To evaluate the sustainability
of dedicated education units (DEUs) within an academic-service partnership.
A two-year, multisite, mixed-methods study with a randomized control trial was designed to isolate the effects of the DEU innovation on clinical education quality, teaching capacity, work life, and productivity.
Interview data from 34 participants were analyzed for interactions and behaviors that indicated sustainability
Seven themes portrayed successful participant interactions, revealing shifting roles based on mutual respect and collaboration among engaged partners working within complex adaptive systems. Relationship building and partnership achievements were confirmed as key components in DEU sustainability
Sustainable, mature clinical education partnerships depend on implementing routinizing, reinforcing, recognizing, and rewarding activities. Unit level success relies on foundational structures that support the ongoing development of DEU clinical instructors. DEU sustainability
will depend on the continual creation of new meaning for participants and the generation of new resources and results.