• health promotion;
  • nursing students

Abstract  The purposes of this study were to (a) develop a teaching course on health promotion for nursing students in Taiwan, (b) evaluate the effects of this teaching course, and (c) understand students’ appraisals of its effectiveness in helping them to change unhealthy behavior. A sample of 65 randomly selected female nursing students took an 18-week course developed by the investigators, which included 30 h of classroom lectures and 4 weeks of written reports by students chronicling the changes in their behavior. Health promotion questionnaires administered before and after the course and content analysis of the students’ reports were used to evaluate the effects of the course. Students’ questionnaire scores after course completion indicated significantly increased intent to adopt healthy lifestyles. Content analysis of students’ reports on their personal behavior-changing experiences showed that they accepted the potential value of curriculum aspects such as “experiencing the struggle, suffering, and even abandonment of the process,”“experiencing the benefits of change,”“increasing self-confidence,” and “empathizing with how difficult it is for clients to change behavior.” These results support the value of teaching courses on health promotion to nursing students. The authors recommend including such a course as part of a regular nursing education.