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PCNA Chapters Growing Strong!

There are 14 active PCNA chapters across the United States and one active chapter in Quebec, Canada. Six new chapters are forming. The map below indicates the locations of these active and new chapters. Use this map to determine if there is a chapter near you.

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PCNA has recently put into place a number of initiatives to help new chapters develop and active chapters to flourish. Visit to access online chapter resources. These resources include the following: (1) chapter leader guide, with resources to help you plan a chapter meeting; (2) a speakers bureau to help you identify experts on various cardiovascular prevention topics; and (3) networking and mentorship opportunities, connecting PCNA members interested in forming a new chapter with PCNA members experienced in chapter leadership. PCNA will also be offering a number of leadership development opportunities and rewards for chapter leaders. The first of these will be a one half day leadership training at the PCNA annual meeting in Denver, CO, on April 27th.


PCNA's commitment to chapter development stems from the belief that chapters play a vital role in the growth of our organization. Chapters provide opportunities for members to network with professionals with similar interests in cardiovascular risk reduction, get involved with PCNA at a grass roots level, and develop public speaking, advocacy, and other leadership skills. If you are interested in getting involved in a PCNA chapter, or would like to start a new chapter in your area, please visit the PCNA Web site for more information or contact the PCNA national office at (608) 250-2440.


GeroNurseOnline Tackles Sleep and Older Adults

Sleep is a necessary part of life. However, normal aging changes, medical problems, psychiatric problems, and psychosocial issues can alter the pattern and quality of sleep as one grows older and thus affect the quality of life in the older adult. Assessment of sleep patterns enables the nurse to intervene immediately by implementing interventions with the client or by referring the client for further assessment. Learn more about sleep and older adults by visiting and selecting Sleep from the Geriatric topic menu.


ANCC Celebrates its 2006 Campaign to Increase Certified Nurses

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is kicking off awareness in both nurses and the public about the variety of certification exams available and the benefits of achieving certification. One exam will be highlighted monthly, beginning with Cardiac/Vascular Nursing. ANCC chose February's National Heart Awareness Month to salute its Certified Cardiac/Vascular Nurses. National Heart Awareness Month is celebrated each February to recognize the huge impact of heartrelated illness and the efforts of many organizations and professionals working to prevent, treat, and reduce this illness. National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week is February 13-19, February 14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, and February 17 is National Women's Heart Day.


ANCC developed a Heart Awareness Month Poster to honor the more than 900 dedicated cardiac/vascular nurses who attained certification and to develop awareness of the growing need for certified cardiac/vascular nurses. The names of certified nurses are printed within the heart on the poster. The poster was distributed to nurses to post in their place of employment. ANCC also issued a special Cardiac/Vascular Certification Brochure to help spread the word to the nursing community about the availability of this important and valuable certification. They also hosted a section on their Website,, to honor cardiac/vascular nurses and posted comments regarding nurses' feelings about their certification experience.

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PCNA Joins the PAD Coalition

Realizing that early detection and treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can prevent disability and save lives, over 39 health organizations, professional societies, and government agencies have joined forces to become the "PAD Coalition" to raise public and clinical awareness of the clinical manifestations and treatments of PAD. While only a year old, the Coalition has already received a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant for $3 million to develop a campaign to bring awareness to PAD. PCNA is a member of the Coalition's PAD Professional Education Committee, charged with reviewing and disseminating professional health education initiatives created by member organizations as well as creating new initiatives as needed. This will complement the fall 2006 launch of the federally funded PAD public awareness campaign that will encourage Americans to seek early and appropriate care for PAD.


These efforts are timely, with the recent release of the "AHA/ACC Guidelines for the Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease" (December 2005). These guidelines represent the "best practices" for diagnosing and managing atherosclerotic, aneurysmal, and thromboembolic PAD. The scope of the guidelines is limited to diseases of the abdominal aorta, renal and mesenteric arteries, and lower extremity arteries. Some of the highlights of the guidelines include the following:


* Assessment questions and observations to uncover PAD early in its course


* A critical analysis of the variety of vascular imaging tests and related diagnostic methods


* A focus on renal artery stenosis and its vital link to hypertension and renal failure


* Extensive information on how to determine best treatment approaches for aneurysms ("watching" vs catheter-based therapy vs surgery)


* Role of therapeutic lifestyle changes (smoking cessation, exercise therapies, medications) vs surgical and catheter-based therapies


* Evidenced-based clinical pathways and treatment algorithms.



The full text and an executive summary of the Guidelines can be found online at and


Scientific Statement Addresses Physician Role in Prevention Programs

Secondary prevention is recognized as an essential component in the management of coronary disease and heart failure and has become a standard of care. To this end, cardiac rehabilitation has undergone significant evolution, redesigning itself from a predominantly exercise-focused intervention to a comprehensive disease management program. Many guidelines are available to direct the multifaceted components of these programs. For example, secondary prevention guidelines provide extensive lists of behavioral changes recommended for patients. These include smoking cessation; lipid, hypertension, and diabetes management; maintenance of optimal weight; promotion of physical activity; and medication adherence. These services are best provided by a multidisciplinary team composed of physicians, nurses, exercise physiologists, dietitians, health educators, and behavioral medicine specialists. Patients need to be empowered to take responsibility for reducing their risks. In recent years, the nurses' role has been changing from team member to case manager. Moreover, the patient-physician interaction throughout this process has gained emphasis from both clinical and regulatory perspectives.


While the primary care physician and/or cardiologist is key to long-term management, often, medical director of the cardiac rehabilitation serves as the "team leader" for patients enrolled in formal cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention programs. Recently, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) published a joint scientific statement summarizing the "Medical Director Responsibilities for Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation/Secondary Prevention Programs" (Circulation, 2005). Some of these key medical responsibilities include ensuring that programs are "safe, comprehensive, cost-effective, and medically appropriate for individual patients." This is especially important in the delivery of the exercise-based components of the programs, where regulatory issues related to exercise supervision and program monitoring continue to vary across programs and states. This scientific statement serves to provide both insight into the regulatory issues and guidance as to the interpretation of costeffective physician involvement.

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Section Description

The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing is the official journal of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. PCNA is the leading nursing organization dedicated to preventing cardiovascular disease through assessing risk, facilitating lifestyle changes, and guiding individuals to achieve treatment goals.