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How Do I Become a Holistic Nurse?

Article Details
  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Holistic nurses provide nursing care to a patient's whole being in order to enable the patient to heal. In other words, the holistic nurse's goal is to help heal the patient's body along with his mind, emotions, and spirit. If you hope to become a holistic nurse, you will generally need a college degree and specialized training.

Getting a bachelor's degree in nursing and earning the registered nurse (RN) designation is a good start if you hope to become a holistic nurse. Some people choose to pursue the associate's degree in nursing leading to the RN; however, your job prospects will be better if you pursue the bachelor's degree in nursing. Nursing school will include coursework such as health assessment, biology, chemistry, nutrition, patient care, and research methods. You will also be required to successfully complete a nursing practicum where you perform nursing tasks while supervised by a licensed nurse.

During the final year of nursing school, you will prepare to take the nursing licensure examination. The licensure exam, the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN), includes coverage of topics such as infection control, safe patient care, risk reduction, or pharmacology. Preparation for the nursing licensure exam typically includes reviewing classroom notes you will have taken during the course of your nursing degree, notes you will have taken during the nursing practicum, and nursing concepts in a specialized licensure preparation textbook.

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Typically, if you wish to become a holistic nurse, you will seek a job during the final semester of your college degree. Then, if you successfully pass the nursing licensure exam, you will be eligible to become a holistic nurse. Graduate level education is not necessarily required; however, earning the Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) can be useful because it shows your dedication to the nursing profession and will most likely improve your chances of getting a holistic nursing job with higher levels of responsibility or pay. Also, the American Holistic Nurses Association provides the opportunity for holistic nurses to earn certification via taking an exam. This certification could be useful to earn as a means of improving your career potential.

Joining the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) could be helpful if you want to become a holistic nurse. The AHNA will keep you abreast on any new information relevant to the profession. Also, continuing education courses are often available through the AHNA which will be relevant to your practice as a holistic nurse. For instance, through these courses, you could learn more about various alternative medicine methods such as homeopathy, aromatherapy, energy medicine, herbals, acupuncture, neuromuscular therapy, or massage. The better your knowledge of the various alternative therapies, the better your skills could be as a holistic nurse.

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Discuss this Article

ysmina
Post 3

My cousin is currently getting a bachelors degree in holistic nursing. She tells me that they have a wide range of courses in science and nursing practice. They also take many courses on holistic medicine and different healing treatments like massage or energy therapy.

I think it sounds like a lot of fun. My cousin was always reading up on natural remedies and telling us which herb to take for what and the benefits of yoga, etc. even before she went into this program. So we were not surprised that this was her selection.

turquoise
Post 2

I was so excited when I heard about holistic nursing because I have long thought that the US health care system needs to change. If you think about it, nurses are the best catalyst for this change because they can provide important services that are now missing in our system. Among these are communication with patients and families, providing more and better alternatives for treatment and following up with how the patient is doing.

I think nurses started doing this by themselves even before holistic nursing was recognized. When I was in college, my health care was provided by nurses. They were just as informed and knowledgeable as any doctor I have seen. In fact, my nurse would often prescribe something and when I went to the family doctor during semester break, my doctor would prescribe the same exact thing.

This is why I think that informal requirements to be a holistic nurse is to study a lot about both modern medicine and holistic treatments and also to be able to work independently. A holistic nurse needs to be able to make the call and take a decision about their patients' treatments even without a supervising doctor. They must also sincerely care for their patients and really go beyond what has traditionally been expected from a nurse.

SteamLouis
Post 1

I think many holistic nurses were previously registered nurses and wanted a more personal and helpful interaction with patients.

The easiest way to become a holistic nurse is probably to be certified by AHNA. I heard that you just have to be a registered nurse with education and experience. Of course, you have to pass their exam as well.

Regardless of which route one takes though, holistic nursing is a profession that requires constant learning. There is just so much new information about medicines and treatments coming out everyday. So holistic nurses need to keep up with all of this.

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