UNCG Campus Weekly

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Dr. Kelly Stamp leads with the heart

Portrait photo of Kelly StampLast year, Dr. Kelly Stamp joined the UNC Greensboro School of Nursing as Eloise R. Lewis Excellence Professor and department chair of Family and Community Nursing.

In June, Stamp was named the new president of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, which is dedicated to the improvement of heart failure patient outcomes through education, clinical practice and research. For Campus Weekly’s Spotlight this week, Stamp tells us a bit about AAHFN and how her work can be of interest to our campus community.

What do you plan to bring to the organization as the new president?

The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) is a strong organization with approximately 3,000 members that educate and advocate for heart failure nurses and patients. In addition, AAHFN stays on the cutting edge of creating and implementing evidence-based care for the positive outcomes of heart failure patients.

As president, I plan to continue the mission of uniting professionals, patients and caregivers in the support and advancement of heart failure practice, education and research. We will do this through growing our membership and sponsors, improving our marketing initiatives, broadening our patient and nurse focused educational offerings via an online platform and continue to offer the only heart failure certification exam for nurses.

In May 2018, we started The Heart Failure Patient Foundation, which will be a 501c3 that will allow donors a tax deduction for their gift. This foundation will provide more resources to heart failure patients as they navigate their disease trajectory. We also have more exciting initiatives around this that will be announced to the public shortly. In addition, we will continue our advocacy efforts for patients to receive the necessary resources so they can take advantage of the latest evidence-based treatment therapies. Last, but not least we will continue to be on the forefront of bringing nurse scientists and heart failure nurse clinicians together to lead the way in nursing research and translation of evidence into practice. We are so excited about our new initiatives and cannot wait to bring updates of our progress throughout the year.

What do you appreciate about the organization?

I appreciate that AAHFN is the only organization that is dedicated to advancing the knowledge and networking of heart failure nurses and patients. Heart failure nurses are our everyday heroes that are on the frontline in fighting the battle of heart failure with their patients’ day in and day out. As president, I constantly hear stories from patients about how their heart failure nurse helped them through a very scary phase of their heart failure treatment and how they would not have received a particular therapy if not for their heart failure nurse.

Our organization stands by these nurses and patients to advocate for the necessary resources to improve patient outcomes. In addition, we not only educate, but certify nurses in their specialty. We did not just create a certification exam to say that certified heart failure nurses performed better, we tested it!

A nurse researcher conducted a study with a sample of 605 nurses to test how well certified heart failure and non-certified heart failure nurses performed with providing evidenced based care and decision-making. It was found that certified heart failure nurses performed significantly better with providing evidence-based heart failure care and decision-making than non-certified heart failure nurses. The results were published in the Heart & Lung Journal in early 2018.

What opportunities can this bring to UNCG?

Every nurse in every specialty will encounter a heart failure patient during their career. My presidency of the AAHFN can bring awareness of the importance of heart failure nursing and the resources that the AAHFN can provide to our community. UNCG supported the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Heart Walk in May 2018 to shed a light on cardiovascular disease and now I hope that UNCG will work with the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) to shed light on the impact of heart failure, which is the end point of most cardiovascular diseases.

With UNCG’s support we can together raise awareness of the impact of heart failure and how we can come together as a community to improve the outcomes of this devastating disease. Approximately 5.7 million Americans have heart failure – it is significant and we can make a difference. I hope that during my Presidency, our nurses, nursing students, providers from affiliated healthcare hospitals and agencies, and other health related specialties across campus will become members of AAHFN to support our mission and vision for the future of heart failure patients, nurses and advanced practice providers.

*For more information about The Heart Failure Patient Foundation and donations, contact Karyn Lockshine at

By Susan Kirby-Smith