Holistic nursing is a nursing specialty recognized by the American Nurses Association. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is studying effects of holistic nursing .While any nurse can practice holistically; certification is available for nurses and advanced practice nurses who seek to be credentialed.
The American Holistic Nurses Association considers Florence Nightingale to be the founder of holistic nursing. Ms Nightingale was very concerned with the relationships of patients with the people around them. She also realized that the healing environment could promote illness or health.
The American Holistic Nurses Association defines holistic nursing as nursing that focuses on healing the whole person. Holistic nurses employ a variety of complementary and alternative methods in their practices. They believe that illness and wellness are best treated by focusing on mental, emotional, and social conditions rather than on just physical symptoms.
Special membership rates are available for student nurses who seek to join the American Holistic Nurses Association. Benefits include subscriptions to a holistic nursing magazine and a journal. Some locations offer local chapters where members can get together. There is a student/faculty consortium that addresses reform within nursing education.
Another benefit that membership in the American Holistic Nurses Association offers to students is the chance to apply for the Charlotte McGuire Nursing Scholarship. It is awarded to an undergraduate and graduate student of holistic nursing each year at the annual conference.
All members are encouraged to attend the annual conference, held each June. In 2013, the conference is being held in Norfolk, Virginia.
Conference attendees get a chance to learn complementary and alternative therapies, such as reiki and aromatherapy. Nursing theories are presented as well. Classes are offered that explain how to bring the specialty of holistic nursing to a variety of health care settings.
Holistic nurses practice in all types of settings. They employ several modalities and use creative techniques which aid communication and create cohesiveness among healthcare teams. Holistic nurses often see themselves as links between conventional practitioners and alternative healers.
Complementary medicine is practiced by the majority of people on the planet, according to multiple studies. Some frequently used examples worldwide include herbal medicine, prayer, and manual therapies. Yet these interventions, as well as massage, yoga, and acupuncture are only beginning to be incorporated into the western mainstream health care paradigm.
The Journal of Holistic Nursing is a peer reviewed journal that explores many complementary practices as well as the practice of holistic nursing in multiple settings. The journal often has articles about diversity and culture and their implications on wellness too.
One unique aspect of the holistic nursing specialty is the emphasis that it places on self care. Nurturing the nurse is considered a very important aspect of being a holistic nurse. Holistic nurses employ a variety of modalities to care for themselves, individually and as a group. Modalities used may include meditation, journaling, labyrinth walking, and breathing exercises.
Holistic nursing offers nurses a chance to connect with the reasons they initially desired to become nurses. Caring, supporting, wisdom and spirit are all aspects of being holistic nurses. If you desire more information about holistic nursing, check out the American Holistic Nurses Association website at www.ahna.org.