Nurses’ knowledge of heart failure assessment and management: A cross-sectional survey

Zequan Wang, Stephen Walsh, Christine Tocchi, Yiming Zhang, Deborah Chyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nurses’ knowledge of heart failure (HF) is highly variable, ranging from expert to poor, potentially leading to inadequate self-care. Objectives: (1) document the knowledge variation of HF assessment and management among specialist and generalist nurses; (2) determine factors that may be associated with nurses’ knowledge; and (3) describe nurses’ views of knowledge deficits and ways to improve nurses’ knowledge to better meet the needs educational interventions. Method: Members of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses and Registered Nurses were invited to participate in a cross-sectional survey. Independent samples t-test, chi-square, and linear regression were used for quantitative analysis. Text analysis was applied to analyze the themes of qualitative comments. Results: A total of 918 nurses completed the survey. Specialist nurses had higher scores than generalist nurses with statistically significant F-test for diet, fluid, signs/symptoms, medication, and exercise. Both specialist and generalist nurses were least knowledgeable about dry weight, asymptomatic hypotension, and transient dizziness. Being a specialist nurse was associated with higher level of knowledge scores. Years of experience and race were significant factors associated with knowledge scores in generalist nurses. Confidence level and race were significant predictors for specialist nurses. Three themes emerged regarding the cause of nurses’ insufficient knowledge and several approaches were provided. Conclusions: Specialist nurses are not only knowledgeable, but their knowledge levels are less variable compared to generalist nurses. There is a need to identify additional factors that may potentially influence nurses’ knowledge, contributing to the effectiveness of interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalHeart and Lung
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • Heart failure
  • Nurse
  • Nurse knowledge
  • Self-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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