The new approach to pre-registration nursing education in the UK (Project 2000) has an overt health focus as well as a specific remit to prepare nurses for a role as promoters of health. Data reported in this paper illuminate Project 2000 students' understanding of the concepts of health promotion and health education, and indicate the extent to which qualified nurses who have completed this new Project 2000 programme perceive themselves to be prepared for a health promotion role. Findings indicate that students are confused about the terms health education and health promotion, although most feel there is a distinction between the two. Students' descriptions emphasize individualistic approaches, and lifestyle and behaviour changes. Many recognize that health promotion should have a broader application and demonstrate a sophisticated grasp of the philosophy underpinning the promotion of health through their general perceptions of nursing. This understanding is not labelled health education or health promotion, but is embedded in their articulation of concepts such as holism, patient-centred care and enhancing independence. Paradoxically, both students and Project 2000 qualified nurses (diplomates) illustrate a clear grasp of the more complex issues surrounding the concept of health promotion while remaining confused by the terminology and its relationship to practice.
Health Education Research – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 1, 1998
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