Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Emergency Nursing


Acute coronary syndrome, Chest pain, Signs and symptoms, Emergency nursing, Myocardial infarction, Sex



Emergency nurses must quickly identify patients with potential acute coronary syndrome. However, no recent nationwide research has explored nurses’ knowledge of acute coronary syndrome symptoms. The purpose of this study was to explore emergency nurses’ recognition of acute coronary syndrome symptoms, including whether nurses attribute different symptoms to women and men.


We used a cross-sectional, descriptive design using an online survey. Emergency nurses from across the United States were recruited using postcards and a posting on the Emergency Nurses Association website. Demographic data and participants’ recognition of acute coronary syndrome symptoms, using the Acute Coronary Syndrome Symptom Checklist, were collected. Descriptive statistics and ordinal regression were used to analyze the data.


The final sample included 448 emergency nurses with a median 7.0 years of emergency nursing experience. Participants were overwhelmingly able to recognize common acute coronary syndrome symptoms, although some symptoms were more often associated with women or with men. Most participants believed that women and men’s symptoms were either “slightly different” (41.1%) or “fairly different” (42.6%). Nurses who completed training for the triage role were significantly less likely to believe that men and women have substantially different symptoms (odds ratio 0.47; 95% CI 0.25-0.87).


Emergency nurses were able to recognize common acute coronary syndrome symptoms, but some reported believing that the symptom experience of men and women is more divergent than what is reported in the literature.



This is the accepted manuscript of an article first published in Journal of Emergency Nursing 50, no. 2 (March 2024): P254-263.

Available for download on Saturday, May 03, 2025

Included in

Nursing Commons