The Role of Nurses in the Global Fight Against NCDs

Nurses serve an essential role in the global fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), according to a recent Guest Editors’ Page published Aug. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

According to Barbara J. Fletcher, RN, MN, a member of ACC’s Cardiovascular Team Member Section, et al., nurses have a large role in developing and developed countries as team leaders in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease. Accordingly, nurses have proven abilities to “adhere to treatment guidelines and protocols, decrease hospitalization, and reduce morbidity and mortality” in cardiovascular disease patients. To that end, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association created the Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum to “empower nurses as global cardiovascular leaders.”

In support of the World Health Organization’s goal to reduce NCD mortality – including cardiovascular disease mortality and disability – 25 percent by 2025, the Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum met in October 2014 with nurses and other members of the cardiovascular team from around the world. In a keynote address, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, editor-in-chief of JACC, emphasized the significance of basic and translational research that addresses the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, underscoring the potential of nurses in practice, research and advocacy efforts related to cardiovascular disease. Martha Hill, RN, PhD, also discussed the shortage of nurses and other health care professionals in low- and middle- income countries in her accompanying keynote address.

In the short term, the Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum will develop a global nursing website with educational resources, access to evidence-based guidelines, and a registry of cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention nurse experts. The Forum is also dedicated to “enhancing the recognition of the central role that nurses play in the global fight against NCDs.”

Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases, Cardiovascular Nursing, Developed Countries, Hospitalization, Morbidity, Nurses, Stroke, Translational Medical Research, World Health Organization

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