Holistic nurses, referred to sometimes as complementary health nurses, occupy a relatively new nursing specialty which employs medical knowledge coupled with alternative and integrative methods in order to care for the totality of patients as opposed to only seeking to eliminate the symptoms of a present condition. These nurses take into consideration the patient's mind, body, spirit, emotions, and environment to help them heal and to promote their overall well-being. The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) defines holistic nursing as ‘all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal.' Common methods that holistic nurses employ to treat patients include acupuncture, meditation therapy, therapeutic massages, and advice concerning self-care, diet, spirituality, and self-responsibility.
Common duties that are performed by the holistic nurse may include:
Holistic nurses can be found in a number of medical settings, but most commonly find employment at the following:
It takes a special kind of individual to become a successful holistic nurse since the field contrasts greatly with other nursing specialties. The field of holistic nursing is unique because it taps into Western medicine, Eastern medicine, and other alternative forms of healthcare. Nurses who wish to enter this specialty should have an interest in and experience with both traditional healthcare and complementary or alternative forms of care.
Like most RN specialties, those in the holistic nursing field are also required to possess either an ADN or BSN degree. While either degree type can earn you an entry-level nursing position, most employers these tend to favor individuals who have earned the latter degree type. Although it's not expressly required, some who enter the holistic nursing specialty who have ambitions to advance in the field will attend graduate programs with concentrations in holistic nursing. Many holistic nurses will pursue lifelong education in a host of alternative modalities, including nutrition, Eastern medicine, and more.
Holistic nurses will need to hold an unencumbered RN license and have some experience in the field before they can apply for certification through the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation. An ADN or BSN degree is sufficient for this specialty.
Those looking to become certified in holistic nursing can do so via the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation.
The following is a list of the different certification levels offered by the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation, as well as the eligibility requirements for each one:
Holistic Nurse Board Certified (HN-BC)
Holistic Nurse Baccalaureate Board Certified
Advanced Holistic Nurse Board Certified
The potential for job opportunities within the field of holistic nursing is promising because many individuals these days are looking for medical solutions outside of traditional Western medicine that don't include pharmaceuticals.
According to PayScale, the average hourly wage for certified holistic nurses is approximately $36, or around $74,880 per year. Factors that will determine salaries include things like employing organization, the city/state of employment, education levels and other credentials, and the amount of clinical experience in the field that they have, and more. Although similar factors will also play a role in the contents of these nurses' employee benefits packages, most who are employed full-time can expect to receive medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage, with some paid time off annually.