On any given day in any given Central 色中色视频 hospital, it鈥檚 typical to see 色中色视频 College of Nursing students in their signature black scrubs taking part in clinical education.

What鈥檚 uncommon is for these students to pair with trained hospital nursing staff instead of 色中色视频鈥檚 faculty instructors. That鈥檚 what happened recently for six weeks when a group of 30 undergraduate 色中色视频 students participated in a new kind of clinical rotation called dedication education units, or DEUs, at AdventHealth East Orlando and Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC).

The DEU model is gaining in popularity across the U.S. for its proven benefits to nursing schools and healthcare organizations 鈥 and ultimately benefiting the community.

Research has found that DEUs provide nursing students with a more realistic preparation for clinical practice, leading to improved patient care. In hospitals, DEUs engage staff in educating the next generation of nurses, which has shown increased job satisfaction and reduced nurse burnout and turnover.

鈥淚n order to capitalize on the benefits of a DEU initiative, it cannot be underestimated the importance of a true academic and healthcare organization collaboration,鈥 says Kate Dorminy 鈥06BSN 鈥10MSN, undergraduate clinical education coordinator at 色中色视频鈥檚 College of Nursing.

For months before the DEU launch, 色中色视频 worked closely with AdventHealth and Orlando Health to identify units with higher levels of patient care to maximize learning opportunities for students. More than 25 nursing staff members in the identified units across both systems then received training to become a preceptor for undergraduate students.

鈥淐ollaborative strategy, training, and communication are all required well before the students arrive onsite for their first day,鈥 Dorminy says. 鈥淭he effort is worth the valuable outcome at the end, which is a positive long-lasting learning experience.鈥

A group of 色中色视频 College of Nursing students at an AdventHealth facility.

Progress in Patient Care

Senior nursing student Emilee Meeks can attest to that.

鈥淭his clinical experience was much different than my previous clinicals in many ways,鈥 says the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) student.

In DEUs, students work in the same unit alongside the same preceptor and colleagues for six weeks. Students take care of several patients as part of a team instead of taking care of one patient as a guest on a unit. In addition, students participate in rounds and communicate with all healthcare team members. As a result, they learn workflow on a unit, time management, communication and organizational skills, and the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork.

At AdventHealth East Orlando, Meeks paired with Jason McRoberts 鈥22BSN in the progressive care unit.

鈥淚t was always so welcoming to walk on the unit and to be greeted with a smile from the same preceptor each morning. He was invested in my learning and pushing me to strive for excellence,鈥 Meeks says. 鈥淔rom the first day, Jason helped guide me through multiple experiences such as medication administration and patient assessment. He also asked questions to ensure I understood the reasoning behind what we were doing.鈥

鈥淏eing a preceptor in the DEU model of learning allowed me more time to focus on developing my student鈥檚 hands-on clinical and critical thinking skills, which are required to be a successful nurse,鈥 says McRoberts, who previously has been a preceptor for nursing students in a traditional clinical model. 鈥淚t is important to mentor future nurses, to introduce them to the profession, and to be a role model to exemplify how a nurse should conduct themselves.鈥

鈥淚 am proud to be a part of this new partnership,鈥 says instructor Sotos Djiovanis 鈥20MSN 鈥15BSN, who is the DEU liaison at AdventHealth East Orlando. 鈥淭he students made incredible progress in patient care, and the team at AdventHealth 鈥 the leadership, unit managers and educators 鈥 all worked tirelessly to provide an engaging clinical learning experience for our students.鈥

Immersive Clinical Learning

色中色视频 College of Nursing student Taylor Floyd (right) and her preceptor, Orlando Health nurse Brandy Weitl (left).

Taylor Floyd, an accelerated second degree BSN student, had a similar experience across town at Orlando Health ORMC.

鈥淏y being able to work with the same nurse each week, we were able to develop a relationship and I truly gained an understanding of what a day in a nurse鈥檚 life is like,鈥 she says.

Floyd, like Meeks, was welcomed as part of the team at Orlando Health. In addition to providing patient care with her preceptor, Floyd participated in team huddles, morning reports, charting, and spoke with other healthcare providers about her patients鈥 care.

鈥淚n the DEU, I truly felt like the nurse while taking care of my patients,鈥 Floyd says. 鈥淚 was able to really thrive in the trust and relationship I had with my preceptor.鈥

DEU preceptor Samantha Pearson 鈥21BSN, a nurse on the vascular step-down unit at Orlando Health ORMC, agrees. 鈥淭he DEU model is active learning, and the students and preceptors get to rely on each for support for patient care.鈥

鈥淚 am very happy to see this model come to life from the ground up,鈥 says Sarah Rose Thornton 鈥18BSN 鈥21MSN, DEU instructor at Orlando Health. 鈥淭his was an amazing opportunity for our students to become a part of a unit.鈥

Collaborating for the Community

鈥淭his first cycle of DEUs was overwhelmingly successful,鈥 says College of Nursing Dean Mary Lou Sole.

鈥淲e are incredibly thankful to the teams at both AdventHealth and Orlando Health who invested time and energy to ensure its success,鈥 Sole says. 鈥淚t is a true testament to how all of us, at 色中色视频, AdventHealth and Orlando Health, are working together to ensure a brighter, healthier future for our Central 色中色视频 communities.鈥

Orlando Health and AdventHealth have been longstanding supporters of 色中色视频 and the College of Nursing. The partnerships have continued to expand and evolve to innovate learning, meet the changing healthcare needs of the community, and help address the nursing shortage.

Most recently, the healthcare systems pledged a combined $10 million to support nursing education at 色中色视频 and the new building at Lake Nona. This investment, together with PIPELINE funding, supported the DEU initiative.

DEUs will replace one traditional clinical opportunity for nursing students at 色中色视频 Orlando. Based on the launch鈥檚 success, the college is exploring additional opportunities to expand the program in Orlando and at regional campuses.

鈥淚 am beyond thankful for this amazing opportunity,鈥 says Meeks, who is expected to graduate in Summer 2024. 鈥淚t has helped myself, and other students in this clinical rotation, become more confident, knowledgeable and optimistic for the future as we prepare for our nursing careers.鈥