1. Kalman, Melanie PhD, CNS
  2. Fahs, Pamela S. RN, DSN

Article Content


The purpose is to develop an instrument testing women's knowledge of MIs, risk factors, and susceptibility to heart disease.



Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women, and they exhibit more risk factors then men do. Their MI symptoms are different from those of men. This, along with the lack of awareness about these differences, means that they are less likely to recognize MI symptoms and to seek treatment. There are no instruments that test a general female population on women's knowledge of female MI symptoms and risk factors and of women's intent to change cardiac risk behaviors. The CNS can influence women's cardiac health globally.



Mixed methods.



In focus groups (n = 20), subjects will be asked to share perceptions of heart attacks and heart disease in women. The initial instrument will then be adapted from several other instruments and the focus group data. An expert panel will examine this instrument for content validity. Fifty subjects will be given an educational intervention followed by testing with the instrument on female MI symptoms and risks. Some of the subjects (n = 10) will participate in individual interviews to examine how subjects felt the items on the test matched information presented in the program and their understanding of the items. The instrument will be modified and factor analysis will be calculated along with reliability data. The new instrument will be retested on 50 additional subjects, after the educational intervention.



Results are pending and will be complete before the conference.



It is important to increase cardiac knowledge for women so that they will modify risk behaviors and seek earlier treatment for cardiac issues. Instrument development is essential as the first step in accurately measuring awareness of female MI symptoms, reducing personal CHD risk, and understanding the need to seek treatment if MI symptoms occur.


Implications for Practice:

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, and by developing an instrument, educational interventions can be tested to see if they are efficacious in teaching women to change behaviors so that they become more heart healthy. The CNS can be the leader in this change.


Section Description

The 2010 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Annual National Conference is planned for Portland, Oregon, on March 3 to 6. More than 375 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are expected to attend. This year's theme, "CNS as Internal Consultant: Influencing Local to Global Systems," demonstrates the breadth and depth of CNS practice and leadership at multiple levels in organizations and on healthcare.


A total of 142 abstracts were submitted for review, and 58 (not including student posters) were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session; student abstracts will appear in a later issue of the journal. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in all 3 practice domains as described in the Spheres of Influence Framework for CNS Practice. Abstracts emphasized patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, CNS education, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into the 3 Spheres of Influence, the role of the CNS in developing clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, the role of the CNS in National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) activities, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNS's contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, as well as contributing to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts are published to share new knowledge with those unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics.


Watch for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at the next NACNS annual conference scheduled for March 9-12, 2011, in Baltimore, Maryland.