Research Article| Volume 58, P82-90, March 2023

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

Published:November 23, 2022DOI:


      • Specialist nurses are not only more knowledge but their knowledge levels are less variable compared to those among generalist nurses in caring for patients with heart failure.
      • Specialist nurses may not be sufficiently knowledgeable in daily weight monitoring, comparison of weights, and hypotension.
      • The knowledge levels of specialist nurses were significantly impacted by race and confidence level; in contract, the knowledge levels for generalist nurses were likely to be influenced by race and years of experience in taking care of patients with heart failure.
      • Qualitative themes were demonstrated and addressed critical knowledge barriers to insufficient heart failure knowledge among nurses.



      Nurses’ knowledge of heart failure (HF) is highly variable, ranging from expert to poor, potentially leading to inadequate self-care.


      (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.


      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.


      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.


      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.


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