Exploring the Experiences and Perceptions of Student Nurses who Participated in an Interprofessional Dedicated Education Unit (IPDEU): A Qualitative Descriptive Study

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Vallie, Joanne
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Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Education::Nursing education , Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing
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The transition from nursing student to professional nursing practice has proven to be challenging (Bennett et al., 2017). New graduate nurses (NGNs) are expected to be practice-ready upon graduation. However, there is a gap between what is learned in nursing education and the clinical skills needed when the NGN enters the workforce (Bennett et al., 2017). Identifying academic clinical educational strategies to improve this transition to practice and meet the current healthcare demands is necessary (Sparacino, 2015). There is limited evidence that focused on the student experiences and perceptions of an Interprofessional Dedicated Education Unit (IPDEU). Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to understand the experiences of nursing students participating in an IPDEU unit, and does participation in the IPDEU improve their overall perceptions of role clarity, teamwork, and communication amongst the healthcare team. Four themes and two sub-themes emerged from the data. The findings from this study showed that an IPDEU clinical experience was valued. Participants appreciated seeing the patient's entire hospital course from a different lens–the 10,000 foot-view. The participants expressed that they were able to see "behind the scenes" and how other healthcare providers prioritized their care. Participants were able to have better role clarity about other healthcare providers and what each discipline lends to the team. Participants did not feel as though their interdisciplinary communications skills improved, however, they did find value in seeing how other healthcare providers communicate. Findings from this study suggest that interdisciplinary clinical education should be considered for all undergraduate nursing programs.