Nola Pender was born on August 16, 1941, in Lansing, Michigan. In 1964, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, and in 1965, received her master's degree from the same university. She went on to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, to earn a PhD in 1969. Her model emphasizes preventative health measures and outlines the important roles that ...view middle of the document...
Promoting optimal health is considered more important than preventing disease. According to the theory, nurses have a primary role in teaching patients to make healthy choices and care for themselves. If patients participate in their own care and make wise choices, they will have better health and be able to prevent many illnesses and diseases.
Pender believed that a person's self-definition of health had more importance than a generalized designation of health. Health seeking behaviors can be influenced by cognitive-perceptual factors such as the importance of personal health to the individual, perceived advantages of healthy living and possible disadvantages of health promoting behavior. These factors can be further modified by other considerations including interpersonal influences, cultural factors and biological and demographic characteristics. Nurses play a very important role in directing patients toward the goal of optimal health.
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