5 Best Holistic Nurse Practitioner Programs – 2024
Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Anyone who has worked in the healthcare industry for any amount of time understands no two patients are the same. Even identical twins who share the same genetic make-up have individual personalities and experiences. Realizing each person's uniqueness, medical professionals worldwide have begun to acknowledge that there is more to patient care than identifying a disease or illness and prescribing medications to resolve or treat them. Treating patients as a "whole" is referred to as holistic medicine or holistic nursing care. Holistic nursing involves considering a patient's physical, mental, and spiritual health and wellness. Holistic nurse practitioner programs teach advanced practice registered nurses to recognize every part of their patients and provide care accordingly. These programs focus on the prevention of illness and disease first and treatment second. In this article, I want to share some of the most popular holistic nurse practitioner programs for 2024 and provide you with the information you need to decide if this is a career path you may want to follow.
Top 6 Benefits of Holistic Nurse Practitioner Programs
Practicing holistic nursing does not mean that you are not practicing scientific medicine. Instead, holistic nursing involves incorporating traditional, research-verified treatment with patient-centered care that addresses all aspects of a person’s well-being. If the idea of treating patients with a holistic approach is intriguing to you, holistic nurse practitioner programs can help you learn the art of holism. The following is a list of benefits of holistic NP programs.
1. Learn to Provide More Personalized Care:
Practicing holistic nursing means considering each element of a client's health. These include physical symptoms as well as emotional, mental, and spiritual responses to health or illness. When you provide holistic care to your clients, you will evaluate every aspect of their lives and use the information you gather to make personalized recommendations to improve their overall health and well-being.
2. Learn to Build Healthy Relationships with Your Clients Based on Trust:
Holistic nurse practitioner programs teach nurse practitioners to approach the care and treatment of clients with empathy. Patients are seen as individuals, not a list of symptoms or diagnoses listed in a chart. As you learn to see your patients as unique individuals and treat them based on their individuality, it becomes easier for them to trust you and believe that you see them as more than a diagnosis code or number on a chart.
3. Understand the Importance of Balance:
Holistic nursing emphasizes multi-dimensional patient care. When you participate in a holistic NP program, you will learn how to identify and address not only the physical needs of your clients but how to identify and treat issues related to mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being that may be causing physical symptoms. When you do this, you are promoting healthy balance in all aspects of your client's life, which can significantly improve all areas of wellness.
4. Job Security:
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
estimates a projected growth in nurse practitioner jobs by about forty-five percent from 2019 to 2029. As healthcare practitioners learn more and awareness of how preventive and natural health care methods impact a patient's health, it is natural to expect that the demand for holistic nurse practitioners will also increase.
5. Improve Your Own Well-Being:
Holistic nurse practitioner programs not only help nurse practitioners understand the importance of caring for clients. Nursing can be a very demanding job. Holistic NP programs help nurse practitioners understand the importance of caring for themselves, as well as their patients. Nursing professionals who take care of themselves are more capable of providing efficient care to their clients.
6. Learn to Empower Your Patients:
A holistic nursing approach involves educating and empowering patients to participate in their health and wellness plan. Instead of evaluating a patient and making recommendations for the patient to follow, holistic NPs include their patients in decision-making. Holistic NP programs teach nurse practitioners how to involve patients in their care, understanding that patients who are engaged in developing their care plans are more likely to be compliant with the plan, resulting in more positive outcomes.
How Long Are Holistic Nurse Practitioner Programs?
The length of time it takes to complete holistic nurse practitioner programs vary depending on the type of program you choose. There are graduate certificate programs, residencies, and fellowships. A few examples follow.
The University of Connecticut
offers a Holistic Nursing Online Graduate Certificate program. The program includes three 3-credit courses, and it is designed to be completed in twelve months. Eligible applicants must possess a Bachelor of Science (BSN) in nursing degree or higher and express interest in implementing holistic principles with evidence-based approaches to patient care in their professional practice.
There are two options of holistic nurse practitioner programs offered at
Tennessee State University
. The MSN Program with Holistic Concentration provides registered nurses the opportunity to pursue a master's degree in nursing with a particular emphasis on holistic nursing practice. Students who are enrolled full-time can complete the program in five semesters. Part-time students typically take eight semesters to complete the program. Nurses who already possess a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a nationally-accredited nursing program but desire to study holistic nursing can apply for admission to the Post-Graduate Certificate in Holistic Nursing program. The post-graduate certificate program is designed to be completed in one year.
How Much Do Holistic Nurse Practitioner Programs Cost?
The cost of holistic nurse practitioner programs varies depending on the type of program you enroll in. Certificate programs are shorter and typically cost less than other programs. Holistic NP programs range in cost from a few thousand dollars to over $25,000.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals
offers a Holistic-Integrative Health Care Specialist Certification program. The program aims to attract registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses who wish to integrate a holistic approach to providing patient care. The program consists of six courses, which are designed as independent study/continuing education courses. Students have one-on-one faculty mentorship. The program's open enrollment means students may register and begin taking classes at a time that is most suitable for them. The total cost of the program, excluding textbooks and other learning materials, is $975.
The Advanced Holistic Nursing program at
Florida Atlantic University
is a thirty-three-credit-hour program. The tuition rate for Florida residents is $371.82 per credit hour or $12,270.06 for the program's total cost. Non-resident students pay $1,026.81 per credit hour or a total of $34,884.73.
What Is the Curriculum Like in A Holistic Nurse Practitioner Program?
The classes associated with holistic NP programs are all focused on the idea of holism. However, the curriculum may vary depending on whether you choose to enroll in post-graduate holistic NP programs, holistic NP residencies, or holistic nurse practitioner fellowship programs.
Students enrolled in the MSN program with Holistic Concentration complete curriculum courses including Role Development, Health Policy, Pharmacotherapeutics, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Health Assessment. Holistic Nursing Concentration courses include Holistic Nursing I, Holistic Interventions, and Advanced Holistic Nursing Practicum I and II.
The nine-credit online Holistic Nursing Graduate Certificate at the University of Connecticut includes three courses that are three-credit hours each. Holistic Nursing I: Basic Concepts provides instruction involving the five core values, scope, and standards of holistic nursing. Holistic Nursing II: Advanced Concepts introduces students to advanced holistic practices and concepts, including body-mind healing, spirituality and health, complementary and integrative health approaches, and evidence-based practice. Holistic Nursing Practicum allows students to apply holistic nursing theory in various clinical settings. One hundred clinical practicum hours are needed to complete this course.
What Are the Admission Requirements?
While admission requirements may vary from one school or program to another, there are some criteria that most holistic NP programs have in common. In addition to possessing an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse, applicants are usually expected to submit a resume or curriculum vitae, official transcripts, and two or three letters of professional recommendation. State and federal background checks and drug testing are typically performed before admission to any programs' clinical portion.
Admission criteria for the
Tennessee State University
MSN with Holistic Concentration include the following:
◦ Possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited school of nursing
◦ Have an overall 3.0-grade point average on a 4.0 grading scale for all undergraduate coursework
◦ Possess an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in Tennessee or the state where clinical assignments are requested
◦ Provisional admission may be considered for students with grade-point averages below 3.0 if there are vacancies in the class
Applicants to the Advanced Holistic Nursing program at
Florida Atlantic University
must meet the following admission requirements.
◦ Possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a regionally accredited university, and an ACEN or CCNE accredited nursing program
◦ Basic Statistics Course
◦ Baccalaureate level nursing research course
◦ Submission of a Philosophy of Nursing Essay
BELOW ARE A LIST OF THE 5 MOST POPULAR HOLISTIC NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS FOR 2024
(The following Certificates, Fellowships, and Residency Training Programs are ideal for individuals who aspire to become a Holistic Nurse Practitioner.)
MSN (Advanced Holistic Nursing (AHN))
Post Graduate Certificate
What Kinds of Career Opportunities Exist for Holistic Nurse Practitioners?
Graduates of holistic nurse practitioner programs work in a variety of settings. Many holistic NPs work in private practices. Some work in clients' homes, birthing centers, or long-term care facilities. Occasionally, holistic NPs work in traditional hospital settings, but it is less common than in other practice areas. Because holistic nurse practitioners use alternative methods of care and non-traditional medical techniques, they can often find employment in places that traditional nurse practitioners do not work. The combination of Eastern and Western medicine to provide care to their clients and promote education about wellness and preventive care gives holistic NPs access to job opportunities in more unique settings.
A few examples of practices holistic nurse practitioners may include in their work include manipulative and body-based practices such as acupressure, acupuncture, and movement therapy. Mind-body medicine, such as art therapy, meditation, and hypnotherapy, biological-based methods such as nutritional counseling and herbal therapy, and energy medicine such as prayer, reiki
, and healing touch are also commonly used practices of holistic nurse practitioners.
Earning Potential for Holistic Nurse Practitioners
Holistic nurse practitioners, on average, earn almost $100,000 a year. According to ZipRecruiter.com, the hourly wage is approximately $8,300 monthly or $47.89 per hour. While some sources may report slightly different earnings, the averages reported in the chart below remain consistent across many platforms. It is also important to note that some factors may help holistic NPs negotiate higher wages
. For example, any other certifications the NP possesses, years of experience as a nurse practitioner or prior work in holistic nursing, and the setting where they provide care may all be considered.
If you love nursing but want to offer a more comprehensive approach to the type of care you provide to your clients, becoming a holistic nurse practitioner could be an excellent fit for you. By incorporating traditional medicine, mindfulness, and preventative techniques such as stress management, aromatherapy, massage, and spiritual awareness, you can offer a holistic approach that does more than treat the symptoms of illness or disease. By researching available options, like the popular holistic nurse practitioner programs for 2024 listed in this article, you can find a program that fits your personal goals for patient care. If this sounds like something you would love to do, don’t wait! The opportunity is yours for the taking!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT
If I complete a holistic nurse practitioner program, how can I become certified?
The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation
offers graduate-level registered nurses the opportunity for certification as an Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse, Board Certified (APHN-BC)
. Applicants must possess a graduate degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school and hold an active APRN license. One year of full-time experience as a holistic nurse or at least two thousand hours working part-time as a holistic nurse within the previous five years and a minimum of forty-eight contact hours of continuing education in holistic nursing within the two years before testing are also required.
Are there any professional organizations for holistic nurse practitioners? The American Holistic Nurses Association
(AHNA) is a specialty nursing association that is recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA). The AHNA’s mission is to promote the practice of holism in nursing research, practice, advocacy, community, and education. The association serves over five thousand holistic healthcare professionals in the United States and other countries.
What does it mean what someone mentions the “Five Dimensions of Holistic Health”?
Holistic nurse practitioner programs teach students based on the principles of the five dimensions of holistic health. These principles encompass everything associated with caring for a person as a whole and include physical health, emotional health, social health, mental health, and spiritual health.
Is there a difference between holistic nursing and homeopathic nursing?
While there are some similarities, holistic and homeopathic nursing are not the same. Homeopathic nursing focuses on approaching the treatment of disease by using natural remedies while treating the whole person. On the other hand, holistic nursing also utilizes conventional therapies such as prescription medications and other evidence-based approaches to patient care combined with natural methods, all while addressing the five dimensions of holistic health.
Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
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Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).