Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)



First Committee Member

Mary Bondmass

Second Committee Member

Tricia Gatlin

Third Committee Member

Richard Tandy

Number of Pages



The Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) has emerged as an innovative approach to providing a positive, high-quality, collaborative clinical learning environment that fosters the growth and learning of undergraduate nursing students. Additionally, the DEU model has demonstrated success in beginning to bridge the education-practice gap, tackling the faculty shortage, and easing the new graduate transition from education to practice; however, developing, evaluating and sustaining an economically successful DEU takes thoughtful,

strategic planning. The challenging nature of developing and sustaining a DEU that mutually benefits both the academic and clinical partner over time, reveals the need for more guidance to secure long-term benefits of maintaining the DEU within an academic-practice partnership. While the literature is robust with current knowledge on the positive practicality of the DEU, there are few data available regarding expected outcomes and long-term planning for sustainability for a successful DEU within an academic-practice partnership.

The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to develop a guide inclusive of strategies for evaluating objective, subjective, and economic outcomes, and the long-term sustainability of a DEU within an academic-practice partnership.

The literature was extensively reviewed to find evidence gaps and areas needing improvement in existing DEU models. Subsequently, a guide was developed detailing strategies for implementing and evaluating objective, subjective, and economic outcomes that benefit both collaborators of the academic-practice partnership. The guide includes measurement tools to evaluate student and nurse satisfaction, in addition to the evaluation of the clinical learning environment and economic benefits of nurse retention, decreased orientation and training times, and decreased recruitment efforts. The guide also includes multiple resources for the implementation and sustainability of new and existing DEUs.

The development and implementation of this DNP project will allow the leadership team of the academic-practice partnership to measure short- and long-term outcomes and further demonstrate the DEU’s benefits to the non-medical leadership at the medical center and the University. The guide translates and expands the available evidence to create a manual for evaluation and sustainability, inclusive of several psychometrically tested tools and recommendations for the partnership leaders to consider when evaluating outcomes and sustainability of the DEU. The guide will also serve as an exemplar for others considering implementing and maintaining a DEU within their institutions.


Academic-practice partnership; Dedicated education unit; Dedicated education unit evaluation; Dedicated education unit sustainability; DEU evaluation; DEU sustainability



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Included in

Nursing Commons