1. Mason, Carol M. ARNP, FAHA

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It is a pleasure to welcome you to the American Heart Association's (AHA) Council on Cardiovascular Nursing (CCVN) page of JCN. The mission of CCVN are as follows: sharing and disseminating knowledge, promoting the role of nurses as leaders in cardiovascular nursing, and supporting prevention of cardiovascular disease as a main strategy of cardiovascular disease management. Our council shares a large part of the mission of AHA having sponsored 9 Scientific Statements and has an additional 27 CCVN-related statements in progress. Revision of the AHA Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Case involved several CVN members. This page is designed to highlight the activities and events taking place that are of interest to CCVN members and encourage nonmembers to join us in these endeavors.


The CCVN has been involved in many exciting activities in 2006. Our participation in several campaigns that target women and heart disease has made the early part of 2006 an exciting time to be a member of AHA and the CCVN council. A new addition to our CCVN section this year is the Lembright Column, with congratulations to this journal's own Barbara Riegel, who was presented with the 2005 Lembright Award.


It is time to begin planning for the 2006 AHA Scientific Sessions meeting this year in Chicago. We encourage AHA/CVN members and nonmembers to attend the Council dinner, which will take place during Scientific Sessions on Tuesday, November 14.


The Lembright Column

The 2005 Lembright Award was presented to Dr Barbara Riegel at the AHA's annual Scientific Sessions in Dallas. Dr Riegel is an Associate Professor of Nursing atthe University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the coeditor of this journal. Since 1994, she has led interdisciplinary research groups in the study of patients with heart failure. She has tested a number of disease management approaches to this patient group and developed and tested psychometric instruments that measure self-care in patients with heart failure. Among other studies, Dr Riegel has conducted a series of 3 funded clinical trials that tested different disease approaches, bridging hospital and home for persons with heart failure. Because hospital stays for patients with heart failure are becoming shorter, patients are discharged with minimal knowledge and resources required to care for themselves. Various interventions were designed for patients by Dr Riegel and her team. Improved rates of rehospitalization and costs were evident in patients involved in the intervention groups.


Besides her work as a researcher, Dr Riegel is a certified clinical nurse specialist which enables her to understand the needs of patients with heart failure and implement new interventions. She also teaches classes in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.


The Lembright Award is given annually to AHA members with an established track record in cardiovascular research grants and publications. Individuals may be nominated an unlimited number of times, but may receive the award only once. Self-nomination is acceptable. Nominations will be considered for 3 years (initial year of nomination plus 2 subsequent years) with the approval of the candidates. For more information or questions, contact Julie Hinterthuer, Scientific Councils Awards & Lectures Coordinator at or call 214-706-1181.


Martha N. Hill New Investigator Award

The CCVN congratulates Autumn Schumacher, PhD, RN, for receiving the New Investigator Award for 2005 at the annual Scientific Sessions. This honor was bestowed on Dr Schumacher for her work involving atrial fibrillation, the autonomic nervous system, and the phenomenon of heart rate variability. Dr Schumacher is an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing. The abstract for which she won the award was entitled "Physical Symptom Status is Predicted by Psychological Factors in Patients with Advanced Heart Failure." Her work involved photographing cardiac electrical activity with voltage-sensitive fluorescent dye and then using linear and nonlinear techniques to analyze the pixel data. Her long-term goal is to develop real-time, nonlinear patient monitors that would improve the efficacy of medical monitoring and advance clinical practice.


Revision of CPR and Emergency Cardiac Care Guidelines

After intensive study by a consortium of experts, the AHA recommended and implemented a number of key changes to simplify and streamline CPR in 2005. By doing so, the AHA hopes to improve the quality of the procedures. Experts in emergency cardiac care were concerned that the survival rates for patients undergoing CPR had remained unchanged for many years. A person's chance of survival is doubled or tripled if a trained bystander begins CPR immediately. However, bystanders are often untrained, afraid, or unwilling to perform CPR. The panel of experts deemed the procedure to be too complicated in previous guidelines, and therefore, the goal was to streamline and simplify.


The changes that were recommended in the guidelines were based on a thorough review of the most current literature by international experts in the field. The final recommendations represented input from professionals from all facets of the healthcare community involved in cardiac resuscitation. There were debates as to whether breaths should be recommended at all; however, it was noted that there were a number of situations where patients would definitely be helped by the addition of breathing.


The principal change was to increase the ratio of chest compressions to 30 compressions for every 2 breaths. A second important change was the elimination of the "evaluation" phase. The new guidelines recommend that when first encountering a patient who is unconscious, the bystander move directly to giving 2 quick breaths if the person was not breathing rather than stopping to "look and listen" and feel for a pulse. A final important change referred to the use of defibrillators. It was the recommendation to only administer 1 shock (rather than 3) before resuming chest compressions.


It is hoped that by making these changes, bystanders will be more willing and able to perform CPR. This could translate to more patients reaching the hospital, thereby improving chances of survival.


CCVN Supports Advocacy

The CCVN council supports advocacy for public policy that advances the fight against heart disease and stroke. Come join your members in getting the message to policy makers on important life-saving issues that affect you and your patients. "You're the Cure" is one such effort. When you speak out for research funding for heart disease and stroke, "you're the cure." When you advocate for your patients, "you're the cure." For more information, go to to register and join the "You're the Cure" network.


Membership Update

As of October 2005, our Council membership was 1621 which represents an upward trend. In addition, 108 members were Fellows in the AHA. If you are interested in nominating someone for Fellowship, the deadline is early May each year.


Join a CCVN Committee

The CCVN has a number of important committees that you can join. These include Communications and Membership Committee, Chairperson, Dr Mary Caldwell; Program Committee, Chairperson, Dr Christi Deaton; Advocacy Committee, Chairperson, Dr Dorothy Lanuza; Development Committee, Chairperson, Ms Sandra Kreul, MSN, ARNP; International Committee, Co-chairpersons, Drs Anna Stromberg and Erika Froelicher; Pediatric Cardiovascular Nursing Committee, Chairperson, Dr Karen Uzark; Stroke Nursing Committee, Co-chairpersons, Ms Anne Leonard and Dr Elaine Miller; and Prevention Sub-Committee, Chairperson, Ms Suzy Hughes. If you are interested in learning more about these committees, please visit us at


Dates to Remember

American Heart Association Annual Scientific Sessions, November 11-15, 2006, Chicago, IL (Book your hotel now if you have not done so as space fills up early).


Staying in Touch with AHA's CCVN (


* Read Council Connections Newsletter on the Web.


* Stay current with Council news on the CCVN home page.


* Become a CCVN member (Http://


Important AHA and CCVN Web Links


* CCVN home page:


* CCVN newsletter:


* AHA home page:


* AHA membership: or call 1-800-787-8984


* AHA advocacy:,jhtml?identifier=3004026.