1. Torma, Linda CNS, APRN, BC
  2. Winters, Charlene DNSc, APRN, BC, CNS

Article Content


To promote illness self-management in heart failure (HF) patients and their families.



Nearly 5 million Americans live with HF and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed yearly. In 2002, many of the 970,000 people with HF discharged from US hospitals required home healthcare. In 2005, HF home healthcare cost $2.2 billion. Illness self-management can lower healthcare costs and contribute to improved quality of life.



Illness self-management enables a person living with a chronic illness to live an active, satisfying life. Self-management involves managing the illness, maintaining roles and responsibilities, and coping effectively with emotions. Successful self-management requires collaboration among health professionals, chronically ill individuals, and their families. Nurses are uniquely qualified to teach these skills and promote collaboration.



Two clinical nurse specialists consulted with nurses over a 4-month period to promote self-management in HF patients. The consultation included a comprehensive needs assessment, HF self-management education, action planning, and mentoring of the HFCRN.



Will be determined, research in progress.



The CNS consultants strengthened the capacity of the agency to develop an HF self-management program through education, action planning, and mentoring of the HFCRN.