Purpose: The purpose of this study was to gather baseline data on the health-promoting lifestyle practices of RNs working in six major health care and educational institutions in a southeast Pennsylvania community.
Methods: A descriptive correlational study design was used. The 52-item Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II instrument was used to explore participants’ self-reported health-promoting behaviors and measure the dimensions of health responsibility, physical activity, nutrition, interpersonal relations, spiritual growth, and stress management.
Results: Findings revealed that physical activity and stress management scores were low for the entire group of RNs. There were statistically significant differences between nurses 50 years of age and older and those 30 to 39 years of age for the subscales of health responsibility, nutrition, and stress management, suggesting that older nurses are more concerned about their health. There were also statistically significant differences between nurses 50 years of age and older and those 29 years of age and younger for the subscale of health responsibility. Sixty-seven percent of participants reported having too many competing priorities and had significantly lower subscale scores for spiritual growth, interpersonal relations, and stress management, as well as significantly lower total scores.
Conclusion: This study's findings provided baseline data that will be useful in planning health-promoting lifestyle interventions for participants specific to their institutions, and may help guide future research and educational initiatives related to numerous issues common to the RN workforce. The failure of many nurses to take adequate care of themselves needs to be better understood and addressed, by both individual nurses and their employers.