University of Southern Indiana

Heart Failure Program

Description of Program
Heart failure is a progressive, chronic condition characterized with higher rates of hospitalizations and readmissions within thirty days. Effective management of patients with heart failure requires a systematic, coordinated approach by health care providers. As the incidence and prevalence of patients with heart failure rises with age and underlying risk factors, the need exists for individuals to be knowledgeable of the disease process and the management. The program was designed utilizing the latest clinical guidelines and test plans for the certification examinations. 

Information about the Cardiac-vascular nursing certification exam by the American Nurses Credentialing Center can be obtained at

Information regarding heart failure nursing certification exam by the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) national certification exam can be obtained at

Who Should Enroll in this Program?
This program is designed for English-speaking nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare practitioners who have, or want to prepare for, responsibility for monitoring and managing patients with heart failure.

Program Content
The content is divided into modules. Each module utilizes instructor outlines, audio/video recordings, reading assignments, articles, web resources, case studies to augment the learning process. These methods provide the participant with flexibility in completing assignments and interacting with the faculty.  Each module has accompanying study guide(s) with questions (such as multiple choice, essay) for participants to submit to faculty.  Interaction with faculty may occur as feedback to study guides, within discussion boards, or via email. The modules cover physiology and pathophysiology of cardiovascular system, patient assessment, diagnostic tests, pharmacology, dietary approaches, medical and surgical interventions, patient education, and out-patient programs.   

A textbook is not required for this program.

Program Schedule
This seven-week activity is offered two times a year.  The deadline for registration is the Monday prior to the start date by 8 a.m. CDT.

2018 Dates
Start End
January 8 February 23
September 17 November 2

2019 Dates



January 14

March 1

September 16

November 1

Learning Outcome
The learning outcome of this program is to enable the learner to manage patients with heart failure for optimal outcomes based on current clinical guidelines and best practice through interprofessional collaborative practice.   

Program Objectives
At the conclusion of the program the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the physiology and pathophysiology of heart failure.
  2. Discuss the clinical assessment and classifications of the patient with heart failure.
  3. Discuss the indications, dosing, adverse effects, and monitoring of drugs used to manage heart failure. 
  4. Formulate effective teaching plans for the patients with heart failure. 
  5. Discuss surgical and non-surgical cardiac interventions for patients with heart failure. 
  6. Describe the administrative/operational components important in providing a quality heart failure service.
  7. Assimilate evidence based interprofessional collaborative practice.

Delivery of Content
The content is delivered asynchronous via the online learning management system, Blackboard. The internet provides an opportunity for interaction with program faculty while in the comfort of learning in your own home and office.  Program staff are available during business hours by phone or email to assist participants with technical issues or concerns. 

Note: Many businesses, especially government agencies or health institutions, utilize security firewalls.  Access to web links within program and communication from the instructor, or other students may be blocked. We recommend not using your work email address for this course.

Contact Hours
40 contact hours (8 hours specific to Pharmacotherapeutics)

The program content meets the pharmacology continuing education requirements for the renewal of the advanced practice nurse prescriptive authority license. Nurses will receive 40 total contact hours of which 8 hours are specific to Pharmacology.  

Pharmacists will receive 4 CEUs or 40 contact hours for completion of this program. The Pharmacists Education Foundation is approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmaceutical education. ACPE accreditation #0120-999-16-204-H01-P. Expiration date: January 2, 2019. 

Successful completion of this program does not guarantee expertise in the content. Clinical experience and judgment coupled with an understanding of the content are necessary to attain competency. Achieving certification via a designated professional organization is an additional step to demonstrate competency.

Criteria for Successful Completion

  • Submit registration and payment.
  • A certificate for contact hours will be awarded following successful completion of study guides for each module, receive a passing score of 70% or better on comprehensive final, and submission of program evaluation.

The certificate of completion will be sent via email immediately upon the completion of the program evaluation.

Faculty Name and Credentials
We strive to provide interprofessional education by utilizing a variety of content experts, instructors, contributors, and reviewers.    

Dawn Worman, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Conflict of Interest Statement
There is no conflict of interest for anyone in a position to control content for this activity.

Accreditation with Distinction

The University of Southern Indiana College of Nursing and Health Professions is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. USI was recognized as accredited with distinction through November 30, 2018.

State of California

The University of Southern Indiana is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #13378.

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) School of Nursing and Health Professions works closely with the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance to offer several online continuing pharmacy education (CPE) programs. The Indiana Pharmacists Alliance (IPA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Refer to the course descriptions to determine if the course includes CPE and review the requirements.

Contact Dr. M. Jane Swartz


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