Cardiovascular Nurse Specialty Program

The goal of this program is to prepare nurses with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to demonstrate competent clinical performance/expertise of cardiovascular nurses and improve patient care outcomes.

Program Description:

The Cardiovascular Nurse Specialty Program is a unique interdisciplinary program that combines didactic material and in-depth clinical experience. Using a blended-learning approach, this program includes three phases to transition nurses to the cardiovascular specialty practice arena.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Provide safe quality patient care for patients with cardiovascular disease
  • Use evidence for clinical decision making
  • Advance professional confidence and competence as evidenced by passing National Certification

Program Pertinence:

The Cardiovascular Nurse Specialty Program will provide a workforce pipeline for the cardiovascular specialty line of service. The anticipated challenges of the changing demographics of registered nurses, aging population, and health care system reform indicate a critical need for educational programs that support lifelong learning and organizational transformation that meet and/or exceed safe quality care outcomes. The Cardiovascular Nurse Specialty Program will provide a blended-learning approach to advance the nurse from novice to expert with the intentional outcome of passing the certification exam for the cardiovascular specialty area. In addition, programmatic evaluation and nursing research will define the linkage between the Cardiovascular Nurse Specialty Program and optimal patient care outcomes.

This continuing nursing education activity is approved by the Western Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah Nurses Associations are members of the Western Multi-State Division. 129 Continuing Nursing Education contact hours.

The Details

2019 Dates/Deadlines

Start Date: January 7
Application Deadline: December 14, 2018

Start Date: May 6
Application Deadline: April 15

Start Date: September 10
Application Deadline: August 13

Phase I

Length dependent on academic program:
This phase is intended for emerging novice nurses that would like to experience the cardiovascular arena optimizing the clinical preceptorship experience of their academic program. Through practice-academic collaboration the participant is intentionally placed in the cardiovascular specialty area for socialization to organizational culture and the complex practice arena. This phase provides support from practice, academia, regulation and the Arizona Heart Foundation Program leadership. Eligibility Criteria: In good standing with accredited nursing program and current GPA of 3.5 or above.

Phase II

Length 12 weeks:
This phase is intended for emerging nurses who are pending licensure, newly licensed, or experienced nurses new to the cardiovascular practice arena. This blended learning approach will include 12 weeks of content with a 12-hour commitment each week to learning outcomes. Eligibility Criteria: Graduated from an accredited nursing program with active unencumbered RN License or Recent graduate with a GPA of 3.5 or above and eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Conflict of interest: No individuals in a position to control content for this activity have any relevant financial relationships to declare.

This continuing education program is jointly provided by the Arizona Heart Foundation and Arizona College. Arizona Heart Foundation will ensure the educational activity has a strong educational design and meets the ANCC/Multistate Division (MSD) Accreditation Program educational design criteria.

Each week the participant will be required to complete:

  1. 4 hours of Didactic Sessions. 2 hours self-directed online learning, and 2 hours’ classroom instruction. The participant will engage in self-directed online learning modules to prepare for robust, interactive discussion during didactic sessions. Didactic instruction is held every Monday from 1245-1445 at the Arizona College Campus located at 163 N Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ 85201. 48 Continuing Education (CE) Hours.
  2. 2 hours of simulation scenarios immediately following didactic instruction. The participant will demonstrate application of knowledge through experiential learning via low and high-fidelity simulation scenarios. Simulation is held every Monday 1500-1700 at the Arizona College Campus located at 163 N Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ 85201. 21 Continuing Education (CE) Hours.
  3. 6 hours of practicum each week in the core areas of: Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), High-Acuity Telemetry, Cardiac Rehab, Physician Collaboration, Cardiovascular Surgery, Diagnostic testing, Electrophysiology Lab, Cardiac catheterization lab, Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), Outpatient Clinics (murmur clinic, Heart Failure Clinic). Arrangements for the practicum experience will be coordinated for each student individually, using and individualized learning plan, in collaboration with the AZ Heart Foundation programmatic leadership. Please note: Practicum experiences may be completed at place of employment with completion of learning objectives signed by unit Manager/Director. 60 Continuing Education (CE) Hours.

This continuing nursing education activity is approved by the Western Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah Nurses Associations are members of the Western Multi-State Division. 129 Continuing Nursing Education contact hours.

Phase III

Length 6 months:
This phase is intended for ongoing support and guidance to implement knowledge gained, develop and test an Evidence-Based Practice Project, and continue content review for National Certification. The participant will be required to attend a monthly continuing education activity event for 2 hours. 12 Continuing Education (CE) Hours

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Western Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Utah Nurses Associations are members of the Western Multi-State Division of the American Nurses Association.

Eligibility Criteria: Active RN License and recommendation from organizational leadership.

Evidence-based Practice (EBP) Project:
The goal of EBP is the integration of:

  • (a) clinical expertise
  • (b) best current evidence
  • (c) client/patient perspectives

The EBP project promotes the “spirit of inquiry” and empowers frontline nursing to make clinical decisions based on evidence versus traditional norms. The EBP projects are designed to provide high-quality services reflecting the interests, values, needs, and choices of the individuals we serve.

Conflict of interest: No individuals in a position to control content for this activity have any relevant financial relationships to declare.

This continuing education program is jointly provided by the Arizona Heart Foundation and Arizona College. Arizona Heart Foundation will ensure the educational activity has a strong educational design and meets the ANCC/Multistate Division (MSD) Accreditation Program educational design criteria.

Total programmatic Continuing Education (CE) Hours = 141 CE’s awarded by the Western Multi-State Division of the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Simulation Sessions

Goal: Develop and apply the standards of care and professional practice as defined by the American Nurses Association Cardiovascular Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, (2015, 2nd ed). During simulation and debriefing sessions, participants will also demonstrate a set of core competencies (Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nurse of the Future Competencies Committee, 2016) to prepare for the future role of professional nurse in a value based purchasing care delivery system.

  • Patient Centered Care – The participant will provide holistic care that recognizes an individual’s preferences, values, and needs and respects the patient or designee as a full partner in providing compassionate, coordinated, age and culturally appropriate, safe and effective care.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration – The participant will actively engage colleagues in respectful, therapeutic clinical decision making in the care of a cardiac patient and his/her family.
    • Delegate to team members as needed.
    • Identify/assign team member roles in urgent/emergent situations.
    • Communicates patient status and interventions implemented, those needing to be implemented, and recommended follow up to ensure smooth transition.
  • Communication – The participant will communicate effectively with a simulated patient, patient’s family, and clinical colleagues.
    • Reports to physician using SBAR format-ensuring all relevant details are included.
  • Evidence Based Practice – The participant will utilize current evidence and clinical experience to decide when to modify nursing care and interventions.
  • Safety – The participant will use nursing interventions to provide safe patient care and zero adverse events.
  • Professionalism – The participant will demonstrate accountability for the delivery of standard-based nursing care that is consistent with moral, altruistic, legal, ethical, regulatory, and humanistic principles.
  • Leadership – The participant will influence the behavior of individuals or groups of individuals within their environment in a way that will facilitate the establishment and acquisition/achievement of shared goals.
  • Informatics and Technology – The participant will be able to use advanced technology and to analyze as well as synthesize information and collaborate to make critical decisions that optimize patient outcomes (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016).
  • Quality Improvments – The participant uses data to monitor the outcomes of care processes, and uses improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems (QSEN, 2014)
  • Systems Based Practice – The participant will demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context of the health care system, and will demonstrate the ability to effectively call on work unit resources to provide care that is of optimal quality and value (Adapted from ACGME, n.d.).

Simulation Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate complete history and physical exam as a part of an initial evaluation and during re-evaluation to assess changes in the patient’s status.
  • Demonstrate appropriate investigation of potential etiology.
  • Recognize the findings on history and exam suggesting a diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate timely treatment while conducting a proper investigation of source(s).
  • Demonstrate appropriate management, including consideration for early goal directed therapy.
  • Demonstrate appropriate use of best-practice protocols and application of algorithms

Simulation Critical Learner Actions

  • Use AIDET when approaching patient – Identifies patient using 2 identifiers
  • Safely Perform Medication Administration
  • Perform appropriate assessment
  • Anticipate patient needs
  • Identify and collect patient specific information relevant to clinical decision making
  • Use tools based on best practices to identify patient cardiac risk factors
  • Appropriately delegate to team members
  • Effectively communicates patient status and interventions implemented
  • Report to physician using SBAR format-ensuring all pertinent data is included
  • Identify and initiate patient education related to procedures, medications, and discharge
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of change of condition and intervene appropriately
  • Recognize failure to respond to treatment and intervene
  • Obtain critical care consults

For more information please contact Dawna Cato, RN (dlcato@ttppnurseconsulting.org) or Paula Banahan, RN (pbanahan@azheartfoundation.org).

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