Health Promotion 429v

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The Expanding Role of Nursing in Health Promotion
Robert W Lewis
Grand Canyon University NRS-429V
February 7, 2013

Nursing in the 21st century is being redefined. The population of the United States is increasingly diverse, with many cultural and religious influences on the health of the population. Legislative initiatives like the affordable health care act (AHC) will require a shift from the wellness-illness model to a practice focused on health promotion. When discussing a definition of health promotion published literature over the last 30 years has expanded and refined this role. One definition that is comprehensive is:
Health Promotion is the art and science of helping people discover the synergies between their core passions and optimal health, enhancing their motivation to strive for optimal health, and supporting them in changing their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health. Optimal health is a dynamic balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. Lifestyle change can be facilitated through a combination of learning experiences that enhance awareness, increase motivation, and build skills and, most important, through the creation of opportunities that open access to environments that make positive health practices the easiest choice. (O'Donnell, 2009)
O’Donnell’s definition is broad and encompasses all of the areas of health promotion as it would be related to nursing practice.
Health promotion might be viewed more clearly and provide a more direct course of action if viewed with the following metaphor: You are standing on the edge of a river, a person floats by in obvious distress, you rush into the water, pull him to the shore. As you look downriver, you see another person in the same position. You rush in and again pull that person to the shore only to find a dozen more persons in distress floating…...

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