Improving hypertension control and cardiovascular health: An urgent call to action for nursing

Judith A. Hannan, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, Natsuko Tokieda, Alison P. Smith, Kate Sustersic Gawlik, Linda Murakami, Jennifer Cooper, Susan Koob, Kathy D. Wright, Doreen Cassarino, Cynthia Arslanian-Engoren, Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hypertension is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and affects nearly one in two adults in the United States when defined as a blood pressure of at least 130/80 mm Hg or on antihypertensive medication (Virani et al., 2021, Circulation, 143, e254). Long-standing disparities in hypertension awareness, treatment, and control among racial and ethnic populations exist in the United States. High-quality evidence exists for how to prevent and control hypertension and for the role nurses can play in this effort. In response to the 2020 Surgeon General's Call to Action to Control Hypertension, nursing leaders from 11 national organizations identified the critical roles and actions of nursing in improving hypertension control and cardiovascular health, focusing on evidence-based nursing interventions and available resources. Aims: To develop a unified “Call to Action for Nurses” to improve control of hypertension and cardiovascular health and provide information and resources to execute this call. Methods: This paper outlines roles that registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, schools of nursing, professional nursing organizations, quality improvement nurses, and nursing researchers can play to control hypertension and prevent CVD in the United States. It describes evidence-based interventions to improve cardiovascular health and outlines actions to bring hypertension and CVD to the forefront as a national priority for nursing. Linking Evidence to Action: Evidence-based interventions exist for nurses to lead efforts to prevent and control hypertension, thus preventing much CVD. Nurses can take actions in their communities, their healthcare setting, and their organization to translate these interventions into real-world practice settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalWorldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • blood pressure
  • blood pressure measurement
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cardiovascular health
  • community interventions
  • health equity
  • healthcare disparities
  • hypertension
  • lifestyle coaching
  • nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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