Article Content

PCNA Supports Stroke Meeting

Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) recently sponsored the 2006 State of the Art Stroke Nursing Symposium, a preconference continuing education event to the International Stroke Meeting in Kissimmee, Florida. This event was a huge success with 773 healthcare professionals in attendance. During the symposium, an ischemic and hemorrhagic case study was used to review the latest developments in the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients. Presenters reviewed evidence-based therapies and briefly discussed ongoing research. Along with acute management strategies, rehabilitation and palliative care were described to assist patients and their families achieve the highest attainable quality of life. The day concluded with illustrations of best lessons or practices that have been used to improve patient outcome or enhance stroke program development and processes.


Participants contributed to the panel discussion by asking questions concerning care issues of stroke patients. Throughout the symposium, a common emerging theme was the important contributions nurses have made to the care to stroke survivors and their families that transcend the healthcare continuum from prehospital care back to their home. In many instances, nurses have a tremendous influence on the prevention of complications, timely patient assessments, and targeted quality of life related interventions. For instance, nurses play a pivotal role in facilitating patient mobility and prevention of falls, deep vein thrombus, and urinary and bowel complications. In addition, in many settings, it is the nurse who regularly performs swallow assessments that decrease the likelihood of aspiration pneumonia, but also performs palliative focused interventions when restoration of baseline performance is not achievable.


Plans are already underway for next year's symposium that promises to provide another outstanding opportunity for nurses and all other health professionals with the most up-to-date information regarding best practices in stroke care delivery. The symposium is organized by the Stroke Committee of the Cardiovascular Nursing Council of the American Stroke Association.


National Guidelines and Tools for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Pocket Guide

The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of National Guidelines and Tools for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Pocket Guide (Fig 1). This second edition guide is a single resource that provides information on multiple national guidelines, recommended treatment goals that pertain to both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and information on compliance strategies for enhancement of risk factor reduction interventions. More specifically, the Pocket Guide includes information and guidelines on cardiovascular risk assessment and prevention, lifestyle interventions, cholesterol, hypertension, obesity/weight loss, diabetes, and smoking cessation. The unique compilation of guidelines and tools is designed to facilitate the healthcare professional's ability to initiate global risk factor assessment, identify appropriate goals, and optimize CVD treatment. The guide is intended to fit in the pocket of a lab coat as a quick, reliable, and comprehensive reference.

Figure 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 1. The Pocket Guide will be mailed to PCNA members in late Spring 2006.

As a member benefit, PCNA members will receive a complimentary copy of the Pocket Guide by mail, accompanied by the Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia Classic. The Pharmacopoeia provides the most up-to-date prescription information and will greatly enhance the Pocket Guide.


PCNA is accredited by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as an approved provider of nurse practitioner continuing education (provider number 030602). Upon review of the Pocket Guide, and successful completion of the accompanying exam, PCNA will provide 4 contact hours of continuing education. Please refer to the PCNA Web page at for details about the online exam and certificate of completion.


Visit to join PCNA and to receive a free copy of National Guidelines and Tools for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Pocket Guide. The Pocket Guide can also be ordered online at


From PCNA's President-Janet Long, MSN, ACNP 2005: A Year in Review

2005 was a year of continued success and growth for the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA).


Six hundred sixty-eight new members joined PCNA in 2005. Our current membership is 1,700, and we continue to welcome healthcare professionals throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Asia, and Europe.


PCNA expanded its presence internationally as four of its board members were invited to present the "Get Tough on Angina" program at the 6th International Conference on Preventive Cardiology in Brazil, sponsored by the World Heart Federation's Council on Epidemiology and Prevention in May. Additionally, we launched a national public education campaign directed at women entitled "What's Missing in CholesterALL?" This program discusses the components of the lipid profile as they uniquely apply to women (Fig 2).

Figure 2 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 2. Suzanne Hughes, MSN, RN, Joanna Sikkema, MSN, ANP, and Sue Koob, MPA, represented PCNA at the "What's Missing in CholesterALL?" campaign launch at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.

PCNA also established its first online nutrition program, "Heart Talk: Nourishing Healthy Hearts," which offers continuing education credits to participants. This program is available online at:


Following our mission to promote nurses as leaders in cardiovascular health, we invited several PCNA nursing colleagues from the Denver area to assist in planning the 2006 Annual Symposium. These individuals offered a wealth of information regarding topics, speakers, and local marketing opportunities. A new addition to the Symposium schedule in 2006 was the development of a leadership program for those members who have dedicated their time to support PCNA and to the development of regional chapters.


PCNA saw a growth in the number of regional chapters in late 2005. PCNA members in Central Virginia (covering the areas of Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, and Richmond), Central Valley California (including Fairfield, Fresno, Modesto, Redding, Sacramento, and Granite Bay), and New Jersey now have a regional chapter from which to access networking, educational, and professional resources. More information about these chapters can be found at


In addition to our previous publications, we have several new products that will soon be released. One is an update on the National Guidelines and Tools for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction A Pocket Guide. This guide is a comprehensive source of national guidelines to assist providers in assessing global risk. The Pocket Guide will be released this spring.


Another product being released is the Forms Guide, which was originally printed in 2001. To effectively update this piece, PCNA surveyed members to determine their clinical practice needs. The recommendations that we received guided the updated format that will be available in a PDF format online.


PCNA continues to collaborate with other healthcare organizations. For example, PCNA was invited to participate in the update of the scope and standards of nursing practice along with 14 other nursing organizations. The Working Group on Continuing Nursing Education from the American College of Cardiology Foundation initiated the project, which is supported by the American Nurses Association.


Through the generous and continued support of our sponsors, PCNA is able to offer many educational products to our members, the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, as well scholarships to the Annual Symposium. We are grateful for their support and would like to thank our sponsors Corporate Partners and Affiliates (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 3. 2005 PCNA Corporate Partners and Affiliates.

We look forward to the continued growth and collegial relationships as we move forward in 2006.


Getting to Know PCNA Members

One of the challenges for Boards of Directors of all professional organizations is how best to meet the needs of its membership or constituency. This requires knowing WHO the current members are, not only by names and geographical area, but also by practice settings, educational preparation, and areas of subspecialty. This is not easily accomplished, as members of any organization tend to be fluid, with new individuals joining and existing members changing focus. The Board of PCNA recently conducted an extensive survey of its members to collect this valuable information. There were 585 respondents out of 1,900 members for a return rate of 31%. What follows is a brief overview of the current PCNA membership.


As expected, 96% are women, with 77% in the 41- to 60-year-old range. Ninety-three percent of the members are currently practicing nursing, with 76% having over 16 years of experience. Sixty percent have at least a bachelor in nursing degree. Forty-five percent identified themselves as advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists) and 28% of all members have prescriptive privileges, although another 70% reported they do make medication adjustments either through protocol or physician consultation. Our findings indicate that PCNA's members are educated, experienced, practicing nurses.


Interestingly, 54% reported working in an inpatient hospital setting with 70% in the acute care and/or telemetry/step-down area, 17% practicing inpatient cardiac rehabilitation, and 11% in a cardiac catheterization lab. Of those respondents stating they work predominantly in an outpatient setting (46%), 55% claimed cardiac rehabilitation as their area of practice, 33% as preventive cardiology/CV risk reduction, and 12% in heart failure settings.


About 50% of the PCNA members bill for their services. Of these, 68% use incident to billing and the remainder use independent billing.


When asked to list the top 3 challenges faced in CVD prevention, patient compliance, reimbursement issues, and cost of medications were all cited.


The current annual salary of the PCNA membership ranged between $50,000 and $80,000 per year (see Fig 4).

Figure 4 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 4. Current annual salary of PCNA membership.

Most of the members (46%) learned about PCNA through cowor4ers or friends; 18% learned through direct mailings, such as advertisements for the annual meeting, available educational materials, or in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Others joined after attending area regional meetings (16%).


When asked what motivated the members to join PCNA, the greatest reason was the accessibility of educational materials and patient tools. The second and third most cited reasons were receiving the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and opportunities for professional networking, respectively. The annual meeting was cited as the fourth highest reason (see Fig 5).

Figure 5 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 5. Greatest reason for joining PCNA.

Of the educational materials developed and distributed by PCNA, the most frequently used are "Reducing Cardiovascular Risk in the Insulin Resistant Patient" (58%), the "Guide to Developing a CVD Risk Reduction Clinic Manual" (52%), and Get Tough on Angina materials (44%). Seventy-eight percent of the respondents use the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing in their practice or as a means of obtaining continuing education.


Thank you to all who participated in the survey. PCNA is committed to continue developing high-quality educational materials our members have come to expect. And we will continue to expand our efforts to recruit the 57% of the members who stated they would like to be involved in a regional PCNA chapter.


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.