Main Article Content
attitudes, health promotion, motivation (MeSH®), student nurses, nursing students
Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) European Strategy for Nursing and Midwifery has called for the explicit inclusion and application of health promotion in all nursing curricula. However, research indicates that there are deficiencies in nursing education regarding health promotion in both the theoretical and practical elements of education. Insight into the experiences of European nursing students’ attitudes, positive or negative, about working in health promotion may provide a clue whether health promotion will be regarded as an important task and to what extent it will have priority in different parts of Europe. Aim: The aim of this study was to compare Italian and Swedish nursing students’ attitudes towards health promotion practice on matriculation to nursing school and after a three-year nursing education, and to explore whether attitudes towards health promotion practice correlate with BMI and smoking. Method: The study involved students who started their nursing education in autumn 2009 (n =240). Data were collected via a questionnaire. Results: The results show that the Swedish students had a more positive stance on health promotion than Italian students did. After completion of a three-year nursing education programme, Italian students’ attitudes on health promotion had improved, while no such development was seen in Sweden. Further, no correlation between lifestyle issues and attitudes to health promotion was found. Conclusion: Health promotion in nursing education may have important influence on students’ attitudes and thereby on the quantity and quality of future health promotion practice.