A holistic nurse is one that does not just make diagnosis based on physical symptoms; holistic nurses take the both the emotional and physical state of a patient into consideration. Unlike some other nursing fields where a nurse does not form a long lasting relationship with a patient, holistic nurses are able to form a bond with their patients. For example, Florence Nightingale was one of the first holistic nurses recorded. Nightingale was known for her excellent bedside manner and comforting effects on patients.
Holistic nurses will sometimes be called “natural healers”. Holistic nurses are taught the concept of Holism, which focuses on every aspect of a patient. Instead of focusing on illness, holistic treatments focus on wellness and what one can do to improve relationships, environment, and spiritual state to allow healing to occur. Unlike traditional nurses, holistic nurses don’t necessarily focus on trying to heal the patient, instead, they help teach the patient how they can heal themselves.
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Typically, holistic nurses will be required to obtain a degree that certifies them as a registered nurse, “RN”, or licensed practical nurse, “LPN”. In addition to their degree, holistic nurses are required to take additional courses focusing around holistic nursing.
Holistic nursing is usually high in demand at long term care medical facilities as well as organizations like Hospice. Additionally, some holistic nurses may open their own licensed practices. The typical day of a holistic nurse would focus around helping patients with their overall health. Unlike traditional nurses, holistic nurses may spend more time talking to than treating physical ailments in a patient.
The average salary of a holistic nurse is $44,000, but can vary greatly depending on location, benefits, industry, and experience.
Even with the struggling economy, the health care field is remaining strong. With this taken into consideration, the job outlook for holistic nurses is positive.
Other similar careers include midwife, hypnotherapist, acupuncturist, massage therapists, and herbalists. However, one of the benefits of taking the career path to holistic nursing is that it requires an the nurse to obtain a degree that certifies them to be both an RN and LPN, or “traditional hospital nurse”. As a result, those who are holistic nurses have many options if they ever want to change focuses within the nursing industry.