Pause, for a moment, to think about the nurses who were there at critical points in your life, even from the moment you were born. At your birth, nurses probably kept you and your mother safe and gave the care you needed. As a child there were nurses in your doctor’s office when you had an earache or broke a bone. If you underwent surgery, nurses helped you prepare and then cared for you in recovery.

When it is time to give life through organ, eye and tissue donation, nurses are there too.

Hospital-based nurses work closely with us here at Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network when a patient has passed away and donation is possible. Despite the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on hospitals and nurses in countless ways, their commitment and work was crucial to our work with hospitals and families to achieve record levels of compassionate, life-giving donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana in 2021.

Here at Gift of Hope, more than 80 registered nurses are part of our team.

  • Our nurses are organ and tissue recovery coordinators, allocation coordinators, donor resource coordinators, liaisons to hospitals, kidney perfusion coordinators, trainers and managers.
  • Our nurses triage donor referrals, travel to the 180 hospitals we serve to assist with donation eligibility and speak with families about donation authorization.
  • Our nurses manage donors in the ICU, coordinate with transplant centers and play key roles in matching organs to transplant recipients.

“Every day, our Gift of Hope nurses apply their extensive knowledge and expertise to make donation happen. Showing compassion for the donors and donor families we serve is an essential part of what we do. We are so proud and lucky to have our incredible team of nurses as part of our Gift of Hope family,” said Tiffany Garica, RN, Manager of Organ Operations.

We especially recognize our nursing colleagues on staff and at the hospitals with which we work this week, during Nurses’ Week. The American Association for Critical Care Nurses (AACN) chose “Rooted in Strength” as the theme for this year’s observance. The care and support nurses provide is indeed rooted in their personal and professional strength—making a critical impact in saving and enhancing lives every day.

More than 3 million registered nurses are employed in the U.S., making up the largest portion of the healthcare workforce. In all the ways they care for us, let us say: We care for you. Thank you for all you do.

To learn more about the life-saving donation and transplant process or to register to be an organ, eye & tissue donor, visit