The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association joins the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension

The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) is pleased to announce our commitment to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension seeks to “avert the negative health effects of hypertension by identifying evidence-based interventions that can be implemented, adapted, and expanded in diverse settings across the United States.”

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is an urgent public health problem. About 45% of adults in the US have hypertension.  Recent data suggests that hypertension control (<130/80 mmHg) worsened from 53.8% in 2013-2014 to 43.7% in 2017-2018. 1 There are also significant disparities in hypertension prevalence, treatment, and control in the US with racial and ethnic minorities populations bearing a disparate burden hypertension. Hypertension has also emerged as a major risk factor for adverse COVID-19 outcomes which highlights the importance of reducing the burden of hypertension in all communities.

We join other organizations in affirming our commitment to:

Prioritize Control Nationally:

  • Increase Awareness of Health Risks
  • Recognize Economic Burden
  • Eliminate Disparities

Cultivate Community Supports:

  • Promote Physical Activity Opportunities
  • Promote Healthy Food Opportunities
  • Connect to Lifestyle Change Resources

Optimize Patient Care

  • Use Standardized Treatment Approaches
  • Promote Team-Based Care
  • Empower and Equip Patients
  • Recognize and Reward Clinicians

All nurses, and cardiovascular nurses in particular, play a critical role in improving hypertension control in the US and globally.2 The evidence in support of nurses in team-based care, community-based hypertension care is robust.3,4 PCNA has developed a series of blood pressure handouts to assist nurses in educating patients and caregivers about hypertension. All materials are available in both English and Spanish.

We commit to coordinating our efforts with organizations, agencies and communities to find tangible, sustainable, and scale solutions to improve hypertension control for all Americans. We look forward to working to spotlight the challenge of hypertension control and promoting strategies to improve control and reduce disparities. 


  1. Muntner P, Hardy ST, Fine LJ, et al. Trends in blood pressure control among US adults with hypertension, 1999-2000 to 2017-2018. JAMA. 2020. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.14545 [doi].
  2. Himmelfarb CR, Commodore-Mensah Y, Hill MN. Expanding the role of nurses to improve hypertension care and control globally. Ann Glob Health. 2016;82(2):243-253. doi: 10.1016/j.aogh.2016.02.003 [doi].
  3. Clark CE, Smith LF, Taylor RS, Campbell JL. Nurse led interventions to improve control of blood pressure in people with hypertension: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010;341:c3995. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3995 [doi].
  4. Shaw RJ, McDuffie JR, Hendrix CC, et al. Effects of nurse-managed protocols in the outpatient management of adults with chronic conditions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(2):113-121. doi: 10.7326/M13-2567 [doi].

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