What does a holistic nurse do?
Holistic nurses provide care and treatment to patients that focuses on their physical, mental, and spiritual health. They emphasize treating the patient as a whole, not just a certain condition. They focus on the causes of the condition not the symptoms and they stress the importance of health promotion and prevention. They educate patients on self-awareness, self-care, and self-responsibility. They use a variety of techniques such as biofeedback, massage therapy, acupuncture, and aromatherapy. Holistic nurses focus on the healthcare goals of each individual patient. They strive to heal all aspects of the body, mind, and soul to achieve overall wellness.
What kind of training does a holistic nurse need?
Holistic nurses must become registered nurses by completing a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor degree program in nursing. Prospective holistic nurses typically complete courses in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, alternative healing techniques, biologically based practices, and nursing ethics. All registered nurses must become licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Most holistic nurses gain professional certification from the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation. Certification requirements include a current RN license, minimum education and experience, and passing a written and practical examination. Holistic nurses must complete regular continuing education throughout their careers to maintain their licenses and certifications, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast on advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a holistic nurse?
Employment of all registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased emphasis on alternative medical treatments will drive job growth of holistic nurses.
Job prospects are expected to be great especially for holistic nurses with advanced education and specialty training. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace holistic nurses that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.
How much do holistic nurses make?
As of December 2009, the average annual salary for holistic nurses is $45,000; average annual holistic nurse salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a holistic nurse is a great choice for people with a strong interest in holistic health and providing care to a variety of patients. Holistic nurses must have a solid understanding of the philosophies and practices of holistic health and how to apply them to a variety of conditions. Patience, determination, self-motivation, and compassion are desirable characteristics. Holistic nurses must have excellent bedside manner and the ability to help patients feel at ease. They must have excellent communication and be able to work as part of a team.