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Br J Community Nurs. 2000 Dec;5(12):604-9.

The role of community-based nurses in health promotion.

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Faculty of Health, School of Nursing, University of Hull, East Riding Campus, Hull, UK.


It is the responsibility of all nurses to incorporate health promotional and health education activities into their professional roles. Much of the literature around this issue relates to the specific role of community-based nurses in the primary healthcare team, and identifies their unique position and responsibility for pioneering the universal acceptance and adoption of health-promoting practice. Community-based nurses are in a good position to commission health-related activities and integrate them into practice (Department of Health and Social Security, 1987; Department of Health, 1992, 1996). On the basis of this, one might expect that the results of studies in this area would identify evidence of good understanding, adoption, parity and support for such initiative among community professionals. However, many studies have identified a state of confusion, poor understanding, a lack of parity between professional groups, a lack of professional support and training, and haphazard implementation of such strategies (Dines, 1994; Russell, 1997). Inconsistency in study findings is problematic and tends to present a skewed picture of current practice. It is suggested that community-based nurses may benefit from a change in the way they view the implementation of health promotional practices, and that policy issues related to practice could be further clarified and enforced.

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