The Importance of Health Promotion for Family Nurse Practitioners

The Importance of Health Promotion for Family Nurse Practitioners

A relatively new methodology called health promotion has slowly gained momentum toward becoming the new de facto philosophy among family nurse practitioner job outlook. This trend has emerged from the desire to unify ideals that comprise the role of nurse practitioners in the community; community, versus individual or group, provider focus; and patient management caregiving practices.

Most practicing nurses have not adopted this new ideology. However, many influencers in the medical field have lobbied for health promotion at the academic level.

The Health Promotion Model

Despite the primary focus, family centered health promotion encompasses the tasks that nurses perform to produce positive outcomes for communities, groups, and individuals. The theoretical foundation outlines community and public health oriented thinking for nurse practitioners.

Registered nurse, professor and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing Nola Pender Ph.D. engineered the health promotion model for use as an accompaniment to existing value systems. [1] The construct encourages nurse practitioners to view health conditions as an ever-changing variable and allows them to interpret how environmental influences affect client wellness.

Pender developed the concept around three primary tenants: individuality, outcomes produced by personal habits, and outcomes produced by subconscious thought processes. Among the tenants, outcomes produced by subconscious thought processes hold considerable relevance in how consumers participate in wellness plans. The health promotion philosophy helps nurse practitioners shape this consumer characteristic to produce improved quality of life, increased functioning, and positive outcomes.

The Health Promotion Experience for Current Practitioners

A 2016 US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health journal reports that nurses at one institution felt that health promotion was critical. [2] However, this perspective had a double meaning with some nurses speaking in general and others believing that this depended on a patient’s current condition.

Nurses participating in the study reported that building rapport with consumers increased in difficulty with condition severity. Additionally, the practitioners stated that patient motivation levels influenced how much consumers complied with wellness plans. Despite these challenges, the nurses reported that promoting wellness proved easier in environments such as those produced by the health promotion methodology.

Major Concepts of the Health Promotion Model

The health promotion model operates under a few basic assumptions. [3] Firstly, consumers desire autonomy and experience a two-way relationship with their environment where they progressively change and conform to their surroundings simultaneously. Secondly, this includes the influence exerted by medical professionals. Finally, shaping the treatment environment influences consumer cognitive patterns.

The health promotion model also operates under multiple theoretical statements that aid practitioners in investigating health behavior, part of which state that how consumers feel about themselves and perceive obstacles can help or hinder participation in wellness plans. This and a few other theoretical constructs delineate the ideologies that support health promotion.

Health Promotion Resources for Family Nurse Practitioners

To aid organizations in health promotion management, the National Business Coalition on Health (NCBH) publishes the online Value Based Purchasing (VBP) guide, which educates stakeholders on implementing and managing health promotion programs [4]. The NCBH describes health promotion as both an art and a science that helps consumers to discover passions while supporting their journey toward obtaining optimal health. The NCBH website links to resources such as:

● Health promotion websites
● Health risk assessments
● Internet applications
● Productivity tools
● Software vendors
● Wellness organizations

These tools represent a few of the many resources available to learn about and manage health promotion activities.

Benefits for Community Wellness

A report published by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Series titled “Promoting Health, Preventing Disease: An Economic Case” explores how societal and organizational cultures produce unquantifiable costs as well as benefits. [1] Failing behaviors and systems, such as unchecked consumer smoking and upwardly spiraling health care costs, can invoke intervention on a legislative level or via other incontestable forces.

The health promotions philosophy encompasses resolving the cause of problems, rather than the symptoms, by providing constituents critical information. Consequently, nursing professionals who practice the method empower consumers with scientifically proven facts in a timely manner.

Why Defining a Care Philosophy Matters

Health promotion represents the latest thinking in best practices for nurse-patient relations. [6] While groups such as the World Health Organization (WHO) publish information concerning care methods, not all nurse practitioners are privy to these resources.

Professional experiences influence how nurses view service delivery. Without updated resources, practitioners must resort to providing care using experience and available information. Therefore, organizational leaders must provide nurse practitioners with current resources to promote and maintain community wellness.

Practitioners have yet to lobby for health promotions on the legislative front. However, some consumer health advocates work toward this end. Eventually nurse practitioners may sway the medical field toward adopting the methodology in academic and organizational settings.

Learn More

Family nurse practitioners play a major role in today’s health care field. The responsibilities of FNPs have evolved alongside that of physicians, which means additional opportunities, autonomy, and authority. At Regis, our online Master of Science in Nursing FNP degree can help you develop the specialized skill set you need to practice at the advanced level.

Recommended Readings:

Career Outlook: Family Nurse Practitioner
How Nurse Practitioners Can Become Community Advocates


[1] Nursing Theory – Health Promotion Model
[2] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
[4] National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions
[5] European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Series