UNR Orvis School of Nursing and Donor Network West Partner for Donation Education Program

(Reno, NV) October 1, 2018 – Students from the University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing (OSN) will get a comprehensive view on the organ, eye, and tissue donation process and how it benefits the community as part of a new program in partnership with Donor Network West, northern Nevada’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization.

This educational opportunity – which takes place this fall semester – will allow six Level III nursing students doing their Community Rotation, to learn about the dynamics associated with organ and tissue donation including how to clinically manage a prospective donor, how to approach donor families in a hospital setting, and potentially witness an actual organ recovery. They will also accompany organ and tissue recovery professionals to community events, assist with community and hospital education efforts, and learn about how Donor Network West provides support to donor families after donation has occurred.

Among the goals of the program is for the nursing students to better understand the different perspectives about donation and how to dispel common myths. They will also gain insight on how Donor Network West partners with hospitals, doctors, nurses, funeral homes, coroner and medical examiners to carry out its mission oh saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donation.

“We are honored to host these students and introduce to them the world of donation, not only as a potential career path, but as future healthcare professionals and members of our community,” said John Lilley, Nevada Regional Director for Donor Network West, and himself an Orvis School of Nursing graduate. “We have been serving Nevadans for over 30 years, and while we have had the opportunity to lecture on the subject of donation at the University many times, a formal partnership between our programs is an exciting proposition that will help save more lives.”

unr school of nursing donor network west reno balloon race
UNR Orvis School of Nursing students at the 2018 Great Reno Balloon Race

In addition to hosting these six nursing students throughout the semester, Donor Network West will also partner with the OSN to create two different short-term team projects about donation, with each project group consisting of nine students. In sum, 24 nursing students will spend time with the organization from September until November. The fall 2018 semester is the first time Donor Network West and Orvis School of Nursing have partnered in such a fashion, although it will not be the last, with this program scheduled to continue in upcoming semesters.

While hosting the nursing students in the Community Rotation is new to Donor Network West, the University of Nevada as a whole, and the Orvis School of Nursing in particular, are not new to many of the professional staff that make up the northern Nevada procurement team. Of the 15 full-time staff who work for Donor Network West in northern Nevada, five are graduates from the University of Nevada, Reno, with three receiving their degree from the Orvis School of Nursing and two from the Reynolds School of Journalism. Giving back to the same institution that gave so much to them is a matter of personal pride for the Donor Network West team.

Nearly 600 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Nevada. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 75 others. Anyone can register as a donor at DonorNetworkWest.org or at the DMV.

About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation. The organization was established in 1987, and is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Federally designated to serve 40 counties in northern California and Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest