Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Joanne Minnick


Poorly controlled hypertension is a serious public health problem. Persons with high blood pressure are required to perform a variety of self-care behaviors. Advance practice nurses can improve health outcomes for hypertensive patients when they provide self-care education along with prescribing appropriate medications needed to treat high blood pressure. The purpose of this study was to educate rural advance practice nurses about hypertension medication and self-care management using the Hypertension Self-Care Activity Level Effects (H-SCALE) and the 8th National Joint Committee (JNC- 8) hypertensive guidelines. Twelve primary care advanced practices nurses (APN's) participated in an educational presentation that included pre and posttests to evaluate their knowledge about hypertensive patient's self-care activities and first-line medications for hypertensive management. Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory informed the project. Posttest results showed a significant improvement in self-care behaviors and medication knowledge base when compared to the pretest findings. Seventy percent of APN's became aware of new self-care behaviors through the H-Scale, and all reported improved understanding of JNC-8 guidelines. There was also an 80% improvement in the awareness of the first-line medications used to treat hypertensive patients. All of the APN's reported that the self-care module would change the way they treated their hypertensive patients. Getting patients involved in their care is the primary way of improving their lives. This project supports positive social change by educating advanced practice nurses and providing them with the ability to change patient behaviors to improve their health through patient self-care education and healthy lifestyle changes.