• action research;
  • health education;
  • health promotion;
  • nursing and health promotion

Abstract  Action research was used as a method to develop an educational skills training program focusing on the health education aspect of nurses’ health-promoting role. The program was based on the theoretical concepts of the Transtheoretical Model and Motivational Interviewing. Interviews were used to collect the data on a purposive sample of nurses working in an acute hospital ward. Three main themes were identified: using the skills, barriers to implementing the skills, and facilitators of implementing the skills. Most nurses were more aware of health education and health promotion and were able to incorporate the skills learnt and instigated a change in practice. There was evidence, however, that further training was required. This might focus more on helping nurses to use the skills with patients who are very resistant to change and to better recognize health-promoting opportunities. Ways of offering the training program to other health professionals also should be explored.