Health promotion: reconfiguring nurses’ practice to reduce social inequalities
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Health promotion: reconfiguring nurses’ practice to reduce social inequalities

James Woodall Professor, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, England
Louisa Morley Senior lecturer, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To refresh your knowledge of health inequalities and the social determinants of health

  • To recognise the barriers to nurses implementing effective health promotion

  • To consider how you and your colleagues could reconfigure the approach to health promotion taken in your area of practice

Inequalities in people’s health due to economic or social circumstances remain a persistent challenge in the UK, with people from disadvantaged communities disproportionately likely to die earlier and experience more health issues than the general population. Health promotion has a vital role in reversing health inequalities and requires a focus on structural and political-level determinants of health, rather than individuals’ lifestyle choices. However, while health promotion is a significant aspect of nurse education curricula, individual nurses may experience role confusion regarding the application of health promotion in their practice. Therefore, a shift is required in nurse education and training on health promotion, as well as its practical implementation. This article suggests some approaches that could be taken to reconfigure the role of nurses in health promotion.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2024.e12266

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Woodall J, Morley L (2024) Health promotion: reconfiguring nurses’ practice to reduce social inequalities. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2024.e12266

Published online: 26 February 2024

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