Become a Holistic Nurse
NCCAM.NIH.gov & NursingLink
What is Holistic Nursing?
Holistic nursing has been broadly defined by the American Holistic Nurses Association as, “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal”. The perspective of the holistic nurse is one that takes into account the interconnectedness of mental, physical, and spiritual health into their traditional nursing practice. The holistic nurse draws from a defined set of theories and practices rooted in complementary and alternative healthcare (CAM). In 2006 the field of Holistic Nursing was officially recognize as a nursing specialization by the American Nurses Association, and with that came a more precise set of criteria for the field.
Although can be applied broadly, the field of Holistic Nursing is a specialty practice that is based upon:
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A body of knowledge
Defined standards of practice
A diversity of modalities from a broad range of health practices
A philosophy of living and being that is grounded in caring, relationship, and interconnectedness
There are now two certifications available: Holistic Nursing and Advanced Holistic Nursing. Read more about getting certified on the next pages.
What are the Subfields of Holistic Nursing?
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) groups complementary and alternative Medical (CAM) practices into four domains, recognizing there can be some overlap. In addition, NCCAM studies CAM whole medical systems, which cut across all domains.
Whole Medical Systems
Whole medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice. Often, these systems have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States. Examples of whole medical systems that have developed in Western cultures include homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine. Examples of systems that have developed in non-Western cultures include traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.
Mind-body medicine uses a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. Some techniques that were considered CAM in the past have become mainstream (for example, patient support groups and cognitive-behavioral therapy). Other mind-body techniques are still considered CAM, including meditation, prayer, mental healing, and therapies that use creative outlets such as art, music, or dance.