Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was the first holistic nurse.
The American Nurses Association has recognized Holistic Nursing as a specialty and registered nurses can take anexamination to become board-certified holistic nurses.
From The American Holistic Nurses Association's Website: What is Holistic Nursing?
Holistic nursing is defined as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal” (American Holistic Nurses’ Association, 1998, Description of Holistic Nursing). Holistic nursing is a specialty practice that draws on nursing knowledge, theories, expertise and intuition to guide nurses in becoming therapeutic partners with people in their care. This practice recognizes the totality of the human being - the interconnectedness of body, mind, emotion, spirit, social/cultural, relationship, context, and environment.
The holistic nurse is an instrument of healing and a facilitator in the healing process. Holistic nurses honor each individual's subjective experience about health, health beliefs, and values.
Holistic nurses may integrate complementary/alternative modalities (CAM) into clinical practice to treat people’s physiological, psychological, and spiritual needs. Doing so does not negate the validity of conventional medical therapies, but serves to complement, broaden, and enrich the scope of nursing practice and to help individuals access their greatest healing potential.
The practice of holistic nursing requires nurses to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in their lives. This may lead the nurse to greater awareness of the interconnectedness with self, others, nature, and spirit. This awareness may further enhance the nurses understanding of all individuals and their relationships to the human and global community, and permits nurses to use this awareness to facilitate the healing process.
Holistic nursing is not necessarily something that you do: it is an attitude, a philosophy, and a way of being.
The South Carolina State Board of Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice does not allow for professional registered nurses to use complementary and alternative therapies alongside their regular nursing practice. The South Carolina State Board of Nursing has harassed and intimidated nurses and threatened revocation of RN licensure for nurses using complementary and alternative therapies—which these nurses have been trained to implement in their practice.
(The American Holistic Nurses Association has not had a successful chapter in the state of South Carolina due to conflicts with nurses and the South Carolina State Board of Nursing.)
The South Carolina State Board of Nursing needs to embrace the 21st century and incorporate holistic nursing into their scope and standards of practice. Holistic nursing is being embraced by millions around the world and South Carolina needs to do so as well. Registered Professional Nurses should be allowed to practice as registered nurses and incorporate complementary and alternative therapies without fear of penalty, intimidation, harassment or license revocation.
Thank you for your support.
Dawn Langley-Brady RN, MSN, CHPN, CCAP