The Role of the Professional Nurse in Health
Promotion and Protection in Communities
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Introduction: Health Promotion and Health Protection Defined
There are many different definitions of health promotion and protection and all of them sound fairly similar. Pender (2006) describes health promotion as a behavior motivated by the desire to increase well being and actualize human health potential and describes health protection as behavior motivated by the desire to actively avoid illness, detect it early, or maintain functioning within the constraints of illness. Using these definitions makes it simple to tell the difference between the two: it is all about the motivation behind the behavior. The purpose of this paper is to describe the role of the professional nurse in health promotion and protection in a community. Community Defined
To understand the role of the nurse in a community we first have to understand what a community is. A community can be used in various context and have many different meanings depending on the frame of reference. Edelman and Mandle (2006) quote the same definition used by Healthy People 2010: “A specific group of people, often living in a defined geographical area, who share a common culture, values, and norms and who arranged in a social structure according to relationships that community has developed over a period of time” (pp. 179). Plainly stated this means a community is any group or population of people that are bonded together by some common denominator. The Role of the Professional Nurse
A nurse can serve many different functions when it comes to health promotion and protection. When discussed, health promotion and protection are usually paired together although the concept of each is a little different. Health protection is something that people engage in on an individual basis to protect their health due to there own...