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What is a Holistic Nurse?

When I tell people I am a holistic nurse, I always get an interesting response: blank look, whatever look, or no response at all. How many people know a Holistic nurse? What is a holistic nurse? It almost seems like an oxymoron. Most people associate nursing with scrubs, 12 hour shifts, medications, hospitals, bedpans, etc. That is a common perception because the vast majority of nurses work in hospitals. However, nursing has over 201 different career paths. Holistic nursing has been recognized by the American Nurse Association as a specialty since 2006.

I originally started my career in the hospital environment, but it didn't match my lifestyle. I always felt conflicted because I turned to natural medicine for my own healing, but I was administering dozens of medications daily to my patients! In fact, I knew there was a way to integrate my holistic lifestyle and philosophies with my career, but I didn't know how. Five years into my career as a nurse, I learned about the American Holistic Nursing association (AHNA). This was the answer to my dilemma. The inner conflict I felt when my job required me to give medicine I wouldn't necessarily take myself. I was more drawn to health promotion and maintenance than damage control.

According to the American Holistic Nursing Association, holistic nursing is "all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal”(American Holistic Nurses’ Association, 1998, Description of Holistic Nursing). Holistic nurses may integrative "alternative medicine" modalities in their clinical practice such as: aromatherapy, acupuncture, acupressure, color therapy, dance therapy, guided imagery, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, hypnotherapy, music therapy, massage, meditation, nutritional counseling, prayer, Reiki, Qi gong, stress management, touch therapy, therapeutic touch and, yoga therapy.

Today, I am happy to continue my career as a holistic nurse.

Homemade Remedies

I am also a certified holistic doula.

Living and practicing authentically!

American Holistic Nursing Association

American Nurses Association


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