Carolyn Miller Reilly

Carolyn Miller Reilly

Professor, clinical track | PhD, RN, CHFN-K, CNE, FAHA, FAAN


Dr. Carolyn Reilly is a Professor, clinical track, within the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. Clinically, Dr. Reilly has devoted more than 30 years caring for critically ill and cardiovascular patients as a bedside nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist. It is from this point of reference that she teaches the EKG elective, anything cardiac in the undergraduate programs, and Coordinates the Complex Care Course.

Dr. Reilly’s research centers on promoting self-care in persons suffering from or at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This has included several studies managing self-care and symptoms in persons with heart failure. Clinical adaptation of this work has led to the development of educational programs and instruments for those with heart failure and congenital heart disease. Currently, she is involved with cardio-oncology research focused on the early detection and prevention of CVD.
Dr. Reilly is well-published, served on several AHA and AAHFN writing groups, and is a reviewer for several cardiovascular and critical care journals. She has been active in several professional organizations serving as a Director for the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, Membership Chair for the Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Council of the American Heart Association, and Vice President for the Southern Nursing Research Society.

Areas of Expertise

Acute and Chronic Care
Cardiovascular Health
Symptom Science
Acute and Chronic Care
Cardiovascular Health
Symptom Science


  • ‡* Bidwell JT, Lee CS, Higgins MK, Reilly CM, Clark PC, Dunbar SB (2020). Caregiver Strain and Heart Failure Patient Clinical Event Risk: An Extension of Previous Work. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 35 (3), 262-267.
  • * Graven, LJ, Higgins, MK, Reilly, CM, & Dunbar, SB (2020). Heart Failure Symptoms Profile Associated With Depressive Symptoms. Clinical Nursing Research, 29(2), 73–83.
    Cresci S, Pereira NL, Ahmad F, Byku, M, de las Fuentes L, Lanfear DE, Reilly CM, Owens AT, Wolf MJ (2019). Heart Failure in the Era of Precision Medicine: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation: Genomics and Precision Medicine, 12(10):458-485. doi: 10.1161/HCG.0000000000000058. Epub 2019 Sep 12.
    Campia U, Moslehi Javid J, Amiri-Kordestani L, Barac A, Beckman Joshua A, Chism David D, Cohen P, Groarke John D, Herrmann J, Reilly CM, Weintraub Neal L, null n. (2019) Cardio-Oncology: Vascular and Metabolic Perspectives: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019;139(13):e579-e602. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000641.
  • ‡* Spikes T, Higgins M, Quyyumi A, Reilly CM, Pemu P, Dunbar S (2019). The Relationship Among Health Beliefs, Depressive Symptoms, Medication Adherence, and Social Support in African Americans With Hypertension. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 34 (1): 44-51.
  • * Bidwell JT, Higgins MK, Reilly CM, Clark PC, Dunbar SB (2018) Shared heart failure knowledge and self-care outcomes in patient-caregiver dyads, Heart and Lung, 47(1):32-39. PMID: 29153759.
  • ‡* Butts, B. Higgins MK, Dunbar SB, Reilly CM (2018) Third Times a Charm: factor analysis and psychometric testing and update of the Atlanta Heart Failure Knowledge Test, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 33(1):13-21. PMID:28481824.
  • ‡* McCabe N, Butler J, Dunbar S, Higgins M, Reilly CM. (2017). Six-Minute Walk Distance Predicts 30-day Readmission After Acute Heart Failure Hospitalization. Heart & Lung. 2017 May 24. pii: S0147-9563(17)30122-X. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2017.04.001. [Epub ahead of print].
  • *Wu JR, Reilly CM, Holland J, Higgins M, Clark PC, & Dunbar SB. (2017). The relationship between health literacy and heart failure knowledge and self-care among patients living with heart failure and their family members. Journal of Family Nursing. 2017 Feb; 23 (1); 116-137. DOI: 10.1177/1074840716684808.
  • *Stamp KD, Dunbar SB, Clark PC, Reilly CM, Gary RA, Higgins M, Ryan RM. (2016). Family partner intervention influences self-care confidence and treatment self-regulation in patients with heart failure. European journal of cardiovascular nursing: journal of the Working Group on Cardiovascular Nursing of the European Society of Cardiology. 2016; 15(5):317-27. NIHMSID: NIHMS659436.


Dr. Reilly teaches in both the undergraduate BSN and doctoral programs at the School of Nursing. In the undergraduate program, Dr. Reilly has primarily taught acute and complex patient care in both the clinical and classroom settings, with recent endeavors to develop a critical care certification program. In the doctoral program, she enjoys teaching Principles of Health Outcomes (N710), a course that includes quality of life outcomes and economic analysis, areas of her expertise and scholarship. One of the innovations in this course is the focus on formal and informal student presentations, preparing the future scholar for the verbal defense of their research.


My research's central theme has been to improve clinical, functional, and economic outcomes of persons with or at risk for heart failure through the provision of patient education and behavioral strategies to assist patients in their adherence to prescribed treatments and therapies.


  • 2019 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
  • 2019 Woodruff Leadership Academy Fellow
  • 2017 Jean Thomas Award for Creativity in Teaching, Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2014 Nursing Investigator Award, Heart Failure Society of America
  • 2012 Fellow of the American Heart Association
  • 2012 Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, Emory University
  • 2011 Martha N. Hill New Investigator Award Finalist, American Heart Association