Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Diane Whitehead


Heart failure (HF) is a serious public health problem associated with high mortality rates, hospital readmissions, and health care costs. Transitional care has emerged as a disease management model used to reduce readmissions for hospital-discharged patients with HF. However, the efficacy of an advanced practice nurse (APN)-led transitional care program (TCP) in readmission reduction is under debate. The practice question for this project examined the extent to which an APN-led TCP was effective in reducing 30-day all-cause readmissions for hospital-discharged HF patients. The logic model was the framework guiding this program evaluation. An analysis of quality improvement HF data from September 2015 to August 2016 was reviewed for one hospital in southern California. The APN-led TCP included 47 patients and had 7 patients with 30-day readmissions. The physicians' group included 298 patients and had 53 patients with 30-day readmissions. The results of chi-square analysis revealed a nonsignificant association between 30-day readmissions and post-discharge care providers [Ï? 2 (1, N = 345) = 0.236, p = 0.627], and the HF 30-day readmission rates were the same between two groups. The APN-led TCP served a large proportion of Medi-Cal patients (48.94%) who had less primary care access, while the majority of patients in the physicians' group were Medicare (51%) who had primary care providers. This project highlights the positive social changes that advanced practice nurses affect via their critical leadership and clinical roles in increasing care access for the low-income population. Further studies on payer sources and readmissions are recommended on the efficacy of APN-led TCP in readmission reduction.