This study examined the role of acute-care nurses in health promotion (HP), using a survey designed to measure the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of nurses in relation to HP. Staff nurses in eight British Columbia hospitals surveyed in 1992 responded that HP is an integral part of nursing care, yet several barriers in the hospital environment inhibit their efforts in this domain. The perceived barriers are lack of time, insufficient resources for patient teaching, and lack of continuity of care. Respondents identified positive features as the attitudes of patients and families, supportive colleagues, and hospital support for HP activities. The study concludes that acute-care nurses are an underutilized resource for HP. The challenge is to make more effective use of nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and skills in promoting health in the hospital setting.