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Preparing Nurses for Leadership Roles in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Lanuza, Dorothy M. PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN; Davidson, Patricia M. PhD, RN, FRCNA, Med; Dunbar, Sandra B. DSN, RN, FAHA, FAAN; Hughes, Suzanne MSN, RN, FAHA, FPCNA; De Geest, Sabina PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, FAHA

Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: July-August 2011 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p S56-S63
doi: 10.1097/JCN.0b013e31821485be

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a critical global health issue, and cardiovascular nurses play a vital role in decreasing the global burden and contributing to improving outcomes in individuals and communities. Cardiovascular nurses require the knowledge, skills, and resources that will enable them to function as leaders in CVD. This article addresses the education, training, and strategies that are needed to prepare nurses for leadership roles in preventing and managing CVD. Building on the World Health Organization core competencies for 21st-century health care workers, the specific competencies of cardiovascular nurses working in prevention are outlined. These can be further strengthened by investing in the development of cultural, system change and leadership competencies. Mentorship is proposed as a powerful strategy for promoting the cardiovascular nursing role and equipping individual nurses to contribute meaningfully to health system reform and community engagement in CVD risk reduction.

Dorothy M. Lanuza, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN Professor Emeritus, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, RN, FRCNA, Med Professor of Cardiovascular & Chronic Care, Curtin University and St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

Sandra B. Dunbar, DSN, RN, FAHA, FAAN Charles Howard Candler Professor of Cardiovascular Nursing, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Suzanne Hughes, MSN, RN, FAHA, FPCNA Director, System Population Health, Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio.

Sabina De Geest, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, FAHA Professor of Nursing and Director, Institute of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Correspondence Dorothy M. Lanuza, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, School of Nursing, CSC, K6/328, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53792-2455 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.