Heart failure affects more than 350,000 Canadians and costs over $1 billion annually for inpatient care alone. Consensus guidelines have been developed to guide care and improve quality of life based on current evidence or best practice. This article will provide a brief overview of medications and lifestyle modifications described in guidelines developed by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Heart Failure Society of America, and the European Society of Cardiology. Medications for treating heart failure can be divided into two groups: those with a mortality benefit (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, beta-blockers, and selective aldosterone receptor antagonists), and those that improve symptoms (diuretics and cardiac glycosides). Nursing implications include careful assessment of volume status, vital signs, monitoring electrolyte and renal function, as well as spacing of medications. Nurses play a key role in assisting patients to identify their lifestyle habits that require modifications, ultimately improving their quality of life and decreasing hospital readmissions. Education focusing on self-care activities, diet, rest, and exercise enables patients to retain a sense of control in their lives.