It is no secret that holistic nursing has become very popular over recent years. That could be contributed by studies that show that a person’s physical well-being is tied to their spiritual and mental health. But what is holistic nursing? What do holistic nurses do? And how can you become one? Well, keep on reading this article as we explain everything you need to know about holistic nursing.
What is holistic nursing?
Holistic nursing is a kind of nursing practice that majorly focuses on treating the patient as a whole as opposed to general nursing that focuses on treating only the symptoms of their present condition. According to the American Holistic Nurses Association [AHNA], holistic nursing differs from traditional nursing care by focusing on healing the whole of a patient.
Apart from healing a person’s physical body, a holistic nurse also addresses the patient’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. Another crucial aspect of holistic nursing is internal. Holistic nurses generally encourage patients to incorporate self-care, reflection, self-responsibility, and spirituality into their daily lives. They should not only care for their whole patients but for them as well.
When it comes to holistic nursing, holistic nurses, also referred to as complementary health nurses, often integrate alternative forms of medicine along with traditional Western medicine into their practice. This may include therapeutic massage, dietary advice, and meditation therapy.
What do holistic nurses do?
Here are some of the things that a holistic nurse can do:
- Recommend lifestyle changes to promote overall health
- Take proactive measures to prevent diseases before they manifest
- Investigate beyond the physical symptoms of a condition to determine whether the cause is an underlying disease or other factors such as lifestyle.
- Recognize each patient as a whole: body-mind-spirit
- Assess patients holistically using traditional nursing concepts
- Practice mindful presence whenever they are interacting with patients and colleagues
Some of the most common techniques and therapies used by holistic nurses include:
- Herbal therapies
- Dietary change recommendations
How to become a holistic registered nurse
If you would like to become a holistic nurse, then that’s a good move because this career is very satisfying and rewarding. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you become a holistic registered nurse.
- Attend nursing school
First, for you to become a holistic nurse, you have to attend a nursing school and become a registered nurse. Almost every position in the nursing field requires a bachelor’s degree. You can opt for in-person training or online programs.
- Pass the NCLEX-RN exam
Once you have completed your nursing studies, you need to do your National Council Licensure Examination [NCLEX-RN] test in order to practice.
- Gain experience
After you are thoroughly trained, you need to find a job to obtain experience. Fortunately, the nursing field is one of the rapidly growing and in demand field, so getting a job is not that difficult. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] estimated that the nursing field will grow by 15% by 2026.
If you want to become a holistic registered nurse, you must have a few years of experience. Holistic nursing generally doesn’t require the traditional minimum bedside experience as other areas.
- Obtain your certification
Once you have acquired adequate experience, you need to obtain holistic nurse certification. To be a holistic nurse, you will obtain your holistic nursing certification through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation [AHNCC].
However, certification is not mandatory to practice holistic nursing. But it designates your professional knowledge and experience to others. For you to be certified by the AHNCC, you need at least 48 hours of certified nurse educator training in holistic nursing topics.
- Work as a holistic nurse
Once you have been certified as a holistic nurse, you can start working. You can practice as a holistic nurse in several settings and a diverse range of career paths. A majority of holistic nurses generally practice in traditional hospitals and medical facilities. But as a holistic nurse, you can also work in:
- Private practice