VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Department of Nursing has received a two-year grant from the Bush Foundation to train USD nursing students and community health care professionals to teach members of the public about “end of life” decision-making, also known as advanced care planning.
The $152,000 grant was awarded as part of the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Grant program, and is intended to create a sustainable, long-term public education effort.
Sabina Kupershmidt, Ph.D., assistant professor and research coordinator for USD Nursing, and Helene Hegge, RN, MSN, nursing instructor at USD Nursing are co-directors of the training project.
Kupershmidt emphasized the importance of advance care planning when describing the grant. “Many critical decisions –including financial decisions- are made in an individual’s final 12 months of life,” said Kupershmidt. “This grant enables our nursing students and other health care providers to more fully comprehend the importance of planning and decision-making in the last months of a person’s life, and it helps them understand how to communicate information about advance care planning and related issues to families and individuals. For many reasons, this is a far-reaching and meaningful health care matter.”
Trainers from USD Nursing are now conducting workshops with community health care providers, and also instructing USD nursing students as part of their classroom and clinical experience.