Background Analysis of nursing theoretical works and its role in knowledge development is presented as an essential process of critical reflection. Health promotion model (HPM) focuses on helping people achieve higher levels of well-being and identifies background factors that influence health behaviors. Objectives This paper aims to evaluate, and critique HPM by Barnum’s criteria. Methods The present study reviewed books and articles derived from Proquest, PubMed, Blackwell Databases. The method of evaluation for this model is based on Barnum’s criteria for analysis, application and evaluation of nursing theories. The criteria selected by Barnum embrace both internal and external criticism. Internal criticism deals with how theory components fit with each other (internal construction of theory) and external criticism deals with the way in which theory relates to the extended world (which considers theory in its relationships to human beings, nursing, and health). Results The electronic database search yielded over 27,717 titles and abstracts. Following removal of duplicates, 18,963 titles and abstracts were screened using the inclusion criteria and 1278 manuscripts were retrieved. Of these, 80 were specific to HPM and 23 to analysis of any theory in nursing relating to the aim of this article. After final selection using the inclusion criteria for this review, 28 manuscripts were identified as examining the factors contributing to theory analysis. Evaluation of health promotion theory showed that the philosophical claims and their content are consistent and clear. HPM has a logical structure and was applied to diverse age groups from differing cultures with varying health concerns. Conclusion In conclusion, among the strategies for theory critique, the Barnum approach is structured and accurate, considers theory in its relationship to human beings, community psychiatric nursing, and health. While according to Pender, nursing assessment, diagnosis and interventions are utilized to operationalize the HPM through practical application and research.