Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2020

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Joseph Burkard, DNSc

Second Advisor

Richard Mallo, MD


Background: High blood pressure affects millions of people, including children and adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in every 3 adults or approximately 75 million American adults are affected with high blood pressure. High blood pressure often does not cause any signs and symptoms, which is why it is also known as the “silent killer,” and many people are not aware that they have elevated blood pressure (AHA, 2017). If high blood pressure is not controlled, it can lead to other heart diseases such as stroke. It can also cause other health problems, which can affect the eyes and kidneys.

Purpose of the Study: Individuals diagnosed with hypertension are at risk for developing complications due to a lack of knowledge and education on the importance and ways of managing their disease. The purpose of this project is to empower and educate newly diagnosed patients with hypertension on how to self-manage their disease to reduce complications. Lifestyle modifications such as exercise, adopting the dietary approach to stop hypertension (DASH) diet, reducing sodium intake, and medication adherence will all be included in the education.

Methods: Patients that were diagnosed within the past five (5) years, can speak and read in English or have an immediate family member that lives with the patient and can speak or read in English will be encouraged to join in this evidence-based practice project. Patients and their caregivers will be educated through a self-care model with a focus on medication adherence and lifestyle modifications as recommended by AHA, ACC, and JNC-8 guidelines.

Results: This evidenced-based project showed a significant decrease of 9.71 mmHg in systolic blood pressure (SBP) for those who adhere to taking their prescribed hypertensive medications. Those who followed the DASH diet showed an improvement in their SBP by 5.38 mmHg within six (6) months.

Significance: Empowering patients with hypertension through self-managed care is essential in reducing complications. Adhering to lifestyle modifications such as the DASH diet, reducing sodium intake, and engaging in regular exercise, in addition to taking the prescribed hypertensive medications, are all significant factors in reducing the risk of high blood pressure. Increasing education, awareness, and counseling on managing their disease can lead to a reduction in SBP, which can eventually lead to a decrease in complications, mortality, and morbidity.

Included in

Nursing Commons