Wed 2 Sep 2020

DEU initiative 'the future of nursing education'

A new initiative of WITT and the Taranaki District Health Board is set to change the way nursing students learn about nursing in clinical practice. Launched last month, a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) pilot programme is providing nursing students a more comprehensive and supported learning experience.

The DEU philosophy is an alternative to the current one-on-one preceptor model. Students are supported in practice by a dedicated Clinical Liaison Nurse from the DHB and a dedicated Academic Liaison Nurse and WITT, and all staff working within the DEU contribute to the students’ learning.

The DEU concept is being piloted in the Emergency Department and an orthopaedic ward over a 10 week period with third year Bachelor of Nursing and Competency Assessment Programme students. It’s the first of its kind in Taranaki.

WITT’s Director of School - Nursing, Health & Wellness Dr Ruth Crawford said the pilot signals the future of nursing education in Taranaki.

“It’s about registered nurses from the DHB and academics from WITT working more closely together to increase the quality of our students’ clinical learning experience,” she said.

“The DEU encourages us to acknowledge each other’s strengths in preparing the nursing workforce of the future.”

Taranaki DHB Nurse Educator Nicki Hughes says the new model encourages students to be a part of the Taranaki DHB team and feel supported.

“Dedicated roles within this model ensure clinical staff are supported to teach students and provide quality experiences,” she said. “It provides better alignment between theory and practice.”

“The DEU model also demonstrates all of our Te Ahu Taranaki DHB Values which define who we are as an organisation, the way we work with each other, our patients, whānau and external partners.”

The DEU model has been integrated into multiple clinical learning environments in New Zealand and overseas.

Pictured: Sacha Roylance (student), Lauren (WITT academic liaison nurse), Stephanie Nicholson (student), Kayla McQuoid (student), Anna Lovegrove (student), Whitney Andrews (student) and Alena (TDHB Clinical Liaison Nurse).