The purpose of this qualitative study was to discover ways in which nurses describe themselves as health-promoting role models. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with nurses working in a variety of settings. Transcribed interviews were analyzed thematically. Nurses defined themselves as role models of health promotion according to the meaning they gave the term, their perceptions of societal expectations, and their self-constructed personal and professional domains. The term role model evoked diverse interpretations ranging from negative perceptions of the idealized image to a humanized, authentic representation. Nurses perceived that society expected them as role models to be informational resources and to practice what they preached. Nurses defined themselves independently of societal expectations according to personal and professional domains. Valuing health, accepting imperfections, and self-reflecting were aspects of the personal domain, whereas gaining trust, caring, and partnering were facets of the professional domain. © 2004 Sage Publications.