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Dr. Nola J. Pender and the HealthPromotion Model Theory 1
Nola J. Pender and the Health Promotion Model TheoryNursing theory has come a long way since the time of Florence Nightingale’sefforts to organize the profession. The amount of information on nursing theory can beoverwhelming. Currentnursing.com (2012) lists more than 75 different nursing theories, models,and philosophies. Each theory has concepts or ideas that make it unique. A nursing theory can bepresented as a model in order to provide a map or plan that details how to follow the ideaspresented in the theory (George, 2002). Nola Pender presents her health promotion theory as amodel. Her ideas can be summed by the quote, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”(Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2004, p.128).The Health Promotion Model was designed by Nola J. Pender to be a"complementary counterpart to models of health protection" (nursingtheory.org, 2013). Itdefines a person’s health as not only being free from disease, but living a lifestyle thatencourages optimal health. Health promotion focuses on encouraging behaviors that promotepositive overall well-being. The Health Promotion Model describes the multidimensional natureof the individual and the factors that influence how they perceive and seek healthy behaviors asthey interact in their environment.Pender’s model is based on encouraging patient behaviors that promote a desiredoutcome for the patient. Pender has been quoted as saying, “It became apparent to me that healthprofessionals intervened only after people developed acute or chronic disease… I committedmyself to a proactive stance of health promotion and disease prevention…” (Sitzman &Eichelberger, 2004, p.124). Her model presents a process that can be used to assess and attend toany needs required by the patient in order to promote healthy behaviors. She believes that nurseshave many opportunities to promote healthy behaviors, specifically when they relate to perceived2
health risks of a patient. There are many examples of health promoting behaviors includingnutrition, hydration, physical activity, stress management, sleeping habits, spiritual health, andemotional health. Pender lists 11 factors that have the capability of having a positive influenceon the health-promoting behaviors of clients (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2004, p.124).This paper will explore Pender’s life and experiences that inspired her HealthPromotion Model, the 11 factors that outline her model, how to apply her model into nursingpractice as well as personal experiences that incorporate her model.Nursing Theorist and the TheoryDr. Nola J. Pender, PhD, RN, FAAN, was born on August 16, 1941, in Lansing,Michigan. Her chosen career path of nursing came to fruition at the age of 21, in 1962. Shereceived her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Michigan State University in 1964. Her focuson education and furthering her knowledge was evident when she received a Master’s degreefrom the same university in 1965, just one year later. In 1969, she went on to obtain her PhD inpsychology and education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (“Nola J. Pender”,