How Do You Become a Holistic Nurse?

There are many paths to become a holistic nurse. Most of them involve earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, getting an RN license and then specializing in a field of integrated nursing, according to Nursing Licensure. A holistic nurse provides direct care and intervention using various integrative therapies.

Get a Nursing Degree

Almost all employers will want holistic nurses to have a two- or four-year degree in nursing. These degree programs focus on developing the professional skills needed to provide high-quality, evidence-based and patient-centered care. Students learn about the complex health care system and associated health care regulations. These programs integrate critical thinking, quality improvement, safety procedures and leadership skills together to foster professional development. Students will understand common health care policies and their associated regulatory environments.

After completing the nursing degree, students will be able to understand the role that ethical guidelines, professional values and standard procedures play in patient-centered care. They will be prepared for communication and collaboration in busy and chaotic health care facilities. Students will understand the enormous role that health promotion and disease prevention play within various populations. They will know how to select appropriate health assessments for diverse individuals. Students will learn how pathophysiology impacts care plans and how to recommend evidence-based care plans.

Develop the Right Skills and Knowledge

Future holistic nurses must understand and show respect for individual uniqueness. They should know how to leverage different ideas and perspectives to appreciate cultural differences regarding health care and medicine. Strong relationship management skills will help them remain accessible, approachable and interpersonally engaged with various patients and health care providers. They must have the physical stamina to perform frequent bending, moderate lifting and extensive walking and standing. An excellent bedside manner and ability to build rapport with patients and coworkers will help them in their work.

Strong organizational skills will help them pay attention to details and prioritize the right tasks. A professional demeanor will enhance their independent judgment, client diplomacy, communication tact and professional conduct. Effective verbal and written skills will help them manage vastly various types of medical documentation. They should have experience with electronic medical and health record systems. They must be comfortable with adherence to policies and procedures related to attendance, punctuality, safety standards and personal appearance.

Work in Integrated Medicine

Holistic nurses should accumulate experience working in fields related to holistic or integrated medicine. This will help them sustain a working understanding of regulatory requirements, accreditation standards and compliance efforts. This will provide opportunities to identify and share the best safety practices. Being mindful of internal processes and compliance standards will help them freely communicate safety and compliance concerns to leadership. Working in integrated medicine will expose them to the Interprofessional Practice Model (IPM) and other holistic care concepts.

Nurses who work in holistic medicine will perform patient assessments to identify short- and long-term needs. They will facilitate patient and family involvement in developing holistic care plans. They will provide holistic health care interventions that are goal-oriented, researched-based and patient-focused. They evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and modify care practices based on results. They share relevant patient care information to promote continuity of care between different provider facilities.

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Those who want to become a holistic nurse will need to be a currently licensed and registered professional nurse in their state with a holistic health professional certification.