Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Karen Butler

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Linda Clements

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Stefaniak


Background: Heart Failure is a disease known to affect nearly 6.5 million adults in the United States. Characterized by recurrent hospitalizations, heart failure significantly contributes to morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs in the United States and worldwide. Because malnutrition is prevalent in the heart failure population, healthcare providers must perform nutritional assessments on admission to intervene in the case of malnutrition, prevent deterioration, and improve patient prognosis. Without intervention and early identification of malnutrition, heart failure hospitalizations will remain a significant problem.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of an evidence-based educational program for cardiac nurses designed to improve nutritional screening practice for hospitalized heart failure patients.

Methods: This project followed a quasi-experimental one-group time series pre-posttest design. A retrospective EPIC electronic medical records review was also completed, including data from thirty days pre-educational intervention and thirty days post-educational intervention for comparison of completeness of the nutrition screening tool, malnutrition screening tool, and number of nutrition consults ordered.

Results: There was a significant increase in cardiac nurse knowledge (p < .001) after implementing the virtual educational intervention. Mean baseline knowledge increased by 57% from pre- to post. The electronic medical record review found no statistically significant changes in scores post-educational intervention regarding completion of the nutrition screening tool, malnutrition screening tool, or nutrition consults ordered.

Conclusion: Educational interventions may not be enough to overcome barriers that impact nutrition screening practice in the hospital setting. Future research efforts are needed to translate increased clinician knowledge into standard practice to decrease the burden of heart failure hospitalizations and improve patient outcomes.