Susan J. Pressler, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Susan J. Pressler, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Science of Nursing Care
Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness
Professor, Sally Reahard Endowed Chair
Director, Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness
Co-Director, Advanced Training in Self-Management Interventions for Serious Chronic Conditions

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

Abshire DA, Moser DK, Clasey JL, Chung ML, Pressler SJ, Dunbar SB, Heo S, Lennie TA. Body composition and bone mineral density in patients with heart failure. Western J Nurs Res, 2017; 39(4):582-599. PMID: 2741014

Jung M, Jonides J, Northouse L, Berman MG, Koelling TM, Pressler SJ. Randomized crossover study of the natural restorative environment intervention to improve attention and mood in heart failure. J Cardiovasc Nurs, 2017 Sep/Oct;32(5):464-479. PMID: 27755225

Pressler SJ, Harrison J, Titler M, Koelling TM, Jung M, Dorsey SG, Bakoyannis G, Riley PL, Hoyland Domenico L, Giordani B. APOE ε4 and memory among patients with heart failure. West J Nurs Res, 2017; 39(4):455-472. PMID: 27733670.

Heo S, Moser D, Pressler S, Dunbar S, Lee KS, Kim J, Lennie T. Association between obesity and heart failure symptoms in male and female patients. Clinical Obesity, 2017;7(April):77-85. PMID: 28117927.

Konstam MA, Kiernan M, Chandler A, Dhingra R, Mody FV, Eisen H, Haught WH, Wagoner L, Gupta D, Patten R, Gordon P, Korr K, Fileccia R, Pressler SJ, Gregory D, Wedge P, Dowling D, Romeling M, Konstam JM, Massaro JM, Udelson JE for the SECRET of CHF Investigators, Coordinators, and Committee Membeers. Short-term effects of Tolvaptan in patients with acute heart failure and volume overload. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2017;69(11):1409-19. PMID: 17384438.

Cameron J, Gallagher R, Pressler SJ. Detecting and managing cognitive impairment to improve engagement in heart failure self-care. Current Heart Failure Reports, 2017;14(1):13-22. PMID: 28243968.

Harrison JM, Davis MA, Barton DL, Janz NK, Pressler SJ, Friese CR. Functional status and quality of life among breast cancer survivors with heart failure: Results of the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey. Supportive Care in Cancer, 2017;25(8):2463-2473. PMID: 28275898.

Xie B, Larson JL, Gonzalez R, Pressler SJ, Lustig C, Arslanian-Engoren C. Components and indicators of frailty measures: A literature review. J Frailty Aging, 2017;6(2):76-82. PMID: 288555707.

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

Jones LM, Venoit TC, Pressler SJ. Cell phone information seeking explains blood pressure in African  American women. West J Nurs Res, 2018;40(5):617-632 PMID: 28322661.

Pressler SJ, Jung M, Titler M, Lee K, Harrison J. Symptoms, nutrition, pressure ulcers, and return to community among older women with heart failure at skilled nursing facilities: A pilot study. J Cardiovasc Nurs, 2018;33(1):22-29. PMID: 29200058.

Jones L, Coleman-Burns P, Vinoit T, Pressler SJ. Exploring predictors of information use among Midwestern African American women with hypertension. J Immigr Minor Health, 2018;20:569-576. PMID: 28382426.

Harrison JM, Friese CR, Barton DL, Janz NK, Pressler SJ, Davis MA. Heart failure and long-term survival among older women with breast cancer. Onc Nurs Forum, 2018;45(1):77-87. PMID: 29039180.

Yeh A-Y, Pressler SJ, Giordani B, Pozehl B, Berger AM. Integrative review of the relationship between sleep disturbances and episodic memory in older adults. Biol Res Nurs, 2018;20:440-451. PMID: 29618235.

Pressler SJ, Giordani B, Titler M, Gradus-Pizlo I, Smith D, Dorsey SG, Gao S, Jung M. Design and rationale of the Cognitive Intervention to Improve Memory in Heart Failure Patients Study. J Cardiovasc Nurs, 2018;33(4):344-355. PMID: 29601367.

Piano MR, Artinian NT, DeVon HA, Pressler SJ, Hickey KT, Chyun DA. Cardiovascular nursing science priorities: A Statement from the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Nursing. J Cardiovasc Nurs, 2018;33(4):E11-E20. PMID: 29727377.

Halloway S, Arfanakis K, Wilbur J, Schoeny ME, Pressler SJ. Accelerometer physical activity is associated with greater gray matter volumes in older adults without dementia or mild cognitive impairment. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, E-publication available February 8, 2018. 

Pressler SJ, Jung M. Chronic heart failure with memory and attention dysfunction: Old problem, thinking anew. (Editorial). J Am Coll Cardiol:Heart Failure, 2018;6(7):593-595. PMID: 29885956

Lennie TA, Andreae C, Rayens MK, Song EK, Dunbar SJ, Pressler SJ, Heo S, Kim J, Moser DK. Micronutrient deficiency independently predicts time to event in patients with heart failure. JAHA, 2018;7:3007251.

Fish-Trotter H, Collins SP, Shooshan D, Hunter B, Li X, Levy PD, Messina F, Pressler S, Pang PS. Design and rationale of a randomized trial: Using Short-stay Units Instead of Routine Admission to Improve Patient Centered Health Outcomes for Acute Heart Failure Patients (SSU-AHF). Contemp Clin Trials, 2018;72:137-145. PMID: 30125731.

Lee CS, Pressler SJ. Heart failure symptom science: Is adrenergic dysregulation a missing link? (Editorial). Heart & Lung, 2018;47(4):280.

Jung M, Jonides J, Berman MG, Northouse L, Koelling TM, Pressler SJ. Construct validity of the Multi-Source Interference Task to examine attention in heart failure. Nurs Res, 2018;67(6):465-472. PMID: 30153213.

Shieh, C, Cullen DL, Pike C, Pressler SJ. Intervention strategies for preventing excessive gestational   weight gain: Systematic review and meta-analyses. Obes Rev, 2018;19:1093-1109. PMID: 29806187.

Pressler SJ, Jung M, Haedtke C. Interventions transformed through technology to improve cognitive function in heart failure (Invited editorial). J Cardiovasc Nurs, 2019;34(6):430-432. PMID:31609279.

Lee K, Davis MA, Marcotte JE, Pressler SJ, Liang J, Gallagher NA, Titler MG. Falls in community-dwelling older adults with heart failure: A retrospective cohort study. Heart Lung. In press.