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Nola Pender Biography

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sciences
Wordcount: 1084 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Who is Nola Pender?

 Throughout history, many people have paved the way in science to where we are today. There have been theorists that have made meaningful contributions in literature as well as science. One particular person that stands out is Nola Pender.

Life Summary

 Nola Pender has had many accomplishments throughout her years as a nurse. According to Petiprin (2016), Pender attended Michigan State University to earn her bachelor and master’s degrees in 1964 and 1965, respectively. She earned her doctorate from Northwestern University in 1969 (Petiprin, 2016). She was given a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Michigan State University School of Nursing in 1972 (Petiprin, 2016). According to Petiprin, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1992 from Widener University. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society in 2005 (Petiprin, 2016). In 2016, Petiprin states Pender is currently retired and spends her time consulting on health promotion research nationally and internationally. One of her most remarkable works, though, is her Health Promotion Model (HPM).


Nola Pender developed a theory on promoting healthier Americans who take an active role in getting healthy and living a healthier lifestyle. She became convinced that patients’ quality of life could be improved by the prevention of problems before this occurred, and health care dollars could be saved by the promotion of healthy lifestyles (Petiprin, 2016).  According to Blais and Hayes (2016), Pender’s Health Promotion Model was first published in literary form in the 1980s but has since been revised based on research using the model (p. 131). The five components of the Pender Model are: individual characteristics and experiences, behavior-specific cognitions and affect, commitment to a plan of action, immediate and competing demands and preferences, and health-promoting behavioral outcomes (Blais & Hayes, 2016, p. 132).  Pender bases her model on the following assumptions: persons seek to create conditions of living through which they can express their unique human health potential; persons have the capacity for reflective self-awareness, including assessment of their own competencies; persons value growth in directions viewed as positive and attempt to achieve a personally acceptable balance between change and stability; individuals seek to actively regulate their own behavior; individuals in all their biopsychosocial complexity interact with the environment, progressively transforming the environment and being transformed over time; health professionals constitute a part of the interpersonal environment that exerts influence on persons throughout their lifespan; self-initiated reconfiguration of person-environment interactive patterns is essential to behavior change (Blais & Hayes, 2016, pp. 131-132). According to Blais & Hayes (2016), this model focuses on health-promoting behaviors. Ideally, this sounds like the route to go but there are other models out there that a person should look at. Then, they can decide which model is right for them.


Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model consists of five key concepts: person, environment, health, illness and nursing (Petiprin, 2016). Each of these, illustrated in the collage, plays an important role in the Health Promotion Model and can directly impact another or the outcome.  For example, the individual (person) and their health can be shaped by how they interact with their environment.  The environment itself is a complex key concept that includes many variable factors like social, cultural and physical context (Petiprin, 2016) in which the person may have limited control.  However, with desire and readiness to learn, the person can utilize their available resources to make health-enhancing choices that yield an overall better wellness.

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Petiprin (2016) defines health as “the actualization of human potential through goal-directed behavior, self-care, and relationships with others with necessary adjustments made to maintain relevant environments.” Health and wellness can be strongly impacted by nursing education (nursing concept).  For example, if a patient is a pre-diabetic, the nurse can educate the patient on making healthier food choices, portion control and exercise. Based on this information, the person would abide by the recommendations in order to prevent progression to diabetes, reverse pre-diabetes and live a healthier life as a consequence. Nurses can even use their ability to educate in order to help the person manipulate a health-enhancing environment. Through combining nursing, a positive health-enhancing environment, and general health improvement, the person can minimize their risk for illness. Success of the Health Promotion Model can be subjectively measured by not just the absence of illness, but more importantly, the health-promoting behaviors produced.


As Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model has proven, personal health begins with responsibility and accountability. Uniquely, the role of nursing, education and evidence-based practice can play a major role in helping individuals achieve wellness while minimizing the risk for illness. Today, the Health Promotion Model continues to evolve as Nola Pender continues her vision through health promotion research and education.


  • Blais, K., & Hayes, J. (2015). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (7th. ed). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
  • Kratochvil, P. (2018). Healthy lifestyle [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=15658&picture=healthy-lifestyle&large=1
  • Lemar, S. (2015). Single-family home [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Single-family_home.jpg
  • Nola-pender-pic [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://nursing-theory.org/images/nola-pender-pic.png
  • Petiprin, A. (2016). Nola pender – nursing theory. Retrieved from http://nursing-theory.org/nursing-theorists/Nola-Pender.php


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