Date of Award


Degree Type

Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Kirsten L. Mauk


Heart failure (HF) is a chronic disease affecting nearly six million people in the United States with an annual cost of nearly 33 billion dollars. If nurses are inadequately prepared to care for and/or educate patients with HF, evidence-based (EB) nursing care will be suboptimal and hospital readmission rates with the subsequent increased costs for care will continue to soar. To address their higher-than-national average HF readmission rates, an EB nursing project was implemented at a local, urban community hospital to assess intermediate care unit (IMCU) nursing staff’s knowledge of HF, selfcare, and best practice guidelines. The Rossworm & Larrabee Model was chosen as the research utilization model for this project to guide health care providers from an assessment of the need for change to implementation and evaluation. Synthesized evidence supported the implementation of educational interventions to improve nurse knowledge of HF self-care. Four 1-1 ½ hour in-services were given to the IMCU nurses on specifics of HF management. Before the first in-service, nurses completed a 20-question survey by Albert et al. (2002) to ascertain their knowledge of HF self-care. After the fourth in-service, the nurses completed the same survey to assess for any changes in their knowledge levels. At the completion of the project, a paired-samples t test was calculated that demonstrated significant improvement in nurse knowledge scores (p < .001). The results of this EB project demonstrated that disease-specific education has a positive effect on nurse knowledge. Further study can be done in the future to determine if improvement in nurses’ knowledge has any effect on HF patient hospital readmission rates, length of stay, and overall cost.

Included in

Nursing Commons