USD Nursing Receives Bush Foundation Grant to Lead Advanced Care Planning Training

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.


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News