Women and Heart Disease

Course #33223 - $75 -


More than one in three women in the United States suffers from heart disease. This fact has stimulated the lay and scientific communities, and heart disease is now gaining recognition as a significant health issue for women. The purpose of this course is to discuss realities and uncertainties about heart disease in women. To date, progress has been made in defining the incidence of heart disease in women and how the two genders differ in regard to cardiac anatomy and physiology. In addition, both traditional and gender-specific coronary risk factors have been studied, along with the reliability of conventional cardiac diagnostic tests in women. However, many uncertainties remain because, for many years, women have largely been excluded from research on the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. In particular, cardiac symptomatology of women may differ from the classic textbook cases seen in men. Clinical outcomes of women receiving standard medical and surgical treatments remain another area of uncertainty. Healthcare professionals who participate in this course will be able to identify the unique challenges that face women, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment issues. Patients will benefit from this advanced knowledge base as healthcare providers strengthen their roles as patient advocates and educators. This will help women to receive appropriate and timely treatment, as well as preventive and follow-up care.

Education Category: Women's Health - Maternal / Child
Release Date: 01/01/2020
Expiration Date: 12/31/2022

Table of Contents


This course is designed for all nurses in family practice or medical/surgical areas, especially critical care or cardiac units.

Accreditations & Approvals

In support of improving patient care, NetCE is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. NetCE is approved by the California Nursing Home Administrator Program as a provider of continuing education. Provider number 1622. NetCE is approved to offer continuing education through the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators, Provider #50-2405. NetCE is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 15 ANCC contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 5 pharmacotherapeutic/pharmacology contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 18 hours for Alabama nurses. This home study course is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators for 15 credit hour(s). This course is approved by the California Nursing Home Administrator Program for 10 hour(s) of continuing education credit - NHAP#1622010-8627/P. California NHAs may only obtain a maximum of 10 hours per course. AACN Synergy CERP Category A. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 1.5 CEU(s) for this program.

Individual State Nursing Approvals

In addition to states that accept ANCC, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by: Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, (valid through July 29,2025); Arkansas, Provider #50-2405; California, BRN Provider #CEP9784; California, LVN Provider #V10662; California, PT Provider #V10842; District of Columbia, Provider #50-2405; Florida, Provider #50-2405; Georgia, Provider #50-2405; Kentucky, Provider #7-0054 through 12/31/2023; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405. West Virginia RN and APRN, Provider #50-2405.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to identify the unique challenges that face women with heart disease, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the morbidity and mortality associated with heart disease, especially in women.
  2. Describe how female cardiac anatomy and physiology differs from men's.
  3. Discuss the role that traditional risk factors play in the development of heart disease in women.
  4. List gender-specific risk factors for heart disease in women.
  5. Identify reasons heart disease is more complex to diagnose in women.
  6. Compare and contrast the efficacy of non- invasive and invasive cardiac diagnostic tests in women.
  7. Describe the basic types and variations of angina and their prevalence in women.
  8. Compare and contrast the usual clinical course of women with angina versus myocardial infarction (MI).
  9. Discuss common complications seen in women post-MI.
  10. Discuss clinical outcomes of medical treatment options in women with heart disease.
  11. Discuss the preoperative status of women undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery and the implications this status may have on postoperative outcomes.
  12. Describe the research base related to the clinical outcomes of women who participate in formal cardiac rehabilitation programs.
  13. Identify nursing diagnoses and appropriate nursing interventions that are applicable to women with heart disease during the acute phase.
  14. Discuss primary and secondary prevention strategies for women.
  15. Identify at least two reasons why women were formerly excluded from clinical trials related to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
  16. Identify areas where further research is needed in relation to heart disease and women.


Margo A. Halm, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, received an Associate Degree of Nursing in 1981 from Iowa Central Community College, a BSN and Master of Arts in Nursing from the University of Iowa, in 1985 and 1987 respectively, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2005. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurse's, and Sigma Theta Tau International. Dr. Halm has presented nationally and internationally, coauthored articles, and conducted nursing research studies on topics such as epidural analgesia, complementary therapies, women and heart disease, family presence during resuscitation and other family-centered interventions. Currently, Dr. Halm practices as the Associate Chief Nurse Executive of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice at the VA Portland Health Care System in Portland, OR.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Margo A. Halm, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

Jane C. Norman, RN, MSN, CNE, PhD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

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