Graduate nursing students were surveyed to determine the knowledge and attitudes of cardiovascular disease prevention Questionnaires were self-administered to first-year graduate nursing students (n= 50) in a school of nursing prior to and following a physiology course with cardiovascular disease prevention content In general, the results demonstrated that the respondents were least knowledgeable regarding the prevalence of smoking, the gender differences in high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels, the influence of body weight on lipids and the recommended percentages of calories from dietary fat A significant improvement in knowledge was noted after the course Positive attitudes regarding the importance of cardiovascular disease prevention and the partnership between patients and clinicians necessary to manage risk were identified These attitudes did not change significantly following the course These results indicate that graduate education which emphasizes cardiovascular disease prevention increases knowledge Coupled with positive attitudes and healthy personal lifestyle behaviours, knowledge of cardiovascular disease prevention may enhance the ability of nurses to integrate preventive standards into clinical practice and ultimately decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease