Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joellen Edwards

Committee Members

Sharon Loury, Lisa Haddad, Michael Phillips


Given the sad state of obesity and lifestyle-related illnesses in the US, nurses, as the largest and most trusted health profession, must take the cause of health promotion seriously and personally. This study seeks to close the gap in knowledge of nurses’ perception of self as a role model of health and personal healthy lifestyle behaviors. This study focuses on four specific behaviors that lead to a healthy lifestyle: limit alcohol, avoid tobacco, improve nutrition, and engage in physical activity. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between nurses’ health practices and their perceptions of self as role models for health promotion using constructs of the Social Cognitive Theory. The final sample consisted of 804 registered nurses in the state of Tennessee. In this study, 4% report smoking, 24.9% drink alcohol, 34% are overweight and 30% obese. Approximately 70% do not meet the weekly physical activity recommendations of 150-minutes and 32.8% follow guidelines for a healthy diet only 50% of the time or less. There was a significant correlation between following a healthy diet or physical activity and the Self as a Role Model of Health Promotion (SARMHEP) scores. Based on the regression analysis, working in an acute care or ambulatory setting negatively affected the SARMHEP, as opposed to age and gender having a positive effect on the SARMHEP score. This study has the potential to provide key information that can be used to promote health among nurses.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.