Getting it right for nursing students’ clinical learning in a tertiary hospital remains a challenge for District Health Boards (DHB). How do you implement a new model of student support with multiple student programmes accessing clinical areas? The choice of student learning model was key, and as part of workforce initiatives at Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) to work closer with tertiary education providers (TEPs) and support the future nursing workforce growth, the Dedicated Education Unit model (DEU) was chosen to support student learning.
CCDHB in collaboration with local TEPs, Whitireia New Zealand and Massey University, is the main provider of nursing student clinical learning in the Wellington region. The DHB has experienced challenges with different Bachelor of Nursing programme requirements and a clinical support model that lacked adaptability for the current environment. In July 2016, a pilot of the DEU model was undertaken in three clinical areas with pre-graduate nursing students. An evaluation of the pilot was carried out to explore the impact of the DEU on nursing staff and students.
From the DHB perspective, the DEU model proved to be adaptable and met the different learning approaches of each programme. This presentation will outline key findings from the evaluation, with a focus on the developing communities of practice.
The DEU model has been versatile and flexible in preparing pre-graduate nursing students for registration and future employment. It strengthened the partnership and commitment to work together in supporting learning for students from different learning programmes.
Key words: Dedicated education unit; clinical environment; student nurses; workforce development; communities of practice.