Date of Award

Fall 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Nina McLain

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Mary Jane Collins

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Americans today face an increased need for organ transplants as lifesaving measures. Regardless of patient circumstances or comorbidities, the need for a transplant is more significant than ever before, but it far exceeds the number of available transplantable organs. For this reason alone, each organ procurement case should be meticulously managed; therefore, the role of the CRNA during organ procurement cases of brain-dead donors (BDD) is crucial. Maintaining organ viability for transplant is essential in laying the foundation for the recipient's successful outcome. However, many organ procurement procedures often occur in rural hospitals or at odd hours so some anesthesia providers may be unfamiliar with common management guidelines due to the differences from routine general anesthesia. This DNP project aims to fill that void by the creation of best practice recommendations and cognitive aids for rapid referral and use in the operating room (OR).

The best practice recommendations and cognitive aid were developed through current evidence-based literature and survey analytics research. A survey to assess familiarity with BDD organ procurement cases was conducted from current anesthesia providers of all levels, students through licensed practitioners. The quick reference cognitive aid was created from compiling current literature and evaluated by survey participants. Based on the survey results and data, the author recommends that cognitive aid be incorporated into the USM NAP curriculum and made available for local hospitals.