Health Promotion in Nursing Practice

Contributor: Peggy Chinn
August 23, 2018

Author – Nola Pender, PhD, RN, FAAN

Year First Published – 1982
Major Concepts

Health Behavior
Goal-directed self-care
Self efficacy


Grand Theory

Brief Description

The Health Promotion Model describes sets of variables that determine the likelihood that individuals will engage in health-promoting behavior. These include cognitive-perceptual factors, modifying factors, and cues to action. The model is linear in nature and identifies seven cognitive-perceptual factors and five modifying factors that determine an individual’s likelihood of participation in health-promoting behavior. Cognitive-perceptual factors have a direct effect on the likelihood of engaging in health-promoting behaviors. Cognitive-perceptual factors include perceptions of the individual in relation to health status, importance of health, control over health, and meaning of health, along with perceived self-efficacy and benefits/barriers to health-promoting behavior. Situational, behavioral, interpersonal, biologic, and demographic factors indirectly affect engagement in health-promoting behaviors by modifying cognitive-perceptual factors. Cues to action also directly affect a person’s likelihood of engaging in health-promoting behaviors. The model focuses on individual persons and assumes that individuals have potential to exhibit behavior that promotes or deters health. The function of the nurse is inferred to be that of positively influencing health-promoting behavior. It is assumed that health-promoting behaviors are useful to promote health states. Thus the goal for the individual person is to exhibit behavior that promotes health.

Primary Sources

Pender, N. J. (1982). Health promotion in nursing practice. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Pender, N. J. (1987). Health promotion in nursing practice (2nd ed.). Norwalk, CT: Appleton- Lange.


Nola Pender (1941 – )

“Dr. Pender has been a nurse educator for over forty years. Throughout her career, she taught baccalaureate, masters, and PhD students; she also mentored a number of postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Pender developed the Health Promotion Model that is used internationally for research, education, and practice. During her active research career, she conducted research testing on the Health Promotion Model with adults and adolescents. She also developed the program “Girls on the Move” with her research team and began intervention research into the usefulness of the model in helping adolescents adopt physically active lifestyles, developing a number of instruments that measure components of the model. In retirement, she consults on health promotion research nationally and internationally.” (from