Robert Morris University in Moon has joined with St. Clair Hospital in a new partnership to bring myriad benefits to both institutions. Nadine Cozzo Englert, PhD, MSN, RN, associate dean and chief nurse administrator at the RMU School of Nursing, Education and Human Studies, says the new formal relationship is an academic service partnership, a collaboration between an educational institution and a health care organization. One component of the new partnership is a Dedicated Educational Unit (DEU) program, a peer education model that is transforming the way nursing students gain clinical skills by employing hospital staff nurses as clinical instructors. At St. Clair, the program will pair staff nurses with nursing students to give them clinical experience and a realistic view of hospital-based nursing. The DEU concept departs from traditional nursing education in several important ways,” explains Dr. Englert. “Most importantly, the nursing student has a one-to-one clinical experience with a registered nurse. The DEU provides an immersion experience; students are deeply engaged in patient care. The staff nurses get an opportunity to share their expertise and to make a difference for a future nurse.”
Another element of the RMU-St. Clair partnership is an enhanced RN- to-BSN program, to help St. Clair nurses with associate degrees and nursing school diplomas earn a baccalaureate degree. This program is part of an effort to align the hospital with the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report on the Future of Nursing, which recommended that 80 percent of nurses have a BSN degree by 2020.
St. Clair will serve as a research site for RMU students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
Diane L. Puccetti, MS, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer for St. Clair, says, “It’s a joy and a pleasure to have this relationship with RMU. They have a wonderful nursing program with many assets. Our nursing staff is very engaged in the new DEU program, and St. Clair nurses are signing on for the RN-to-BSN program as well. RMU and St. Clair are great partners and we are excited about all the possibilities as we move forward.”