Springing Ahead

As cardiovascular nurses, we are so busy that there is rarely time to reflect on all our accomplishments and consider how we might be even more effective in the future. Each spring, PCNA transitions to a new Board President at the annual Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium, and it’s an excellent time to take a quick look back as well as a look ahead. 

Building on Our Success 

For three decades, PCNA has been led by an exceptional group of cardiovascular nursing leaders, bringing education and resources to healthcare professionals and their patients, partnering with organizations to advance cardiovascular nurse leadership, and working across the globe to meet the needs of our patients by working collaboratively to implement guideline-directed medical therapies. 

As we reflect on the past 12 months, when PCNA has been capably led by Board President Eileen Handberg, PhD, ANP-BC, FACC, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic altered nursing in a myriad of ways, and PCNA pivoted to meet the changing needs of healthcare professionals.  

In 2022, PCNA continued to bring professional education to our members using virtual learning through online and hybrid opportunities such as our symposium webcast and virtual summits. We utilized shorter ‘snackable’ learning to better meet the need of our busy members, such as peer-to-peer videos (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and amyloidosis). 

We launched the Heart to Heart Nurses podcast. Episodes on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesday of the month bring guests together to discuss topics such as cultural humility, heart failure, obesity, cardio-oncology, leadership, maternal health, and much more. 

We also welcomed back many members to the 2022 Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium, and to live chapter meetings. While we continue to embrace virtual learning, it has been great to see each other without a video screen separating us.  

Under Eileen’s leadership, we also expanded our focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). While PCNA has long recognized the value of a wide range of voices on issues, and the importance for patients of seeing providers who look like them, in 2022 PCNA continued to address DEI in a comprehensive manner and support initiatives that work to reduce health disparities, such as the following: 

  • Supported advocacy efforts to address inequities in access to care 
  • Expanded educational opportunities for staff, board, and members 
  • Continued to reduce the financial burden of nurses through scholarships  
  • Worked to make content more accessible through the use of transcripts and translations 
  • Launched a DEI task force 
  • Continued DEI-focused programming, including the 2nd annual Health Equity Summit  

PCNA continued to strengthen our partnerships with other international and national organizations (full list of liaison organizations), building on decades of collaboration to focus on guidelines development and implementation, educational resources, and advocacy. PCNA also initiated new partnerships with groups such as the American Society of Echocardiography, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association, International Cardio-Oncology Society, and others.  

Springing Ahead 

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” ― Leonard Bernstein, composer and conductor   

We can all agree that there remains much to be done to ensure that we continue to improve patient outcomes, provide equitable access to care, recognize the nuances of care and treatment that improve medication adherence, and continue to build nurses as a profession, and as leaders. 

As we head into our 30th year, we truly appreciate that nurses continue to be the most trusted profession and are a keystone in the success of team-based care. Here are some ideas for you to consider as we continue our journey through 2023. Together we can accomplish great things! 

  • Invest in yourself and your colleagues 
    • We hope you are joining us April 13-15, 2023 in New Orleans, or online, for the Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium. Time for learning, networking, and revitalization. 
    • Check out professional development opportunities to build your knowledge, skills, and confidence in advocacy, guidelines-directed medical therapy, and more. Pick a time convenient to you. 
    • Attend the virtual Cholesterol Summit (May 18, 2023) or Heart Failure Summit (Dec. 2023) 
  • Become a PCNA member and gain access to amazing resources, and help improve the field of cardiovascular nursing 
    • Connect with regional cardiovascular-focused colleagues at PCNA chapter events. 
  • Celebrate amazing cardiovascular nurses 
  • Improve outcomes for patients 
    • Continue to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts 
      • PAD and other health screenings help with early disease identification, particularly for those most at risk. Look for new PCNA tools in 2023.
      • Participate in PCNA’s Health Equity Summit and Advocacy Update (Sept. 2023) in partnership with the Association of Black Cardiologists. 
    • Patient education resources are a great tool both within the clinic and for patients to use as a reference afterward 
  • Share your great ideas, strategies, and talents with the PCNA community 
    • Share about the great work you are doing (original research, innovation project, or capstone project) and submit an abstract to present at the 2023 Symposium. 
    • Volunteer with PCNA in a variety of capacities 

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to improving cardiovascular outcomes for your patients. I look forward to our journey together in the next 12 months. 

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