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Keywords:

  • health promotion;
  • Health Action Model;
  • hospital nurses;
  • integral roles;
  • nurse education

Training needs analysis is considered essential to professional and organizational development, for continuing education and for incorporation into professional practice. Increasingly, nurses are encouraged to develop their health promotion role. Despite this there has been relatively little research in Scotland into the health promotion role of the hospital nurse. This study describes the results of a health promotion training needs analysis undertaken on qualified, hospital-based nurses in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Information on the nurses' current health promotion practices, their attitudes and beliefs, their views on role development and priorities for further training were collated, analysed and discussed within the framework of the Health Action Model. This model was originally designed to assist understanding of the gap that exists between an individual intention to act and the eventual health action. However, in this study the ways in which ‘cognitive factors’ (knowledge and beliefs) and ‘motivational factors’ (considering values, attitudes and drives) and pressures from social norms and significant others assisted in the understanding of the nurse's orientation to, and beliefs about, health promotion practice. Fifty-seven per cent of nurses in the study considered health promotion activities to be emerging in clinical care and 4% considered them to be advanced. The interest respondents have in role development and the further integration of health promotion activities into nursing practice was explored by ascertaining the nurses' attitudes and beliefs about their own health promotion role. Of 107 respondents, a majority 72 (67%) agreed health promotion interventions to be an important function of the nurse with 29 (27%) strongly agreeing (n=107). Sixty per cent stated they would be interested in developing their role and 30% were very strongly interested. Recommendations are therefore made for future planning and development strategies for the health promotion role of hospital nurses.