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Implementation of a Dedicated Education Unit Model for ADN Students in a Rural Primary Care Setting

Goslee, Ellen DNP, APRN, WHNP, CNE; Chesak, Sherry PhD, RN; Forsyth, Diane McNally PhD, RN; Foote, Jane EdD, MSN, RN, CNE; Bergen, Silas PhD

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000711
Nurse Educator: PDF Only

Background Dedicated education unit (DEU) clinical education models are an innovative, evidence-based approach to create effective learning environments for students. These models have been implemented primarily in acute care settings.

Problem The gap between nursing education and clinical practice in rural health care settings is a growing concern, compounded by a nursing faculty shortage and decreased availability of clinical sites.

Approach A descriptive study design was used to assess the outcomes of a DEU model of clinical practice with associate degree nursing students in a rural primary care clinic, using registered nurses (RNs) who were prepared as clinical nurse teachers.

Outcomes Associate degree nursing students experienced the RN role in primary care, worked with nurses who wanted to teach them, and improved their nursing skills.

Conclusions The DEU model is a positive clinical teaching pedagogy for students and staff nurses.

Author Affiliations: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Nursing Department (Dr Goslee), and Professor of Graduate Nursing, Graduate Programs in Nursing (Dr Forsyth), Winona State University, Rochester; Nurse Scientist and Assistant Professor of Nursing, College of Medicine (Dr Chesak), and Midwest Nursing Academic Affairs Program Director, Department of Nursing (Dr Foote), Mayo Clinic, Rochester; and Assistant Professor of Statistics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Dr Bergen), Winona State University, Minnesota.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Correspondence: Dr Goslee, 90568 140th St, Glenville, MN 56036 (

Accepted for publication: May 6, 2019

Published ahead of print: July 2, 2019

Cite this article as: Goslee E, Chesak S, Forsyth DM, Foote J, Bergen S. Implementation of a dedicated education unit model for ADN students in a rural primary care setting. Nurse Educ. 2019; doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000711. [Epub ahead of print]

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