The Politics of Health Promotion: Influences on Public Health Promoting Nursing Practice in Ontario, Canada from Nightingale to the Nineties

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The marked and significant differences in the various meanings ascribed to health promotion in professional literature provide evidence of the concept's evolution over the last half of the 20th century and testify both to the powerful influences of dominant ideologies and the invisibility of others. The "new public health" marks a return to a conceptualization of health that is consistent with a nursing paradigm and thus potentially useful in supporting nursing health promotion practice. To take full advantage of this knowledge, however, it is critical that nurses reclaim their legacy in health promotion, critically appraise outside influences that threaten to undermine their work, and educate the public and other disciplines about nursing's unique focus on health promotion.

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