Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


clinical nursing education, dedicated education unit, mental health nursing, psychiatric nursing



  1. Schoening, Anne M. PhD, RN, CNE
  2. Williams, Jacqueline MSN, RN
  3. Saldi, Debra MS, RN, LMHP, NCC


Background: There is an urgent need to increase the psychiatric mental health (PMH) nursing workforce in the United States. The dedicated education unit (DEU) model may provide a creative solution to this need.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the student, staff nurse, and patient experience in a PMH DEU.


Methods: Thirty-three students and 7 staff nurses participated in focus group interviews. Sixty-one patients were asked to describe their experience with students in the PMH DEU.


Results: Students reported that participation in the PMH DEU helped in breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness. Staff nurses described the benefit of staying current and faculty presence. Both students and staff nurses identified teamwork and understanding the PMH nursing role as key themes. All patients reported positive interactions with students.


Conclusions: The PMH DEU is a potential strategy to provide students with a deeper understanding of the PMH nursing role.