DEU Overview and History

The Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) clinical education model was first implemented in 2003 at the University of Portland School of Nursing with clinical partners as a way to increase student enrollment, better use existing resources, support professional development of nurses, and increase nurse satisfaction. The collaboration was in response to the impending nursing shortage driven in part by a shortage of nursing faculty needed to educate the nation’s next generation of nurses.

With Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, and the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, the University of Portland School of Nursing opened its first DEU in 2003. A partnership of nurse executives, staff nurses, and faculty transformed patient care units into environments of support for nursing students and staff nurses while continuing the critical work of providing quality care to acutely ill adults.

 Currently, the University of Portland School of Nursing collaborates with its clinical partners to operate DEU’s with medical/surgical, post-acute care, school based nursing, ambulatory care, and mental health settings. Our clinical partners include:

Three of our partners have Magnet status and have received commendations for their DEU collaboration.

The DEU is best practice for clinical learning and has been demonstrated to be an effective, robust model: 

Example of our conceptual model in an acute care setting              

Interested in learning more about DEUs? Contact us for more information!