The pressures brought about by the increasing prevalence of poor health amongsome population groups as well as the rise in prevalence of chronic and complex conditionsrequires a nursing workforce skilled in health promotion. Primary care nurses have increasinglyimportant roles in general practice settings but there is little exploration of the nature or extentof their health promotion work.This paper reports on a survey that investigated primary care nurses? perceptions of their cur-rent and potential roles in health promotion in general practice settings. The survey respondentswere primary care nurses in general practice. 78 nurses responded to advertisements seekingparticipation, and 58 surveys were completed and returned. Data were analyzed through aframework of downstream?upstream health promotion actions. We found that the health pro-motion practices of primary care nurses were most commonly in the downstream realm ofdisease prevention and health education but nurses aspired to take on roles in more upstreamwork of partnerships and collaboration. Nurses? opportunities are undoubtedly constrained byboth the general practice setting and their educational preparation. However, nurses were verypositive about the opportunities that their role and position offered for expansion of their healthpromotion work.Crown Copyright ? 2012 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd.