Exploring Nurses' Knowledge about Heart Failure before and after the Implementation of a Heart Failure Education Program
Heart failure (HF) has become a national epidemic, with 5.7 million Americans currently living with HF. Although HF is incurable, it is manageable if health care professionals apply current practice guidelines to patient teaching. Nurses are charged with providing comprehensive education about HF self-‐management and it is imperative they stay abreast of evidence-‐based guidelines. The purpose of this project was to explore the current HF knowledge of Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) registered nurse Care Managers employed at the Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center (PVAMC). The logic model and Knowles andragogy theory assisted this researcher in the creation of a clear, organized and systematic approach to assessing Care Managers’ knowledge and in planning a HF education program that was sensitive to the needs of adult learners. Nine Care Managers participated in two HF educational meetings and completed the Texas Tech University HF on-‐line module. The Nurses Knowledge of Heart Failure Principles (NKHFP) questionnaire was administered to the Care Managers as pre and post-‐tests to identify gaps in knowledge prior to and following this HF education program. The Care Managers incorrectly answered pivotal questions related to HF, indicating they may not have the most current knowledge of HF principles. Although the study was limited by a small sample size, it confirmed similar results found in the literature from studies that included larger numbers of participants. These findings suggest the need for continuing education programs that develop nursing competencies in patient teaching of high risk populations, such as HF patients, to enhance disease self-‐management.