Nola Pender, former professor of nursing at the University of Michigan, has developed a rational-choice model of healthcare. This is not really a nursing theory per se, but a psychological look at how human beings perceive themselves, their health and their ability to change their lifestyles to promote health. As a result of this focus, Pender's model is normally called the "Health Promotion Model" of nursing.
This model is based on the idea that human beings are rational, and will seek their advantage in health. But the nature of this rationality is tightly bounded by things like self-esteem, perceived advantages of healthy behaviors, psychological states and previous behavior. As for the medical profession in general, the main purpose here is not merely to cure disease, but to promote healthy lifestyles and choices that affect the health of individuals.
The central function of this theory is to show the individual as self-determining, but as also determined by personal history and general personal characteristics. Health is a dynamic process, not a static state. Health, to put it differently, is a lifestyle conditioned by a number of choices made by the individual to actually live a healthy lifestyle. The medical profession itself is only a small part of this world. The individual is posited in this model as "being" health, "living" it, rather than considering health a static state. Health is a lifestyle.
The main effect of Pender's model is that it puts the onus of healthcare reform on the person, not on the profession. Healthcare is a series of intelligent, rational choices that promote health concerning things like diet, exercise and positive thinking. All of these are choices and ingredients in living healthy. The real struggle of the health profession, doctors and nurses included, is to eliminate the self-destructive nature of unhealthy choices and replace them with healthy ones....