Health promoting nursing practice is seen as the way forward for the nursing profession. This paper outlines the meaning of health promotion and distinguishes between a traditional and new paradigm approach. The research examining the extent to which a new paradigm approach is practised demonstrates that, to date, nurses predominantly adopt the traditional approach to health promotion. It is argued that the integration of interpersonal skills and health promotion within nursing curricula is crucial in enabling the transfer of theoretical concepts into practice. The ways in which this integration has been approached within one college of nursing are described. The difficulties encountered in attempting this integration and accomplishing a philosophical shift from a traditional to a new paradigm approach to health promotion are discussed and critiqued. Specifically conflicts that occur at an interpersonal, organizational and societal level are identified and proposed as explanations for the slow implementation of health promoting nursing.