Nursing: New Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension

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About the Course

Audience: This course is intended for advanced practice nurses who manage patients with hypertension and/or prescribe hypertensive medications.

Course Overview: This program is intended to provide a hypertension treatment overview. Safe and effective prescribing decisions must be guided by an in-depth understanding of each agent: how it works, how to dose it, anticipated adverse events, drug interactions, etc. When combination drugs are included, there may be as many as 200 different pharmacological options (both individual agents, as well as combination products) that are approved by FDA for the treatment of hypertension. As a result, this educational program is designed only to highlight the major categories of therapeutics by identifying key products and characterizing them as a class. In an attempt to provide perspective, an effort was made to provide highlights of clinically meaningful outcomes studies for the various drug classes.


  • Characterize the different stages of high blood pressure including elevated blood pressure, Stage 1 hypertension, Stage 2 hypertension and hypertensive crisis.
  • Distinguish between primary (also known as essential) and secondary hypertension.
  • Describe two myths associated with the symptoms of hypertension.
  • Name three factors implicated in the development of hypertension.
  • Identify three components of the DASH diet.
  • Name one antihypertensive agent identified by JNC 8 for initial treatment of black hypertensive patients.
  • List three class side effects associated with the use of beta blockers.
  • Identify one advantage to using combination drug products to treat hypertension.
  • Describe one neurologic abnormality potentially associated with a hypertensive emergency.

About the Author

Bradley Gillespie, PharmD

Bradley Gillespie, PharmD, trained as a clinical pharmacist and has practiced in an industrial setting for the past 20-plus years. His initial role was clinical pharmacology and biopharmaceutics reviewer at the FDA, followed by 15 years of leading early development programs in the pharma/biotech/nutritional industries. Currently, he supports efforts at the National Institutes of Health to develop therapeutics for rare and neglected diseases. In addition to his industrial focus, he remains a registered pharmacist and operates a medical writing business, with a focus on developing health professional continuing education programs.

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