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Southeast Missouri State University senior nursing students have developed and piloted a first-of-its-kind online educational program on tissue and organ donation. The students are enrolled in the “Introduction to Critical Care” course and their initiative, “Organ and Tissue Donor Education for Undergraduate Nursing Students,” is made possible by a grant awarded by Mid-America Transplant (MT). 

The online program created by Southeast Missouri provides nurse educators with current, comprehensive information about organ and tissue donation for inclusion in nursing school curriculums. The program will give nursing students a clearer understanding of the role of an organ procurement organization like MT. 

Dr. Linda Heitman, professor in the Southeast Department of Nursing and principal investigator for the project, tells, “Together, we explored disparities in organ and tissue donation education for nursing students, and we created a learning platform to provide current, comprehensive information to address those disparities.”

The online program consists of five learning modules, including an overview of organ donation, the nurse’s role in organ and tissue donation, family bereavement and aftercare, and a certificate of completion. Providing students with education on comprehensive and compliant organ and tissue donation protocols prepares them to make informed end-life-decisions as future healthcare providers. 

Mid-America Transplant is based in St. Louis, Missouri and is the first organization in the world to have a retrieval center for organ and tissue donation. To learn more about the pilot organ donation education program created by senior nursing students at Southeast Missouri State University, visit here

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