How nurses encourage patients to lead a healthy lifestyle

How nurses encourage patients to lead a healthy lifestyle

In a busy emergency room, clinic or trauma center, it is often a nurse who will see a patient first when they assess their needs and triage their priority. Nurses play a crucial role in promoting a healthy lifestyle for their patients and are often the main point of contact for them. Patients and their families look to nurses for guidance and support. The family will also look to a nurse when they have questions about resources and care for their loved one.

Nurses can play a critical role in the patient’s well-being by educating them with accurate and up-to-date information about healthy lifestyle choices. They can explain the benefits of proper nutrition, regular physical activity and adequate sleep. This education can empower patients to make informed decisions and take responsibility for their health. With the widespread use of technology in the healthcare system to keep in touch with patients, nurses can follow up on their patients’ health while also being readily available for questions and concerns.

Methods used to promote good health

In the below sections, we take a look at the various methods that nurses use to promote good health.


Education is paramount to patients and their families once a patient is discharged, as they must understand what they need to do to keep the patient healing while at home. Proficient nurses are always up to date on the latest resources and information that they can relay to their patients and their families so they can have their questions answered. Educating patients on their condition and what they need to promote health helps patients feel like they are in control of their own recovery, which is a boost for their mental health as well as their physical well-being.

Collaborative working

Nurses can collaborate with patients to set achievable goals. By understanding the patient’s specific needs and abilities, nurses are able to tailor health plans to suit their circumstances. Small, realistic goals can boost patients’ confidence and motivation, which promotes physical and mental health.

Some ways that nurses can set these goals with patients include talking with them about where they feel they need the most help and what kinds of concerns they may have about taking care of themselves at home. By using this holistic approach, a nurse can create an individual medical plan that promotes and encourages the easiest route to recovery for the patient. The patient can also feel confident enough to make small adjustments to fit in with their lifestyle or abilities.

Nurses are a fountain of information and knowledge, so they can offer their patients resources such as pamphlets, online articles and reliable websites that provide additional information on various aspects of a healthy lifestyle. These resources can help patients understand and implement lifestyle changes effectively in a manner with which they are comfortable.

Understanding accessibility

A nurse can provide hard copies of resources for those patients who are not technologically savvy or may have physical issues that prevent them from using a computer. They can also find resources to help the patient with accessing other resources, such as volunteer centers that aid the infirm.

A nurse is the perfect advocate for patients when a resource is clearly lacking as they can go through the proper channels to create a resource or source one nearby. This is the kind of advocacy that can be learned when studying for an MSN for non nurses from an accredited school such as Elmhurst University. These online courses are perfect for individuals with bachelor’s degrees who have a passion for nursing and want to enter the field at an accelerated pace. To find out more about Elmhurst’s online Master’s Entry in Nursing Practice (MENP) program, visit the university’s website, linked to above.

Personalized medical treatment

Each patient is unique, and nurses can provide personalized advice based on the patient’s medical history, current health condition and cultural background. Understanding the patient’s preferences and limitations can also make it easier for them to maintain healthy habits. When a patient knows that they are not just a number or an illness, but an individual, their confidence and self-esteem will rise, and this is the best way for them to maintain their healthy lifestyle and accelerate their progress.

Leading by example

Nurses can demonstrate a healthy lifestyle by practicing what they preach. By incorporating healthy habits into their own lives, nurses can inspire and motivate patients to do the same. It is also important for a nurse to practice self-care to maintain their peak effectiveness when dealing with patients.

If a nurse is tired or stressed, they are more likely to make mistakes or miss critical areas when creating a patient’s care plan, so employing their own healthy lifestyle advice is crucial for excellent patient care. The way that nurses can engage in self-care and keep themselves working at peak performance is to engage in regular physical activity.

Promoting exercise

Nurses can incorporate exercise into their daily routine. This can include walking or cycling to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or participating in fitness classes or sports activities outside of work. Regular exercise helps maintain physical fitness, reduces stress and promotes a healthy weight. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats is a great way for a nurse to stay healthy and have consistent energy throughout the day. Planning and preparing meals in advance can help nurses make healthier choices, even during busy shifts.

Prioritizing rest and ensuring an adequate amount of sleep is an excellent way for nurses to avoid burnout and fatigue. Nurses often work long and demanding hours, so by getting enough sleep and allowing time for rest, they can recharge their bodies and minds, improve their concentration, and enhance their overall well-being.


Another excellent self-care strategy is to engage in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga or hobbies outside of work. Connecting with loved ones and seeking professional support when needed can also help nurses manage stress effectively. They can also participate in relevant educational programs, conferences or workshops to enhance their knowledge and skills in promoting healthy lifestyles.

By continuously learning and staying informed, nurses can provide accurate and up-to-date advice to their patients. By practicing a healthy lifestyle themselves, nurses can inspire others to do the same and create a positive environment. Leading by example demonstrates the importance of self-care and encourages a culture of wellness within the nursing profession.

Positive encouragement

Encouraging patients to take charge of their own health and believe in their ability to make positive changes is vital. Nurses can foster a sense of self-efficacy by praising patients’ efforts, acknowledging their progress, and providing support during setbacks. Taking their health into their own hands with positive guidance can boost the confidence of a patient, which helps with recovery.

Without this kind of support, many patients can relapse due to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or fear. Self-efficacy is crucial in empowering patients to take their health into their own hands and speed up their recovery.

Active listening

In some cases, all that a patient needs to feel empowered is someone with empathy who will listen to them. Nurses can create a safe and supportive environment where patients feel comfortable discussing their challenges, fears and goals. By actively listening and showing empathy, nurses can develop a deeper understanding of their patients’ motivations and obstacles, leading to more effective guidance and support.

This type of relationship also helps a patient who may not be totally forthcoming about their needs or lack of self-care to come clean and ask the nurse for help in maintaining their care plan within their abilities. Many times, a nurse will be dealing with a patient of a different generation who is not accustomed to speaking about health issues and would prefer to remain stoic and pretend that they are fine. By creating a strong bond with patients, they are more likely to open up and get the help they need to live a happier, healthier life.

Interdepartmental learning

Nurses can also collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as dietitians, physical therapists and psychologists, to provide comprehensive care. This interdisciplinary approach ensures that patients receive well-rounded assistance and increases the likelihood of successful lifestyle changes. Understanding the full picture of a patient’s health is crucial in creating a holistic medical plan that considers all of the patient’s abilities, concerns and resources. When everyone is on the same page and has access to the same information, medication control and treatment are more effective.

What are the benefits of leading a healthy life?

Nurses have a unique and vital role in promoting a healthy lifestyle. By providing education, resources, support and personalized care, they can empower patients to make sustainable changes that improve their overall well-being. It is important for nurses to promote a healthy lifestyle to their patients to prevent future health problems, improve their overall health, empower them, enhance the quality of their lives, and save the healthcare industry valuable resources spent on preventable illnesses.

Preventing illness

By promoting a healthy lifestyle, nurses can help prevent various health problems before they occur. Encouraging patients to adopt healthy habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet and stress management can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also discourage these genetic diseases from reoccurring in future generations, as the patients and their families can start adopting the healthy lifestyles and raise their children the same way by being good examples.

Improved community health

Promoting a healthy lifestyle can lead to improved overall health for patients. A healthy lifestyle contributes to better physical and mental well-being, increased energy levels and improved immune function. It also enhances patients’ ability to recover from illnesses or surgeries. The patient can lead a more productive and happier life, which will provide an example for their family and give them more time to spend with the people they love.

These habits can also prolong a patient’s life and improve their ability to perform daily activities, enjoy hobbies and engage in social interactions. Promoting healthy behaviors can also relieve symptoms such as pain, fatigue and mental distress, leading to an improved sense of well-being. When an individual suffers a trauma and does not receive guidance or support, they can develop a mental health condition such as depression. This is why having the support of a healthcare professional and family and friends who know and understand is so important in the recovery and ultimate rehabilitation of the patient. 


Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is cost-effective in the long run. By preventing chronic diseases, nurses help reduce the burden on the healthcare system and decrease healthcare costs. Additionally, promoting healthy behaviors can reduce the need for expensive interventions and medications, resulting in economic benefits for both patients and healthcare providers.

Medication, rehabilitation and hospital visits are all expensive endeavors, and by promoting a healthy lifestyle and encouraging preventive care, nurses can offer their patients a happier life that won’t drain their savings.

Final thoughts

By focusing on prevention and education, nurses help to empower individuals to make sustainable changes that lead to healthier and happier lives. By the same token, working collaboratively with their patients and listening to their concerns can help to create holistic healthcare plans that cater to the individual. By collaborating with other healthcare professionals, nurses can make sure that all aspects of their patients’ health are considered and shared.