Holistic Nurse Practitioner Programs

What Does A Holistic Nurse Do?
Holistic nursing practice
is a relatively unique nursing specialty; a form of healthcare which encompasses elements of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. As a holistic nurse, you will strive to establish a personal connection with patients, and treat them as a 'whole person' and not merely as a patient with specific symptoms and problems. Symptoms will not only be treated with western medication, but you will dig deep into the causes of the problem and supplement your treatment with non-western healing practices like music therapy, meditation, massage, aromatherapy, and touch therapy.

Education and Licensure Requirements:
As a first step to becoming a holistic nurse, there are typically two degrees from which you could choose to earn:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): This program usually takes two years to complete, and will provide you with basic clinical knowledge and required skills for practicing as a nurse.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): This degree program typically takes four years to complete. It also focuses on some advanced theories and leadership curriculum.

When choosing a program and school, you should take into account factors like accreditation of the program and approval by the respective state board of nursing. Online nursing programs are also very popular among those who are working and wish to enjoy flexibility in their study schedule. To start practicing as a professional holistic nurse, you'll first have to become a registered nurse (RN).  This involves passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) after earning an ADN or BSN. You might be required to take a different exam for each state. Moreover, to prepare for your career as a holistic nurse and attain specialized knowledge in the field, it could be beneficial to take courses specific to holistic nursing. Some examples of these courses include:

  • Holistic Nursing: Theory and Practice
  • Relaxation Strategies
  • Clinical Stress Management
  • Intuitive & Energy healing

Although certifications are not a requirement, they are looked upon favorably by employers. You could enroll in the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation (AHNCC) and take the qualifying exam. Once you have passed the exam, you qualify to be a HN-BC (Holistic Nurse-Broad Certified). It's a way of showing employers that you are knowledgeable and committed, and that you fulfill national standards for nursing practice.

Required Skills:
There are various skills that you should possess or should try to develop as you progress towards your career as a holistic nurse: You should:

  • Be a good listener
  • Be calm and centered
  • Have a non-judgmental attitude towards your patients and their issues and concerns
  • Be able to look at a problem from multiple perspectives

Employment Outlook:
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012, the average hourly and annual salary for registered nurses was $31.48 and $65,470, respectively. As a holistic nurse practitioner, you'll work in local clinics, private medical offices, and hospitals. The popularity of holistic nursing is increasing as people are becoming more aware about alternative healing practices. The BLS estimates that the employment growth rate for registered nurses will be 26% from 2010 to 2020.


Q:What is the aim of a nurse practitioner program with a focus on holistic care?

A:Holistic nursing programs are designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the field. Holistic health focuses upon treatment and healing all aspects of the body, including mental health, psychical health, and even spiritual health. This healthcare specialty is gaining a lot of popularity and has opened up many career opportunities.

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