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A Quick Look at Holistic Nursing in the 21st Century



A quick look at holistic nursing in the 21st century

There seems to be a bit of confusion as to exactly what holistic nursing is all about. While many practitioners of holistic medicine shy away from such things as pharmaceuticals and other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, nurses are not often in a position to make those decisions.

They work under the direction of doctors in most cases, so if medications are prescribed, it is their duty to administer them. The question then becomes, is it possible to be a holistic nurse in the 21st century?

In order to better understand that, let’s take a brief look at exactly what ‘holistic nursing’ is and then how to actually be a holistic nurse.

A New Specialization

Actually, holistic nursing is now recognized as a specialty. In 2006, the American Nurses Association gave official recognition to the field as a specialty within the field of nursing.

It is a new field and one that many nurses are now looking to better understand. So, in answer to the question as to whether or not a holistic nurse can be comfortable administering previously ‘questionable’ treatments and pharmaceuticals, the answer is yes, they can.

Holistic nursing involves treating the whole person in body, mind, spirit and emotion. It is a practice that focuses on the interconnectivity of all aspects of a person’s life and is often especially well-suited to such areas as hospice care.

Educating Today’s Nurses

Now it has become common among those who would like to promote a holistic approach to better understand how to teach nursing in a traditional setting.

While there are schools that focus on holistic nursing, is it possible to teach a holistic approach in other colleges and universities not offering this specialization?

Actually, a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing would be able to teach Practical Nursing, but to teach it as a specialization as a Registered Nurse, it would be necessary to get a Master of Science in Nursing.

Bear in mind that you always need at least one degree higher than the students you will be teaching. As a nurse with an MSN degree, you could then bring a holistic approach to nursing to RNs you are training.

Holistic Nursing Beyond Hospice

Even before it was recognized as a specialty, holistic nursing was practiced within the field of hospice care. End of life treatments often involved the body/mind/spirit interconnectedness for patients as well as families and loved ones who were facing imminent passing of the patient.

Holistic nursing has moved well beyond hospice care in that it is now widely recognized that this interconnectedness of the entire person has a huge impact on their quality of life. Holistic nursing seeks to improve the health of patients by helping them learn this approach in self-care with a focus on preventing illness rather than treating it.

It’s an amazing concept. Holistic nurses do treat patients by traditional methods, but they also help to educate them in ways to integrate all areas of their lives for better health. Whether you are seeking to become a nurse educator, or wish to improve the quality of life in your patients, explore holistic nursing in the 21st century.

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