I began my career in nursing in 1982 and was inspired by holistic nurses who
served as my mentors. I wanted to grow up and be just like them. They did not call
themselves holistic but they exemplified the core values of Holistic Nursing. These
holistic nurses were always positive when they began their shifts and were always
willing to help others with their patients. They were creative, accepting of change, and
centered. Their patients loved them! They were the cool ones!
Today as a holistic nurse, I realize we continue to be the cool ones! We are
grounded in holistic nursing theory that guides our practice. We have special tools for
creating a sacred space for our patients by centering, intentional caring presence, and
mindfulness practices. We know that our healing presence has the power to promote
healing with our patients and realize that not being present serves as a barrier to healing.
We are aware that relationship-based care is essential to connecting, empowering, and
communicating with our patients and families.
Self-care is one of our core values as holistic nurses. We realize the importance
of taking care of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of ourselves. As
holistic nurses we incorporate self-healing practices in our everyday life to
remain centered and grounded. We see the importance of taking time to look within
using tools such as journaling, self-reflection, meditation, and prayer.
As holistic nurses, we also have an evidence-based toolkit that we can bring to our
patients with holistic/integrative modalities. There are many tools, but some that come to
mind are: aromatherapy, guided imagery, massage therapy, breath work, acupressure,
mindful relaxation techniques, biofeedback, nurse coaching, energy work, and music
therapy. It is cool to be a holistic nurse!