Background: This article provides a reflection on the concepts of caring and health promotion in nursing. Object: How can the concepts of caring and health promotion be combined in nursing? Theoretical root: It is important in all sciences to define and discuss the meaning of different concepts and how they relate to each other. Caring in nursing includes reflection as well as nurses’ attitudes and their intentions. Nursing theorists describe several conditions of care. Health promotion in nursing is a relatively new concept concerning a holistic approach, coping and the use of a salutogenetic approach. Conclusion: A health-promoting approach, involving a bio-psycho-social-existential understanding, is discussed as a paradigm shift in nursing. The distinction between cure and care still remains a challenge in nursing science; a deeper understanding of the contents of the concepts of care and health promotion together with an understanding of the different levels of care, may contribute to meet these challenges.

Keywords: caring, critical thinking, health promotion, nursing, professional practice