DEPARTMENT: PCNA Progress in Prevention
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke are major causes of death and disability in men and women worldwide.1 In the past 2 decades, the prevalence of CVD and stroke has increased in low- and middle-income countries, which now bear an excess burden of these chronic conditions.2,3 The importance of potentially modifiable risk factors, behaviors, and environmental exposures that contribute to the risk and burden of CVD and stroke worldwide is well established and points to the critical role of life course prevention.4
The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association initiated the Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum (GCNLF) to address CVD and stroke risk factors and adverse lifestyle behaviors globally. It is well known that nurses form the largest group of healthcare professionals with the necessary education and skills to address primary and secondary prevention of CVD and stroke. The mission of the GCNLF is to engage, mobilize, and empower an international community of nurse leaders to improve the prevention of CVD and stroke worldwide through research, education, policy, and advocacy. The goals of the GCNLF are to:
- champion a global nursing movement for CVD and stroke prevention across the lifespan of all individuals and families;
- inform nurses on the science and practice of health promotion and CVD and stroke prevention based on the work of nurse scientists and nurse clinicians worldwide; and
- develop and empower nurses as leaders globally.
Launched in collaboration with the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, the European Society of Cardiology Association of Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, and the World Heart Federation, the inaugural meeting of the GCNLF was held in New York City in October 2014.5 This important meeting included nurse leaders from around the world. A major goal was to address global nursing challenges and opportunities in CVD and stroke prevention. Specifically, the inaugural meeting of the GCNLF was designed to:
- support the strong commitment of nurses in global CVD and stroke prevention;
- address the need for standardization of education and training in CVD and stroke prevention;
- address the need for data which demonstrate the clinical impact of nursing interventions on patient outcomes worldwide; and
- develop key partnerships with international stakeholders including the World Health Organization and the World Heart Federation.
Each attendee at the inaugural meeting committed to work within their own country to develop policies and programs that support cardiovascular and stroke nursing leadership focused on CVD and stroke prevention.
In 2016, the GCNLF convened in Barcelona, Spain. Recommendations from this second meeting included standardization of education and training in CVD and stroke prevention, research that demonstrates the effectiveness of nursing interventions on patient outcomes and dissemination of contributions by nursing in CVD and stroke prevention. The importance of developing partnerships with key stakeholders was also highlighted as essential to the GCNLF mission.
As a result of these 2 meetings, the GCNLF established a website that includes patient education materials focused on CVD and stroke prevention and management.6 These resources, available in several languages, can be used by nurses to support educational programs for their patient populations. The International Council of Nursing has made this website available to all its members.
In addition, a guidance document promoting the importance of CVD and stroke nursing globally was created and disseminated. The guidance document highlights the critical role of nurses in CVD and stroke prevention and describes the strong evidence for the role of nurses in prevention and management of CVD and stroke on a global level. This document can be used by cardiovascular and stroke nurses to develop partnerships with key stakeholders, physicians, colleagues, government officials, and ministries of health.
In October of 2018, the third meeting of the GCNLF was held in Lisbon, Portugal. Attendees included nurse leaders from the 6 regions of the World Health Organization. The purpose of this meeting was to provide information and skill building focused on identified learning needs essential to promoting nurses as leaders in global CVD and stroke prevention. Members of the GCNLF presented exemplars of prevention projects; programs from India, China, and Chile were highlighted. A second major focus of the Lisbon GCNLF meeting centered on an international cardiovascular nursing certificate program including opportunities, challenges, and benefits to key stakeholders.
Participants in the third GCNLF returned to their cities, regions, and countries energized and committed to enhancing the role of nursing in global CVD and stroke prevention. They were charged with exploring the promise and potential of an international cardiovascular nursing certificate program with their colleagues and nursing leaders in their country.
The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association remains committed to the GCNLF project and looks forward to continuing to develop programs and resources to support and enhance the impact of nurses and nursing in CVD and stroke prevention worldwide.
1. Benjamin EJ, Virani SS, Callaway CW, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2018 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation
2. Institute of Medicine. Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health
. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2010.
3. Benziger CP, Roth GA, Moran AE. The global burden of disease study and the preventable burden of NCD. Glob Heart
4. Hayman LL, Helden L, Chyun DA, Braun LT. A life course approach to cardiovascular disease prevention. J Cardiovasc Nurs
. 2011;26(10, suppl 2):S20–S31.
5. Hayman LL, Berra K, Fletcher BJ, Houston Miller N. The role of nurses in promoting cardiovascular health worldwide: the Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum. J Am Coll Cardiol
6. The Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum (GCNLF). http://www.gcnlf.org
Accessed January 21, 2019.