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WEB EXCLUSIVE! Cardiovascular nursing: Dynamic and in demand


February is Cardiovascular Professionals Month. To mark the occasion, American Nurse Today asked Joanna D. Sikkema, MSN, ANP, President of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA), to describe the cardiovascular (CV) nursing specialty, the important role her organization fulfills, and the benefits PCNA can bring to both nurses and patients.

What is a cardiovascular nurse?
A CV nurse specializes in caring for patients with CV disorders—the number-one killer of both men and women—in inpatient, outpatient, and community settings. The goal is to prevent patients from developing CV disease and to halt its progression in those who already have it. CV nurses receive specialized education in arrhythmia management, hemodynamic monitoring, CV pharmacology, and risk reduction and lifestyle intervention.

Where do cardiovascular nurses practice?
Those specializing in acute management of CV inpatients may work in emergency departments, chest pain or stroke centers, cardiac catheterization units, coronary care units, or telemetry units. Outpatient settings for CV nurses include cardiac rehabilitation programs, heart failure centers, lipid clinics, and primary care.

What is the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association?
PCNA is the leading nursing organization dedicated to preventing CV disease through assessing risk, promoting lifestyle changes, and guiding individuals to achieve treatment goals. Its mission is to promote nurses as leaders in CV risk reduction and disease management.

What are the benefits of joining PCNA?
PCNA members receive educational publications, access to online CE programs and clinical tools, and networking opportunities. They also have opportunities to earn continuing education contact hours through PCNA-approved programs, as well as discounts for the cardiac/vascular nurse certification and reduced registration fees to the PCNA 14th Annual Symposium, to be held April 24-26 in Orlando, Fla. To learn more, visit

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