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Role of the Nurse in Health Promotion

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Introduction

Health promotion includes providing activities that improve a person’s health. These activities assist patients to “maintain or enhance their present levels of health. Health promotion activities motivate people to act positively to reach more stable levels of health” (Potter & Perry, 2005, p. 97). In order for nurses to assist patients in obtaining healthy lifestyles, they must first assess a patient’s perception of health. The World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (as cited in Potter & Perry, 2005, p. 91). There are many nursing theories that are based on an individual’s perception of health. This paper will explore how health promotion theories can assist nurses in understanding how these perceptions can affect a person’s lifestyle choices.

Health Promotion Theories

According to Potter and Perry (2005), “a nursing theory is a conceptualization of some aspect of nursing communicated for the purpose of describing, explaining, predicting, and/or prescribing nursing care” (p. 62). Nurses use theory to assist in providing education and care to their patients. Utilization of nursing theories enhances the nurse’s ability to use concepts that have been researched and proven in the application of nursing care.

Behavior is an important keyword when discussing health promotion theories because lifestyle modification requires a change in beliefs and attitude. Many health promotion theories explain how behavior can enhance or deter a patients progress in health related activities. Nola Pender, a nursing theorist and educator, has developed the Health Promotion Model (HPM). The three main parts of the HPM ar...

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