Research Output

Preparation of registered nurses for health promotion

Globally, people are living longer but not healthier lives and so the need for effective health promotion for older people is growing and nurses play a key role in this (Raingruber, 2017) but they make lack knowledge and skills (Goodman et al., 2011; Whitehead, 2011). The aim of this study was to explore the preparation, experience, and perceived effectiveness of health promotion practice of RNs working in Singapore as much of the research has focussed on the Western world.

A convergent parallel, mixed methods study design was used to collect data from a convenience sample of registered nurses (n=64) studying a CPD programme in Singapore. Data were collected by a validated self-administered survey and focus groups. Quantitative data were subject to univariate and bivariate analysis and thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data.

Participants were mainly nursing diplomates (72% / N=46), within four years of registration (59%/n=38), working in secondary care. Over half the sample (56% / n=36) gave health promotion advice daily. The majority (84% / n=54) were confident in giving health promotion advice and 69% (n=44) regarded health promotion as ‘easy’. Almost all (92% / n=56) were confident that they were adequately prepared to give effective health promotion advice and 72% (n=46) believed that they were successful in engendering patients’ modification of unhealthy behaviours. Two main themes emerged from the qualitative data: ‘Just tell patients what they need to do’ and ‘Patients are resistant to change’.

Despite experience and knowledge of health promotion, the findings highlighted that an evidence-based approach was not followed by RNs in Singapore. Instead they reverted to the simply ‘telling’ patients which is an approach that is rarely successful in fostering change. The study concludes that there was a lack of awareness of a person-centred approach to health promotion. The RNs had a skills / knowledge deficit which may indicate that current educational preparation is ineffective. Further research is required to determine the most appropriate pedagogy to enhance the efficacy of health promotion practice.

Goodman, C., Davies, S., Dinan, S., See, T., and Iliffe, S. (2011) Activity promotion for community-dwelling older people. British Journal of Community Nursing 16 12 – 17

Raingruber, B. (2017) Contemporary health promotion in nursing practice. Burlington; Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Whitehead, D. (2011) Health promotion in nursing: a Derridean discourse analysis. Health Promotion International 26 117 – 127

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    06 May 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.73 Nursing

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Dawkes, S. (2018, May). Preparation of registered nurses for health promotion. Paper presented at NETNEP, Banff, Canada



Registered nurses, health promotion,

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