The advanced practice nurse plays a significant role in the management of heart disease in patients. It is important to evaluate how professionals in this capacity can use evidence-based practice and other resources to improve outcomes for patients; furthermore, advanced practice nurses must accommodate patient care needs in different ways, from tele-monitoring to direct care in the clinic setting and web-based assessments (Brush et al., 2015). From this perspective, patients require comprehensive plans of care which APNs can provide on a routine basis and include the development of strategies which will have a positive and meaningful influence on limiting disease progression (Brush et al., 2015).
APNs can also be influential in the political landscape by advocating for improved access to healthcare coverage for patients with cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a Public Health Action Plan which is designed to promote the prevention of heart disease and stroke among patients, using tools and partnerships to engage the public in mitigating the risk of these conditions. In this capacity, nurses in advanced practice roles can provide information regarding “rapid identification and treatment of individuals with heart attack symptoms” at the national and local levels (CDC). Furthermore, local efforts support the work of APNs to develop dietary plans for patients, based upon local customs and preferences, to ensure that they use diet as an important means of preventing heart disease (World Health Organization).
APNs can facilitate greater adherence to medication, dietary, and physical activity requirements to ensure that patients receive the best possible resources to meet their needs (Clark et al., 2015). For patients who experience strokes, advanced practice nurses are directly involved with triage and enabling patients to be seen at different stages throughout the healthcare system; furthermore, they are involved in providing timely assessments to facilitate treatments as needed at each stage (Middleton, Grimley, & Alexandrov, 2015). Organizations such as the American Heart Association can educate providers regarding comprehensive care to patients with cardiovascular disease. APNs have a responsibility to share their knowledge with patients and organizations by participating in screenings and educational seminars to provide education to local residents who may be at risk of developing heart disease or stroke. APNs can help individuals understand their risk factors and strengthen their knowledge of poor habits which can contribute to disease risk.
Advanced practice nurses are a critical participant in developing a comprehensive approach to the care and treatment of cardiovascular patients. APNs are responsible not only for administering direct care, but also providing education and other resources which can guide patients and their family members effectively in meeting their needs. It is important for APNs to continue to expand their own education and training regarding new techniques and approaches to care and treatment which are supported by organizations such as the American Heart Association and which provide research funding and expert guidelines regarding the care and treatment of these patients in a timely manner.