This particular branch of nursing is concerned with integrating a person's mind, body, and spirit with the environment. In other words, a holistic nurse is not concerned simply with the physical health of the individual, but also their mental and spiritual well-being. In some ways, this field stands apart from the conventional ideas of nursing that we know, but this does not reduce its importance.
What Do Holistic Nurses Do?
The foremost responsibility of a holistic nurse is to diagnose and help treat any ailments that a patient may have. As a result, their primary training focuses on helping them execute these responsibilities as best as possible. In addition to this though, holistic nurses are also trained in alternative therapeutic techniques which may help patients relieve mental stress and become calmer. These techniques could range from simple breathing exercises to more advanced yoga and meditation techniques. Holistic nurses understand that addressing the physical symptoms of a disease is not enough to help the patient. Sometimes, there is a need for the patient to become more relaxed mentally and spiritually as well. By doing so, the patient begins to pay more attention towards him or herself, and this may help to expedite the healing process.
How Could I Enter Holistic Nursing?
You could enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program in order to become a holistic nurse. This program usually takes four years to complete, and covers courses in nursing as well as the humanities and social sciences. The aim of this combination is to help students become more compassionate in their dealings with patients, and become better equipped to deal with complex problems in the medical field. Instruction is a combination of classroom lectures and practical work, which provides students a hands-on experience to supplement their knowledge. Within the program, students will also take courses helping them understand the psyche of different patients, and equip them with the skills to develop psychological and spiritual healing techniques. Through these, the students could become effective holistic nurses.
At the end of the degree, you have the qualifications to be a registered nurse (RN). In order to practice your profession legally in the US, you will have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN). In 2006, the American Nurses Association officially recognized holistic nursing as a particular specialty within nursing. The American Holistic Nurses Association was also created as a result, and a certification exam is offered to all those who wish to become holistic nurses. The certification is important because it adds credibility to your qualifications, and ensures employers that you are competent and learned in the provision of care to patients. The certification must be renewed after regular intervals as proof of your proficiency, and the exam tests your knowledge in the area before authorizing you to practice your profession.
Having a holistic nursing qualification allows you to work in rehabilitation centers and trauma centers; where you could work with patients who require general healthcare and ways to achieve mental and spiritual calm.