Date of Award


Degree Type

Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Kristen L. Mauk


Management of heart failure is a significant financial challenge for the health care industry, costing approximately $33.2 billion annually. Common reasons for preventable heart failure readmissions include inadequate discharge education and lack of self-care and health management activities. Education at discharge is a vital component of improving heart failure outcomes. Following a review of the literature, high quality evidence supports that heart failure education should focus on medication adherence, sodium and fluid restriction, daily weights, activity tolerance, identification of deteriorating signs and symptoms of heart failure, and smoking cessation. The purpose of this EBP project was to reduce heart failure 30 day readmission rates by implementing an educational intervention to patients with a primary diagnosis of HF prior to discharge. The Rosswurm & Larrabee Model for evidence-based practice change and Orem’s Self Care theory guided the implementation of this project. All patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of HF were referred to the APNs from the heart failure clinic located in Northwest Indiana from October to November 2012. The intervention utilized a teaching tool developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill highlighting the best practices related to educating patients and their families on the management of heart failure to potentially reduce hospital readmission rates. Participants were monitored for 30 days post discharge and readmission rates were evaluated. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to describe the sample and to compare the effect of the educational intervention on readmission rates. The results of this EBP project positively supported that heart failure education significantly reduced readmission rates.