1. Fletcher, Barbara President

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The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association

The 5 "Ws"


What: The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) is a professional organization dedicated to the prevention and optimal management of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Our mission is to develop and promote nurses as leaders in the prevention of CVD as well as to promote comprehensive risk-reduction strategies for individuals and populations across the life span.


Who: PCNA is composed of nurses and other health care professionals from the United States and several other countries.


Where: Our national office is located in Madison, WI, and is under the direction of Sue Koob. We currently have 23 local chapters throughout the United States and more chapters on the horizon. Visit our website:


When: PCNA began in 1993 as the Lipid Nurse Task Force (LNTF). It was initiated by a small group of California nurses who found themselves mentoring other nurses desiring to treat patients with cholesterol abnormalities.


Why: This "grass roots" group of nurses was foresighted and focused enough to recognize a lack of educational opportunities for nurses caring for patients with lipid disorders. After an initial regional education conference, LNTF was established to more formally address lipid educational opportunities. LNTF soon extended its California borders and embraced the process of becoming a national organization. Members with a broad range of expertise and from various geographic locations were asked to serve on the Board of Directors. During this time, the annual symposium grew to its current renowned national scientific status. Simultaneously, members of the LNTF found themselves addressing all CVD risk factors rather than just lipids. With this realization came our name change from LNTF to PCNA. This process was difficult but very energizing for our organization and considered a major step forward for PCNA.


Over the last 10 years, PCNA strategically pursued liaison relationships with other professional organizations and partnerships with industry when both sides embraced mutual goals and objectives. Today, we are well respected and represented on committees and boards and are proud to partner with such organizations as American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology, National Lipid Association, Southeastern Lipid Association, AHA Cardiovascular Nursing Council, Nursing Knowledge International of Sigma Theta Tau International, Women Heart, American Diabetes Association, and other professional nursing organizations established through the Amelia Island Consortium. Our corporate sponsors now number over 15 highly regarded pharmaceutical and health focused companies. Our liaisons and sponsors hold us in highest esteem and recognize what we as an organization have to offer in the realm of clinical practice, professional and patient education, and research endeavors. The establishment of these productive relationships was due to strategic planning and perseverance by the Board of Directors.


As an organization, PCNA has accomplished several important milestones in a stepwise fashion over the last decade. Selecting the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing as our official journal is one such milestone.


Thank you, members and potential members, for your active participation in the fight against CVD. We look forward to enthusiastic and productive years ahead as we continue to make significant impacts in the prevention of cardiovascular disease!


PCNA 10th Annual Symposium April 22-24, '04 Orlando, FL

The Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) is pleased to invite you to attend their 10th Annual Symposium entitled "New Horizons in Cardiovascular Risk Reduction." This national symposium is being held at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL, April 22-24, 2004.


The conference will include keynote presentations and breakout sessions on a wide range of prevention topics from a national and international faculty. George Mensah, MD, FACC, Chief of the Cardiovascular Health Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will open the symposium with an address entitled "The Challenge of Health Disparities: Cardiovascular Nurses as Prevention Champions." Other speakers will focus on topics such as genetics and dyslipidemia, hypertension, exercise, heart failure, and prevention in the acute-care setting. Exciting breakout sessions will allow nurse speakers and others to present more in-depth skills and participants will learn about the newest therapies and effective models for managing women's health, diabetes, and heart failure. Wayne Sotile, PhD, Director of Psychological Services for the Wake Forest Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, of Winston-Salem, NC, will close the session on Saturday with the topic "Thriving With Heart Disease: Caring for Yourself and Your Patients."


For those interested in taking the Cardiac/Vascular Certification Exam, PCNA will offer a certification review course as a preconference workshop. A second preconference workshop, entitled "Implementing a Weight-Loss Program for High Risk Patients," will focus on the team approach for managing successful weight loss in clinical practice.


In addition to the above sessions, health care professionals will have an opportunity to share their research and clinical expertise through a poster session. Exhibitors will also share their innovative products and services throughout the three day meeting. In the evening, PCNA's corporate sponsors invite you to participate in a number of exciting educational programs both on-site and near Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.


PCNA is truly committed to developing and promoting nurses as leaders in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In offering this 10th Annual Symposium as part of their national training efforts, PCNA will provide up to 21.4 contact hours of continuing education for nurses and up to 15 CPE credits for dietitians.


We hope you will visit or call (608) 250-2440 to learn more about the symposia and join PCNA. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!


Get Tough on Angina

Help Us Improve Quality of Life for Patients Living With Angina in Your Community

The Get Tough on Angina program was designed by Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) to educate patients and their significant others about angina. It offers practical tools and support to help angina patients live the fullest lives possible. This program features a number of components such as


Get Tough on Angina: An Educational Handbook for Patients and Families

The most comprehensive educational resource currently available to patients with angina. Provided free of charge to patients, their significant others, and health care professionals.


Patient Education Series - Support Groups

This four part education series has been shown to positively affect patients' quality of life (QoL) and is an interactive way to educate and provide support to patients and their families.


Community Seminars on Angina

These seminars were designed to be conducted by hospitals, clinics, and cardiac rehabilitation groups, in local communities across the nation. Patients are invited to bring their significant others to learn more about angina.


"Is Your Angina Managing You?" Patient Self-Assessment Tool

This tool is a simple-to-use card that health care professionals can give to their patients in order to learn how angina is actually impacting their quality of life.


Interactive Website:

This website is dedicated to providing patients and their significant others with information on heart disease. Health care professionals are also welcome to use this fantastic resource that includes information on chronic angina and the Get Tough on Angina program.


To order FREE patient handbooks for your community seminars: Please call 1-866-488-1212 or visit


By the Numbers


* Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer in the United States


* 6.6 million Americans have chronic angina


* 400,000 new cases are diagnosed each year


* Angina affects twice as many women as men



Program History

In 2002, ten PCNA members from across the United States hosted community seminars for over 300 patients living with angina. Also, 56 patients with angina participated in pilot education and support groups. This program tested how an educational support group could improve the QoL for patients living with angina. The initial phase was scientifically evaluated and completed in early 2003.


We are pleased to report that these patient education support groups did, in fact, improve QoL for patients living with chronic stable angina, despite no change in angina frequency, stability, or physical limitations. QoL was measured using the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) at baseline, program conclusion (four weeks later), and again eight weeks following the conclusion of the program. Based on feedback from the nurse coordinators and participants, the program was revised, improved, and made available, FREE of charge, to health professionals caring for patients with angina.


In Fall of 2003, PCNA proudly offered three classroom training sessions in Akron, OH, Chicago, IL, and Miami, FL and conducted five webcast/teleconference training sessions to raise awareness and encourage health care professionals nationwide to Get Tough on Angina. Close to 1000 attendees received a comprehensive "how to" kit containing a patient handbook, educational handouts and homework assignments, CD-ROM PowerPoint slide presentation, a comprehensive training syllabus and script, and instructions on how to implement the program.


The Future of Get Tough on Angina

Thus far, PCNA has received a significant amount of positive feedback and plans to expand on this program in the near future. For updates on this national health initiative and its upcoming events including webcasts/teleconferences, classroom sessions, and talks at national meetings across the United States please visit our website


Get Tough on Angina is an educational program developed by PCNA and supported through an unrestricted educational grant from CV Therapeutics.


Get Tough on Angina as a National Health Initiative


* Over 40,000 people nationwide have already visited


* More than 10,000 people have received copies of the patient education handbook


* Millions of people learned about the impact of angina via media coverage including Parade Magazine, The Detroit Free Press, Live! with Regis & Kelly, Good Day New York, and Good Day Atlanta



PCNA: American Heart Association, Annual Scientific Sessions, Orlando, FL, November 9-12

The 76th Annual American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions was a memorable meeting for the preventive cardiology nursing community. This brief review will highlight just a few of the many presentations and events relevant to the work of PCNA members.


The meeting opened Sunday afternoon with a ceremony awarding the AHA's most prestigious accolades. Among these was the Eugene Braunwald academic mentorship award, which was presented to Kathleen Dracup, RN, PhD, Dean of the UCSF School of Nursing. Dr. Dracup is well known in the cardiovascular nursing community as a clinician and an educator. In presenting the award, AHA president Augustus Grant congratulated Dr. Dracup for "elevating her profession to new heights while exponentially expanding its reach through those she has taught, encouraged, and inspired." She was given an enthusiastic ovation by her many students and colleagues in attendance. Dr. Dracup may be remembered by many PCNA members as delivering the keynote presentation during PCNA 2002 Annual Meeting's Leadership Luncheon.


Delivering the Lewis Conner Memorial Lecture this year was Dr. Mark McClellan, FDA commissioner. In addition to commenting on many policy issues including drug importation, the drug approval process, and the Medicare bill, he also discussed the new labeling guidelines for transfats. Dr. McClellan pointed out that the FDA is working on a new initiative to spark competition in the food industry to produce and market healthier foods and to provide better nutritional information on packaging.


Following the opening ceremonies, the first of several late-breaking trials was presented. Of particular interest for those working in cardiovascular risk reduction clinics was a study presented by William Haskell, PhD, of the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, "Heart Disease on the Mend: A Multifactor Risk Reduction Program in the Medically Underserved." The Stanford team, led by Dr. Haskell and composed of a nurse practitioner, two registered nurses, and a dietitian, demonstrated that case management of coronary risk factors can be as effective in a medically underserved population as in higher income groups. Cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as blood pressure, were significantly improved at one year in the case-managed group as compared to the usual care group. The discussant for this session, Dr. George Mensah, Chief of the Cardiovascular Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, first recognized the Stanford researchers on their work and then congratulated the AHA for "putting prevention first." Dr. Haskell has served on PCNA's Scientific Advisory Board since the first year. We are delighted to have Dr. Mensah on the agenda to give the keynote presentation at PCNA's 10th Annual Symposium in April.


There were several presentations demonstrating the success of the AHA's "Get With the Guidelines" (GWTG) quality improvement program, now in its third year. The GWTG program not only serves to document care, but more importantly, to improve it. The program has now been adopted by more than 400 hospitals. One analysis, reported by Dr. Ken LaBresh from Brown University, reported improvement in each of ten measures of treatment for hospitalized cardiovascular patients. The measures included use of aspirin and beta blockers in acute myocardial infarction (MI) patients and smoking cessation advice.


A team of researchers led by Kyle McInnis, ScD, Professor of Exercise Science at the University of Massachusetts, presented a study which demonstrated that overweight middle-aged adults who walked at a brisk but comfortable pace improved their cardiovascular fitness as determined by stress testing. The researchers commented that their study should help provide incentive to those who may be unable or unwilling to run or jog, but who are able to walk. This seemed to dispel the "no pain-no gain" myth.


Researcher Joanne Harrell of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, known for her work with cardiovascular risk factors in children, presented results of her most recent work. Dr. Harrell's team followed 3200 students, 8-17 years old, in rural North Carolina. Approximately 13% of children studied had three or more of the components of the metabolic syndrome. Girls appeared to be at a higher risk than boys. This and other studies examining the impact of cardiovascular risk factors in children highlighted the importance of primordial prevention.


On Tuesday evening, the AHA Council on Cardiovascular Nursing held its annual business meeting and dinner. Each year PCNA sponsors the Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. This year's award was won by Sara Paul from the University of California - Davis. PCNA board member Carol Mason was inducted as a fellow in the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing. Scientific Advisory Board member and former AHA president Martha N. Hill received the Katharine Lembright Award. Last, but certainly not least, current PCNA president Barbara Fletcher received the AHA Council on Cardiovascular Nursing Distinguished Achievement Award.


ANCC Certification in Cardiac/Vascular Nursing

Why be certified?

Certification can be one of the most important career advances you can make. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) explains: "Certification validates your nursing specialty knowledge. It also builds confidence in you as a professional, demonstrating that you meet nationally recognized standards in your specialty. It can provide you with career advancement opportunities in your current position or in search for new employment. Many organizations offer certified nurses higher salaries and other benefits."


Why is it both cardiac and vascular?

It seemed obvious that there is a huge overlapping body of knowledge that both "cardiac" and "vascular" nurses use in their care of patients. Thus, this content was combined into one exam to increase marketability.


Who should take this exam?

Briefly, this exam is meant for cardiac/vascular nurses who provide comprehensive care to individuals diagnosed with, or at risk for, cardiac/vascular events. Cardiac/vascular practice occurs across a variety of settings and promotes achievement and maintenance of optimal cardiac/vascular wellness.


Do I need a special degree for eligibility?

This test is for all nurses. There are two versions: one for BSN nurse and above, and one for AD/diploma nurses. An APN can take this exam to document basic knowledge of cardiac/vascular nursing. The exam, however, will not reflect mastery of advanced practice knowledge and skills.


What is the scope of content for testing?

To see a more detailed overview, visit and click on Projects and Initiatives and then Certification.


How can you prepare?

There is a Cardiac/Vascular Review and Resource Manual available through ANA/ANCC. The cost is $70 but it is available at a discounted price to PCNA or ANA members ($65). Review courses are also being planned.


How much does it cost to take the exam?

The cost is $230 for ANA members, $300 for PCNA members, and $370 for nonmembers.


Who can I contact for more information?


* Visit the PCNA website:


* Contact ANCC directly at: or call (800)-924-9053.