Theory Choice: Health Promotion Model by Nola Pender

Theory Choice: Health Promotion Model by Nola Pender

The popularity of Nola Pender can be majorly seen in her formulation of the Health Promotion Model (HPM) which is a global theory model that purposes to educate and improve the practice of student as well as practicing nurses. The theory formulated by Nola was inspired by the need to improve the health status of both adults and adolescents. Key focus was on making their lifestyles active. She was further prompted to create a number of instruments that estimated the components of the model. The main advantage created by Nora’s model is that it helps to both prevent and promote the health of the individual. In addition to the prevention and promotional components provided by Nora’s model, there are research incentives and information platforms created for the nurse.

Nora came to realize that through her theory the general public could avoid illnesses and maintain healthy lifestyles. This particular model is critical to the nursing practice as nurses get to personally interact with the patient, their family members and friends. If the nurses can manage to put Nora’s model into action, common illnesses that result from unhealthy human states can be avoided and in the process a lot of finances saved. Before Nora adopted the Health Promotion Model, she had tried to research on a number of models but the results consistently gave negative results. Following this development, Nora decided to focus on positive motivation. The theory is beneficial to the nursing sector based on its health recommendations and improved ability to create awareness on the prime establishers of health behaviors (Diclemente, Crosby & Kegler, 2009). Nora realized that the environment in which human beings live in directly influences their well-being and therefore sought to understand the manner in which man relates with his immediate environment. Several components came up especially on the personal, social and universal factors that influence the positive existence of a human being. The research methodologies that she utilized recognized the important part played by public health, nursing practices and psychology among other factors in influencing behavioral patterns in people. The individuals being considered here are perceived to be divided into two groups; those who recognize the importance of health activities and those who don’t. Both groups, once made aware of the various health benefits associated with HPM, will place additional focus on physical activities and aid in efforts towards realization of general positive public health.

The model is significant in improving behavioral counseling such that healthy existence will be encouraged. An additional application of the model is in the structuring of protocols in the profession and interventions in health care situations. Essentially, patients experience various health conditions and some are either caused or aggravated by physical unfitness. An example is people with cardiac problems who might develop minor complications depending on their nutrition or physical activity habits. Comprehensive assessment of their past and present nutrition as well as physical activity habits might reveal the factor causing the recurring problem that negatively impacts on the cardiac system of the individual (Peterson and Bredow, 2009).

The theory describes a person to be a biophysical organism that depends on the environment to gain various critical components in life such as oxygen, warmth and consumable resources. The behavior that this individual exhibits is influenced by personal characteristics (Peterson and Bredow, 2009). The environmental therefore creates a context where cultural as well as social constructs are manifested and consequentially impact on the life of the person. This environment is considered to be changing with time hence the individual can learn and understand it in order to manually adjust it to fit his or her needs.

In order to better understand this relationship, let us consider that a potential patient had previously adopted a particular behavior. Maybe this behavior was focused on improved physical status for improved health status. In addition to the previous behaviors of the individual, personal influences might have prompted the individual to engage in consultation over potential benefits of an active physical lifestyle. Here there are barriers that may arise to hinder the individual from realizing this optimal physical positive health and the ability of the individual to overcome these barriers may vary.

Apart from the personal influences, interpersonal influences also enter the picture. In this dimension the concern is on whether there is a family member or friend that promotes increased physical activity, an individual in the society who will encourage one to be physically active and an individual in one’s family who practices a physically active lifestyle. This particular dimension is aimed at identifying the potential support areas and promotional elements that might encourage the patient to continue with the health promotion model given. Essentially, the individual in question will have to pre-contemplate, contemplate, plan, act and maintain the adopted physical active lifestyle.

This particular theory model is relevant especially in the nursing field where health practitioners could apply it in their daily roles. Nurses, compared with doctors and other health institution staff, get to interact occasionally with the patients, their friend and family therefore their counsel is heeded by a broader group of people. In the event that a nurse gives helpful counsel, friends and family in addition to the patient will think deeper regarding the information offered. Even if the patient is unwilling to follow the recommended measures to ensure optimal health positive status, family and friends can be influenced by the nurse to support the patient to change their feeling towards the recommended measures (DiClemente et al, 2009).

Based on the given framework followed in Nora’s theory model the patient is expected to get empowered regarding their individual care. For instance, even though the may not be convinced of the effectiveness of the proposed health care plan by the nurse, he or she may choose to continue to follow the prescribed guidelines because of the interpersonal influences (that is the family members and friend who expect the individual to be physically active, those who encourage him or her and those who are physically active themselves therefore act as role models.

Nora’s model follows a systematic procedure whereby the planning stage comes first and the maintenance stage concludes the health promotional process. The planning stage, for instance, reinforces the strengths of the patient, address the potential barriers that the patient may face and establish individual commitment to the outcomes of the procedure. Particular areas which Nora considers worthy of intervention include stress management, social support as well as nutrition.

Proper nutrition involves consumption of healthy foods with adequate diets that support the health of the body. Encouraging the community to adopt this behavior would help cases of illnesses that emerge due to poor nutrition.  As a nurse, I would utilize the model to educate people on the significance of physical fitness, which is a fundamental aspect in the prevention of related illnesses.  Diabetes obesity and heart diseases are common examples of illnesses that emanate from poor physical fitness and nutrition. The theory promotes nursing education and, therefore, encourages nurses to seek knowledge through research and study of various issues that concern health profession (Chiu et al., 2011).

This is crucial in advancing the knowledge of nurses so that they can handle different problems observable in patients and clients. Through research, the model can help in developing systematic approaches to healthcare. As a nurse, I would gain these skills and help other nursing professionals understand the concept by offering education. Through the theory, I would help the health care industry save considerable amounts of money. This is possible because the approaches provided by the model promote cost effective techniques of promoting the well-being of patients or clients (Peterson & Bredow, 2009).

Utilizing the model in nursing practice

I would utilize this theory in the manner in which I approach patient needs. Often the patient’s concerns are associated with an underlying health problem. However, the health practitioner forgets to consider the possible alternative factors that might have prompted the development of such a problem. Through Nora’s theory model I would organize my patient assessment criteria in such a way the key considerations from the theory model are included. In this way, potential factors leading up to the existent problem in the patient would be identified and recommended strategies formulated to limit recurrence of such factors.

The primary objective of the nurse is to enquire of the condition of the patient and work to ensure that this negative condition is eliminated and the patient’s initial health condition is restored. However, there would be no need to put effort into restoring the patient’s original health condition if that condition was not at an optimal positive level. Such a patient would enjoy positive health for a limited time and then get affected by the same condition. Nora’s model helps nurses to enquire regarding the past health conditions of the individual and how adjusting their lifestyles can impact on this prevalent condition. For, one, identifying underlying health factors that lead up to the patient’s illness would help avoid recurrence of the health condition.

The reason for choosing Nora Pender’s theory

The theory chosen is expected to provide the nursing student and the practicing nurse with a model to approach health care situations more professionally. The fact that the model majorly focuses on the interpersonal influence and various interaction between the patient and the environment qualifies the nurse as the best candidate to apply the model. Nurses often interact with the patient, their family and their friends. Since the model recommends that the health practitioner, not only, understands the individual’s behaviors and beliefs but also those of other influential parties, it suits the nursing field well. The nurse, who is in constant relation with family members, friends and other visiting parties, is in a better position to enquire from these individuals regarding the specified questions in the model.

Application of model in scenario

Jill is pregnant and has health insurance therefore medical care for her is not expected to be too costly. She is more likely to seek medical care and consultation even in health conditions that are not too severe. In the even that Jill, who is 32 years of age, gets admitted in the hospital, my duty as nurse is to cater to her health needs until she regains normal health status. However, upon comprehensive enquiry, Jill’s condition is found to be catalyzed by passive physical activity and unregulated nutrition. Without the knowledge offered by Nora’s research, the nurse would be prompted to change Jill’s lifestyle though a private consultation session. However, considerations such as need for social support would be overlooked. A nurse who has basic knowledge on the health promotional model would first talk with Jill and then proceed to talk to the spouse, kids and parents of Jill to establish an overall conducive environment. In this way, if Jack might act as role model, the nurse would recommend that Jill look up to him in times of uncertainty and despair.

Although Jenna, Jimmy and Jack Jr. might not offer support services, they would be used to overcome the barriers to achievement of the improved physical activity in Jill. Essentially, Jill would be encouraged to think of her children every time that she feels like despairing. This though would remind her that if she despairs and abandons the program, she would be exposed to the risk of a recurrence of the medical condition and the children would suffer. Jill’s parent could be used as support means such that they would encourage Jill to proceed with the recommended strategies in order to gain improved health.

Theory Justification

The Health Promotion Model (HPM) promotes the entire roles of a nurse thus; the theory is sufficient because it enables a nurse execute required roles. Nurses are responsible for conducting duties, for example, treating patients, offering education both to patients and society, and offering support through emotional supports to both patients and their families (Zaccagnini & White, 2011). The model supports all these roles thus; it is a fundamental model for this purpose. The theory has been applicable to various situations, for example, in occupational health.  An occupational health nurse whose objective was to improve the health of workers in the workplace utilized the model (Peterson & Bredow, 2009). The nurse wanted to execute a fitness program, which made her perform research based on Nora’s theory.

The nurse collected information by involving 300 workers where she performed a survey of health behaviors, individual aspects, perception of the employees to exercise, benefits plus self efficacy.  The nurse included interpersonal plus situational influences to the study.  The nurse performed several measurements including, height and weight measurement for employees. The nurse’s study indicated that the subjects perceived physical exercise as an activity, which wasted time (Basavanthappa, 2007). The researcher discovered a situational influence that was common to both employees; that they spent longer periods without gaining access to facilities that they could exercise.  Using the Health Promotion Model (HPM), the nurse developed a fitness program that involved the creation of policy and health education based on study outcomes.

The interventions included offering of classes on work sites and utilization of newsletters. The nurse suggested incorporation of the activities into daily duties so that employees would acquire proper fitness.  The nurse was successful in this situation because the employees under the process of fitness reduced their weights plus their cholesterol levels dropped significantly.  The nurse’s practice was fundamental for employee health since she managed to improve their self-efficacy and behavior (Basavanthappa, 2007). Findings of the practice indicated positive results to the subjects. An application of the theory is evident with American workers who are susceptible to hearing problems resulting from the environment in the work place. An investigation conducted with an aim of determining the effects of using ear safety devices was aided by Nora’s theory (Peterson & Bredow, 2009).

The study involved over 100 workers both from similar industrial environments. The subjects completed several questionnaires on behavior, interpersonal influences plus perception on various aspects. The findings of the experiment with theory indicated that workers who did not like wearing ear protection devices had negative perception on the idea. Nurses promoted the idea of use through education and fostering of beliefs on the significance of ear protection (Zaccagnini & White, 2011). The model worked with the workers where their self-efficacy improved. They started using protective devices and were persuaded on the worth of protective clothing on their health. It is evident that the application of Nora’s model can aid appropriate behavior, which is suitable for their well-being (Peterson & Bredow, 2009).

As a nurse, the model has helped me offer various services to patients and clients in need of services. With the model, I have conducted various studies on diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The model has enabled me understand patients perceptions providing me with succinct research skills. I have been capable of improving the patient’s condition through promotion of exercises and proper nutrition. In this manner, the theory has helped me prosper in the science of nursing (Butts & Rich, 2011).

Saskatchewan Regional Health Authorities has offered health promotion to the society by making them understand the importance of various aspects of health.  This was possible through collaborative efforts with other organizations, for example, regional health district. The aim of the organization is to offer resources that make the organization act as a source for dealing with various requirements of the community (Butts & Rich, 2011). In the hospital industry, the World Health Organization found the need to ensure health promotion through encouragement and support to the utilization of Health Promotion Model (HPM). The theory has been successful in schools, where authorities discovered the importance of the theory to student’s health. Success in ensuring well-being of persons was possible due to the model, which has offered appropriate procedures and results after an investigation (Peterson & Bredow, 2009).


Nora proposes a theory model that would improve the health condition of both sick and presently healthy individuals. The idea here is that the individual interacts with the environment based on a number of factors. The individual therefore is expected to adjust to environmental conditions in order to achieve optimal health status. The nurse would play a critical role in making the patient aware of this fact. Essentially, the patient would be able to overcome the present condition and avoid future health conditions that results from passive health activity and poor nutrition.


Basavanthappa, B. T. (2007). Nursing theories. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers.

Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. (2011). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice.   Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Chiu, C., Lynch, R. T., Chan, F., & Berven, N. L. (2011). The Health Action Process Approach    as a motivational model for physical activity self-management for people with multiple          sclerosis: A path analysis. Rehabilitation Psychology, 56(3), 171-181.   doi:10.1037/a0024583

DiClemente, R. J., Crosby, R. A., & Kegler, M. C. (2009). Emerging theories in health      promotion practice and research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Peterson, S. J., & Bredow, T. S. (2009). Middle range theories: Application to nursing research.    Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Zaccagnini, M. E., & White, K. W. (2011). The doctor of nursing practice essentials: A new          model for advanced practice nursing. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.


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