UB School of Nursing Clinical Instructor Joanne Chmura, MS, FNP-BC, was recently published in Nurse Educator for work on dedicated education unit (DEU) models in hospice and palliative care settings.
With studies indicating that many pre-licensure nursing programs do not adequately arm students with skills necessary to interact with terminally ill patients and their families and caregivers, clinical educators strive to uncover the most effective way to teach these vital competencies. Following a series of recommendations and curricula development in end-of-life care by the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), a collaboration of American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), City of Hope and others, in 2009 the UB School of Nursing adapted a DEU model to the palliative care and end-of-life clinical setting to provide experiential learning for nursing students.
In collaboration with the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care of Buffalo, the School of Nursing designed a DEU model in order to address the chasm between student competencies and necessary skills in an end-of-life setting. This sort of preparation is essential not just for nursing professionals who choose a path in hospice and palliative care -- it also provides fundamental professional skills for all nursing students, despite their chosen career path.