Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Melody Noland

Second Advisor

Dr. Kim Miller

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine student nurses’ perceptions of (1) the role of the nurse in health promotion, and (2) how the concept of health promotion is presented in nursing curricula. Research questions for this study included the following: 1) Can nursing students explain the difference between health education and health promotion? 2) What have nursing students been exposed to within their curriculum regarding health promotion? 3) What health promoting behaviors are nursing faculty role modeling as perceived by nursing students? 4) What is the role of the nurse in implementing health promotion as perceived by nursing students? 5) How do nursing students define health? Attendees of the 57 Annual National Student Nurse Association (NSNA) Convention were asked to complete an anonymous survey. A total of n= 227 surveys were returned resulting in a participation rate of 47%.

The findings from this study indicated that student nurses’ perceptions regarding the role of the nurse in health promotion revolve primarily around the concept of changing individual health behavior. While there are some indications that nursing students were exposed to the idea of health promotion as a socio-ecological approach that incorporates economic, policy, organizational and environmental changes, the majority of student nurses did not see faculty or nurses role-modeling a socio-ecological approach, nor did the students see themselves as participating in a more socio-ecological approach. For nurses to be recognized as health promoters, collaborate with health promotion leaders, and effectively teach nursing education, changes need to be made in the nursing curriculum to reflect appropriate and accurate health promotion concepts.

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