Health Behaviors of Nursing Students

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:15 AM

Claudia Pineda Benton, MSN, RN, BC, PHN
Community Health Nursing, Ventura County Public Health, Ventura, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to compare health promotion behaviors among BSN and MSN students.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will identify the importance of educational health promotion strategies in nursing schools.


The main purpose of this study was identifying Registered Nurse (RN) students’ health promotion behaviors in a Baccalaureate of Science Nursing (BSN) or Master in Science Nursing (MSN) program. In addition, identify any behavior and cultural differences. Problem: Chronic diseases are increasing and could be prevented by promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors in nursing education.


This study, with a convenience sample of 77 students from two California universities, was descriptive, comparative, and approximate replication of Haddad, Kane, Rajacich, Cameron, and Al-Ma’aitah, (2004) study based on Pender’s Health Promotion Model. The data was collected using the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II (HPLS II) and a demographic survey. The data analysis was conducted using the mean, standard deviation, and multianalysis of variance (MANOVA) to identify the differences and similarities of students’ health promotion behaviors.


This study identified most of the students practiced low to moderate health promotion behaviors. There were no significant differences between BSN and MSN students. On the other hand, foreign born students showed a significant decrease in their healthy lifestyle behaviors longer they stayed in the U.S.


The results of this study indicated foreign born nursing students living in the U.S. adversely changed their health behaviors throughout the years while they were adapting to a new culture, which also increased their risk for chronic diseases. BSN and MSN students, regardless of their level of education, age, and culture, practiced similar health promotion behaviors. Similar research was recommended with a larger sample of nursing students with emphasis on the effectiveness of current educational methods to promote healthy lifestyle changes in all the nursing programs.

Haddad, L. , Kane, D. , Rajacich, D. , Cameron, S. , & Al-Ma’aitah, R. (2004). A comparison of health practices of Canadian and Jordanian nursing students. Public Health Nursing, 21(1), 85-90.