What is it about?

In the light of the fact that it is known that much of nursing-related health promotion practice is ‘out-of-step’ with the wider health promotion community, it seems sensible to explore to what extent this is the case and the reasons why.

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Why is it important?

This article examines the key issues related to compare and contrast nursing and the wider health promotion community in terms of health promotion practice, policy and education. In doing so, and in noting any differences, it is possible to put forward recommendations for any needed reform – so that, where differences can be reconciled, nursing health promotion is seen to be in alignment with other health professions and the general health promotion community at large.


While progress has been made by nursing in its contribution to the field of health promotion, this effort has not always been as concerted or sustained as with the more general health promotion community. The encoura- ging note, of late, is that more evident pockets of effective nursing-related health education health promotion work are emerging in the practice arena. Unfortunately, this health-related clinical work is still being marred by the continuing lack of both clear theory and policy – as a means to underpin and validate its basis. Any debate put forward, such as in this article, is useful in that it questions current issues and challenges existing practices. Such discussion can only serve to assist further understanding and, hopefully, help to underpin further collaborative reform. If nursing wishes to reconcile its current health promotion predicaments, so that its practices are more aligned and attuned to the wider health promotion community, then more of this discussion is required – especially at the ‘coal-face’.

Dr Dean Whitehead
Flinders University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Reconciling the differences between health promotion in nursing and ‘general’ health promotion, International Journal of Nursing Studies, June 2009, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.12.014.
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