Problem: There is a lack of information available on organ donation that is relevant to nursing students. The focus of this evidence-based literature review is to identify areas of insufficient knowledge related to organ donation in nursing schools.
Method: The literature review was conducted utilizing electronic databases (i.e., CINHAL, PubMed, MedLink, AHRQ, Cochran Database of Systematic Reviews, QSEN, and OhioLINK). A combination of the following keywords were searched: (a) organ donation, (b) transplant outcomes, (c) adults, (d) pediatrics, (e) adolescents, (f) evidence-based practice, (g) family, (h) ethics, (i) nursing, (j) education, and (k) high school. Articles containing these keywords were excluded if they were published before 2010, unless it was a sentinel article. Articles were suitable for inclusion regardless of language or nationality of origin.
Results of literature search: Thirty articles were included, the majority being peer reviewed. In this review, an abundance of information existed regarding general information on organ donation for post-licensure nurses (i.e., continued education and best practice policies). However, the same is not true for pre-licensure programs (i.e., nursing schools). Considering this deficiency, the need for the student nurse education is apparent.
Mr. Timothy Meyers MSN RN
As organ donation is becoming an increasing healthcare priority, education that begins in nursing school is crucial. By exposing the student to the delicate situations related to organ donation, the student will be more accustomed when they face this process in their nursing career. The issues nursing students will face in their career can be described through the QSEN competencies of (a) patient centered care, (b) evidence-based practice, (c) quality improvement, (d) safety, (e) informatics and (f) teamwork and collaboration. Factoring in the QSEN competencies should allow for a focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for baccalaureate nursing students to become acquainted with organ donation.