Health-promoting nursing practice: the demise of the nursing process?


  • Elizabeth Lindsey RN PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor,
    • Dr E Lindsey, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 Victoria BC Canada B8W 2Y2

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gweneth Hartrick RN PhD

    1. Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author


Health promotion is gaining widespread recognition throughout the world as the most efficacious practice in achieving health for all In Canada, the philosophy of health promotion is driving both federal and provincial health initiatives Such a philosophy is derived from a human science paradigm and is in direct opposition to the natural science paradigm from which the biomedical approach to health care emerged There now exists a tension between these contrasting paradigms as health care shifts to embrace a health-promotion perspective The nursing process is based in the natural science paradigm and on a biomedical approach to health care In order for nurses to embrace health promotion fully, they must move away from the philosophy of the natural sciences and adopt a human science perspective Such a shift requires a radical transformation in nursing practice as nurses move away from the‘top-down’approach of the nursing process and adopt a‘bottom-up’approach to health-promoting nursing practice The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the nursing process with the principles of health promotion, and to challenge our use of the nursing process in current nursing practice In particular, a framework for health-promoting nursing practice will be provided