Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Patricia Schweickert


Obesity increases the severity of cardiac disease, leading to increased mortality and morbidity. The need to address obesity is critical in reducing obesity-associated complications such as heart failure, strokes, heart attacks, and even death. Obesity is also a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and depression. Evidence has shown that obese individuals with cardiac disease are at increased risk of developing complications. The practice-focused question for this doctoral project asked whether a group educational program could increase obesity knowledge among cardiac care clinic nurses. The purpose of this DNP project was to provide a group nursing educational program that effectively increased nursing knowledge of obesity in adults with cardiac disease. Benner’s novice to expert model guided the project in assessing specific nursing knowledge of obesity in the cardiac population. The project participants consisted of 10 registered nurses from a cardiac care clinic. The approach utilized a pre-posttest using the Obesity Health Risk Knowledge (ORK-10) Questionnaire to measure the group educational intervention’s ability to improve nursing knowledge. Data to answer the project question were analyzed via nonparametric statistics using Wilcoxon Sign Test. The result showed a significant increase in knowledge among nurses who participated in the program (z = -2.848, p <0.001). This project may contribute to social change by providing nursing education to increase obesity knowledge in cardiac care nurses who can transfer the knowledge to the patients, leading to increased likelihood to treat obesity, decrease health complications, and improve the health of populations with cardiac disease.