with high quality clinical education to better prepare them for practice.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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