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Dedicated Education Units

The UTHSC College of Nursing offers Dedicated Education Units (DEUs) as part of its clinical instruction in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. A DEU is an innovative academic practice partnership model that offers the opportunity to share knowledge, expertise, and other resources in educating student nurses in the clinical environment.

What is a DEU? A DEU is a nursing unit in a hospital that is assigned or dedicated to only one college or program of nursing. Unlike a traditional clinical model, selected expert nurses from the unit facilitate student learning rather than college faculty. The goal is for selected nurses (clinical teachers) to work with the same students throughout their clinical rotation. The initial training for the clinical teachers is provided by lead DEU facilitators at UTHSC. The academic faculty also remain on the unit to serve as a resource for the staff and students during the clinical rotations.

Benefits to Clinical Teachers. The DEU model provides ongoing opportunities to learn how to teach or coach students. The DEU model also enhances personal satisfaction and professional growth, offers career ladder opportunities, develops leadership skills, and offers the recognition of being an expert clinician. The clinical faculty members remain on site to provide support to the clinical teachers.

Benefits to Students. The DEU model allows students to build positive relationships with unit staff, increases feelings of belonging, builds self-esteem, decreases anxiety levels, and builds a realistic perspective on nursing.

Benefits to the Organization. The DEU model aids in maintaining a positive relationship with the partner school, builds staff morale, promotes a culture of learning, serves as a recruitment and retention strategy, and improves the new graduate's transition to professional nursing.

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Current DEUs  

Methodist Germantown-3West, Adult Med-Surg

Methodist University-7B Tower, Adult Med-Surg

Methodist North-3North, Adult Med-Surg

Le Bonheur-7th Floor, Pediatric Neurology

Le Bonheur-9th Floor, Pediatric Cardiology.

Adding in spring/summer 2022:

Regional One Maternal-Health on 3 Route Post-Partum 

Regional One Med-Surg unit 5C.

For more information, email DEU Coordinator Dr. Trina Barrett at

May 26, 2022