Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Mentor Satisfaction Using a New Model of Clinical Education

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Mentor Satisfaction Using a New Model of Clinical Education

Article excerpt

The continued demand for nurses has created an overwhelming shortage, due to such fac- tors as an aging population and an expected surge in retirement of practicing nurses (Murray, 2008). One challenge in meeting the demand for nurses is the lack of nurse faculty to educate new nurses. To respond to current demands, innovative models of education have been proposed in which nurse faculty partner with practicing nurses to mentor and teach students (Glasgow, Niederhauser, Dunphy, & Mainous, 2010). Recommendations include the creation of academic and practice partnerships that establish interdisciplinary communication among professions and lay the groundwork for the creation of novel models of clinical education (Glasgow et ah; Teel, MacIntyre, Murray, & Rock, 2011).


An academic-practice partnership involves a strategic relationship to advance the prac- tice, innovation, education, and research missions for the academic and practice partners (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 1997). Originally, these partner- ships ensured that medical research break- throughs led to direct clinical benefits for the patient (Dzau et ah, 2010). Currently, these partnerships increase research collab- oration, role identification, critical thinking, and patient outcomes. They also improve practice transitions, make better use of exist- ing resources, and foster collaborative rela- tionships among the academic, practice, and regulatory enterprises (Murray, Crain, Meyer, McDonough, & Schweiss, 2010).

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for academic and health care orga- nizations to strategically align around the future RN workforce to improve the quality and safety of patient care. Although var- ious disciplines and ways exist to align in academic-practice partnerships, this article focuses on schools of nursing and clinical instruction.

Clinical partnerships advance the nursing profession by putting RNs at the forefront of identifying and addressing dysfunctions in the system (Murray et ah, 2010). Many nurses engaged in patient care may believe they lack the knowledge, skills, or time necessary to initiate and engage in education or research activities. For a partnership to be successful, there must be a focus on trust, risk-taking, and the joint responsibility of education and service for preparing the next generation of nurses for clinical practice (Barger & Das, 2004). Successful partnerships help prepare nursing graduates to work collaboratively and effectively with other health care profes- sionals in a complex and evolving health care system in a variety of settings (IOM, 2011).

Dedicated Education Unit Model

According to nursing leaders, the success of academic-practice partnerships has varied (Paterson & Grandjean, 2008). One such early partnership was the dedicated educa- tion unit (DEU) model developed at Flinders University in Australia in 1997 to provide undergraduate students with a flexible, col- laborative learning environment (Wotton & Gonda, 2004). Overall, student and clini- cian perceptions of the DEU were positive. and collaborative relationships were fostered between the academic faculty and the clinical staff.

The University of Portland School of Nursing and its clinical partners adapted the Flinders model as an innovative approach to the nursing shortage (Moscato, Miller, Logsdon, Weinberg, & Chorpenning, 2007). An increase was seen in the number of stu- dents admitted to the program using the DEU model as well as a high degree of satis- faction among students and nurses (Moscato et al). Clinical instructors and students said that with this model, they were held account- able for learning. A recent integrated review by Beal (2012) also cited staff and student sat- isfaction as one of the outcomes of the DEU model of education.

Partnership Implementation

A systematic review recently published on academic-practice partnerships reviewed 15 studies and summarized results using a thematic analysis (Nabavi, Vanaki, & Mohammadi, 2012). …

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