Curriculum effect on nursing students' attitudes and knowledge towards organ donation and transplantation

C Kiberd
ANNA Journal 1998, 25 (2): 210-6; discussion 217-8

OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of a nursing school's curriculum on student nurses' attitudes towards organ donation and whether specific educational directives could improve these attitudes.

DESIGN: Quasi-experimental.

SAMPLE/SETTING: First-, third-, and fourth-year nursing students at a Canadian University School of Nursing.

METHODS: A questionnaire was developed to measure student's attitudes towards organ donation and transplantation. The questionnaire was administered to first- and fourth-year students to determine whether 4 years of nursing education changed the attitudes of the students. Third-year students responded to the questionnaire before and after attending a lecture or lecture and small group sessions on organ donation to determine whether instruction could improve attitudes and knowledge.

RESULTS: No difference in attitudes were found between first- and fourth-year nursing students. The introduction of specific education strategies improved the attitudes and knowledge base of third year students. Discussion sessions in addition to lecture were the preferred strategy.

CONCLUSIONS: The present curriculum does not significantly impact on nursing students. Given the importance of organ transplantation, nursing curricula should incorporate effective strategies to teach students the role of the nurse in organ donation.

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