15 Top Holistic Nursing Programs

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Students wanting to take the entire wellness of a patient into consideration when providing care and nursing treatment may want to consider a nursing program in holistic care. Very few programs are endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC), but nearly all that are have been included on this list. At the bachelors’ level, BSN and RN-to-BSN programs incorporate holistic approaches and learning while at the graduate level some programs are actually master’s degrees offering concentrations in holistic care. Unless otherwise specified, these master’s degrees in nursing do not typically prepare students to become a nurse practitioner. Once completing a holistic-based program, particularly one endorsed by the AHNCC, students should be prepared to sit for national certification. Four certification exams and one specialty certification are available. Because certification is only valid for five years, nurses need to seek recertification afterward. Graduates of an holistic nursing program might also be interested in becoming members in the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), which provides education, resources and networking to those interested or working in the field.

MGH Institute of Health Professions, in Boston, has a 9-credit online Certificate of Completion in Mind Body Spirit Nursing for students with at least a bachelor's degree in nursing and anonlinePost-Master’s Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) designed for post-nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialists. Both certificates reflect holistic nursing approaches to healing and look at treatment from the perspective of a person as a whole. Emphasis is placed on intentionality, mindfulness and presence in the patient healing process. The programs are endorsed through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC). As graduates of these programs, students should be prepared to sit for AHNCC certification.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has a graduate certificate in holistic nursing available that includes three classes for a total of nine classes. Students take Dynamics of Unity, Psychophysiology of Holistic Health and then can choose between Therapies of the Imagination or Therapies of the Human Energy Field. The school also offers several other graduate-level certificates.

Tennessee State University, in Nashville, also offers a master's degree in nursing with the option to concentrate studies in holistic nursing. Three recommendations and a registered nurse (RN) license are among the requirements needed to apply. The program is 43 credits in length with 16 of these solely focused in holistic healing. Students complete 500 clinical hours and have the option to do six credits of a thesis or six credits of a project. A post-master's certificate in holistic nursing is also offered. Online classes are available for students interested in distance learning.

Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, offers a 33-credit master's degree program with a concentration in advanced holistic nursing. Students must have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) , a least a 3.0 GPA, a completed undergraduate statistics course and meet other requirements to be eligible for admission. Online study is also available and clinical hours can be completed in a student's geographic location. Students should be prepared to sit for board certification through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Center upon completion.

The BSN degree available through the University of Texas at Brownsville is available online and tailored toward working nurses. It offers an holistic nursing education that recognizes the wholeness of the patient and connectedness between a patient's mind, body and spirit. The program includes an upper-level class, Foundations of Holistic Nursing, as well as evidence-based practice and research learning. The program is endorsed through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston offers several bachelor's level nursing options, including a BSN, RN-to-BSN, and accelerated BSN that are endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. Graduates of the BSN program should be prepared to apply a holistic and evidence-based approach to care while using a patient-centered model. Students are taught about safe and therapeutic approaches to be able to create high-quality patient outcomes. An honors BSN program is also available.

The Bronson School of Nursing through Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, is endorsed through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation for its 126-credit BSN offering. In the program, students complete seven credits of nursing therapeutics as well as take classes such as Concepts of Health and Wellness in Nursing Practice and Wellness and Health Promotion of Families.

Metropolitan State University, in St. Paul and Minneapolis, offers an RN-to-BSN program endorsed through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. The program, also available at five community colleges, can be completed in two to three years and uses a holistic, integrative approach to providing healing and patient care. As part of their upper-level coursework, students learn about family and community health.

Northern New Mexico College, with campuses in Espanola and El Rito, utilizes a nursing curriculum based on the theories of Dr. Barbara Dossey and that takes an approach focused on intentional, holistic care that is relationship-centered. Nurses in the program take courses such as Complementary and Alternative Theories in Nursing and Integral Nursing. This RN-to-BSN program has endorsement through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.

Immaculata University in Immaculate, Pennsylvania, has an RN-to-BSN program that can be completed in the classroom or through distance learning. The program can be completed in two years and trains students how to implement a holistic perspective in their areas of professional practice and to treat others with dignity and to act with justice. Core nursing classes include Professional and Holistic Nursing, Holistic Care of the Chronically Ill and Holistic Health Assessment.

The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, in San Diego, gives students the opportunity to complete their bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) degree, emphasizing a holistic nursing framework. This RN-to-BSN program can take from 42 to 60 credits to complete and includes both classroom and clinical experiences. Students learn how to teach patients healthier self-care practices and to help individuals and families improve their overall well being.

The BSN program through Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Connecticut, is also endorsed through the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation. Graduates are prepared to skillfully provide holistic care to individuals and families of all age groups and backgrounds as entry-level nurses. A holistic framework of learning is used throughout the program and students take courses such as Health Promotion and Wellness and Community and Public Health Nursing and complete two holistic nursing integration labs.

Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio, uses a holistic curriculum and integrative approach in nursing care to prepare students for a career in nursing through completion of a BSN degree. The program examines the bio-psychosocial and spiritual aspect of life through courses and clinical experiences. Students take eight credits in nursing therapeutics and complete four credits in nursing therapeutics practicums. The program has endorsement through the American Holistic Nurse's Certification Corporation.

Eastern University, a Christian college in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, provides a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree that utilizes a holistic approach to health care. A minimum 121 credits is needed to complete the degree while 41 credits are needed to go from an RN-to-BSN. The program is endorsed through the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation and allows students to sit for their holistic nursing certification following program completion.

Methodology

Programs included on this 15 Top Holistic Nursing Programs list have either received endorsement through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation, offer a program that is based on a holistic framework in terms of patient care and healing or have courses or concentrations, particularly at the master’s degree level, specifically focused on holistic approaches. In some cases, holistic training is also integrated through therapeutic practicum experiences. Many similar programs may be available by searching under terms such as ‘integrative health and healing,’ but results from any online search engine will reveal that there are few programs specifically focused on holistic healing or that have AHNCC endorsement. Many programs on this list also have accreditation through either the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).