Cardiac rehabilitation, the structured programming of exercise and risk reduction teaching and counseling to promote healthy living with heart disease, is grounded in a strong nurse-patient relationship. This relationship provides a foundation for meeting current healthcare challenges. Three challenges are presented and addressed through specific examples. The challenge of the changing cardiac rehabilitation population is addressed through the example of the heart failure patient. The challenge to create innovative programming is addressed through the example of the Therapeutic Rehabilitative Intensive Program, developed to meet the needs of people who live in communities without cardiac rehabilitation services. The challenge to measure outcomes is addressed through the example of choosing a blood pressure measurement method. In addressing each challenge, the role of the advanced practice nurse is described.

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