Susan Pressler, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA

Susan Pressler, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA

Science of Nursing Care
Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness
Professor, Sally Reahard Endowed Chair, Science of Nursing Care
Director, Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness

Contact Information

Phone: 317-274-4080
Nursing E409, Indianapolis


PhD, Indiana University
MSN, Indiana University
BSN, Indiana State University


Dr. Pressler's program of research is directed at reducing mortality and unnecessary hospitalizations and improving quality of life among patients with heart failure. She has conducted many studies about problems associated with poor outcomes in heart failure. Dr. Pressler's most important studies have been those about cognitive dysfunction and memory loss in heart failure. In the NIH/NINR-funded THINK Study, Dr. Pressler led a team of interdisciplinary colleagues and found that nearly one-fourth of patients with heart failure had memory loss and that this memory loss was an independent predictor of 12-month all-cause mortality. She is now testing innovative computerized cognitive training interventions to improve memory and quality of life among heart failure patients. In the most recent studies, Dr. Pressler and colleagues found that patients who completed computerized cognitive training had improved delayed recall memory, working memory, and increased levels of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a neurotrophin that potentially is an indicator of training effect. Dr. Pressler has widely disseminated her work in more than 100 publications in high quality journals, including Journal of Cardiac Failure, Circulation, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, Heart and Lung, and Nursing Research. In recognition of her contributions to cardiovascular nursing research, in 2015 Dr. Pressler received the prestigious Katharine A. Lembright Award from the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing.     

Dr. Pressler has a longstanding history as a nurse educator and has taught and mentored students at the baccalaureate, master's, and PhD levels. She has chaired 10 PhD dissertation committees and served as a member of 9 PhD dissertation committees. Dr. Pressler is a national leader in cardiovascular nursing. She served as chairperson of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (2007–2009) and a member of the executive committee, Heart Failure Society of America (2002-2008). Currently, Dr. Pressler is serving a six-year term as a member of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and a four-year term as the mentor member of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Early Career Committee.  

Selected Publications

Cameron, J. D., Gallagher, R., Pressler, S. J., McLennan, S. N., Ski, C. F., Tofler, G., & Thompson, D.R. (2016). Sensitivity and specificity of a five-minute cognitive screen in heart failure patients. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 22(2), 99-107.

Chung, M. L., Lennie, T. A., Mudd-Martin, G., Dunbar, S. B., Pressler, S. J., & Moser, D. K. (2016). Depressive symptoms in patients with heart failure negatively affect family caregiver outcomes and quality of life. European Journal of Nursing, 15(1), 30-38. PMID:24829295

Harrison, J., Jung, M., Lennie, T. A., Moser, D. K., Smith, D. G., Dunbar, S. B., Ronis, D. L., . . . Pressler, S. J. (2016). Refusal to participate in heart failure studies: Do age and gender matter? Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25(7-8), 983-981. doi:10.1111/jocn.13135

Pressler, S. J. (2016). Women with heart failure are disproportionately studied as compared to prevalence: A review of published studies from 2013. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 31(1), 84-88. PMID: 25419948

Pressler, S. J., Jung, M., & Friedman, J. (2016). Heart failure and debilitating cardiovascular problems. In L. D. Burgio, J. E. Gaugler, & E. E. Hilgeman (Eds.), The Spectrum of Family Caregiving for Adults and Elders with Chronic Conditions. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.

Von Ah, D., Storey, S., Tallman, E., Nielsen, A., Johns, S. A., & Pressler, S. J. (2016). Cancer, cognitive impairment, and work- related outcomes: An integrative review. Oncology Nursing Forum, 43(5), 602-616. doi:10.1188/16.ONF.602-616

Cameron, J., Kure, C., Pressler, S. J., Ski, C. F., Clark, A. M., & Thompson, D.R. (2015). Diagnostic accuracy of cognitive screening instruments in heart failure: A systematic review. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (published ahead-of-print).

Chou, C. C., Pressler, S. J., & Giordani, B. (2015). Validation of the Chinese version of the Cogstate Computerized Cognitive Assessment Battery in Taiwanese patients with heart failure. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24, 3147-3154.

Heo, S., Lennie, T. A., Pressler, S. J., Dunbar, S. B., Chung, M. L., & Moser, D. K. (2015). Factors associated with perceived control and the relationship to quality of life in patients with heart failure. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing14(2), 137-144. PMID:24434051

Heo, S., Moser, D. K., Pressler, S. J., Dunbar, S. B., Mudd-Martin, G., & Lennie, T.A. (2015). Psychometric properties of the Symptom Status Questionnaire - Heart Failure. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 30(2), 136-144. PMID:24598550

Lee, K., Titler, M., & Pressler, S. J. (2015). Falls in patients with heart failure: A systematic review. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (published ahead-of-print).

Lee, K. S., Lennie, T. A., Dunbar, S. B., Pressler, S. J., Heo, S., Song, E. K., Biddle, M. J., & Moser, D. K. (2015). The association between regular symptom monitoring and self-care management in patients with heart failure. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 30(2), 145-151. PMCID: PMC4098015 [Available on 2016-03-01]

Pressler, S. J., Titler, M., Koelling, T. M., Riley, P. L., Jung, M., Hoyland-Domenico, L., Ronis, D. L., . . .Giordani, B. (2015). Nurse-enhanced computerized cognitive training increases serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and improves working memory in heart failure. Journal of Cardiovascular Failure, 21(8),630-641.

Redman, R. W., Pressler, S. J., Furspan, P., & Potempa, K. (2015). Nurses in the United States with a practice doctorate: Implications for leading in the current context of health care. Nursing Outlook, 63(2), 124-129. PMID:25241137

Sullivan, B. J., Marcuccilli, L., Sloan, R., Gradus-Pizlo, I., Bakas, T., Jung, M., & Pressler, S. J. (2015). Competence, compassion, and care of the self: Family caregiving needs and concerns in heart failure. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. [Epub ahead of print]

Bumpus, S., Brush, B. L., Pressler, S. J., Wheeler, J., Eagle, K. A., & Rubenfire, M. (2014). A transitional care model for patients with acute coronary syndrome. American Journal of Accountable Care, 2(2).

Cameron, J., Pressler, S. J., Ski, C. F., & Thompson, D. R. (2014). Cognitive impairment in HF: Towards a consensus on screening [Editorial]. European Journal of Heart Failure, 16, 235-237. PMID:24464535

Chou, C. C., Pressler, S. J., & Giordani, B. (2014). Predictors of memory performance among Taiwanese postmenopausal women with heart failure. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 20(9), 679-688. PMID: 24954427 [PMC - in process]

Dekker, R. L., Moser, D. K., Tovar, E. G., Chung, M. L., Heo, S., Wu, J. R., Dunbar, S. B., Pressler, S. J., & Lennie, T. A. (2014). Depressive symptoms and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with heart failure. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 13(5), 444-450. PMID:24062026 PMC in process

Heo, S., Moser, D. K., Dekker, R. L., Dunbar, S. B., Pressler, S. J., & Lennie, T.A. (2014). Depressive symptoms and the relationship of inflammation to physical signs and symptoms in heart failure patients. American Journal of Critical Care, 23(5), 404-413. PMCID: PMC4155761 [Available on 2015-09-01]

Song, E. K., Moser, D. K., Dunbar, S. B., Pressler, S. J., & Lennie, T. A. (2014). Dietary sodium restriction below 2 g per day predicted shorter event-free survival in patients with mild heart failure. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 13(6), 541-548. PMID24366983