AHNA Invited to Cuba: Join the Delegation

AHNA Invited to Cuba: Join the Delegation

At the Invitation of MSc. Idalmis Infante-Ochoa, President of the Cuban Society of Nursing, the American Holistic Nurses Association is organizing a delegation to visit Cuba for the purpose of meeting with our Cuban counterparts and learning about the role of Cuban nurses in health care delivery. As President-elect of the American Holistic Nurses Association, fluent in Spanish, I am honored to have been selected to lead this delegation and invite you to join me in this unique opportunity. The goals of the delegation and initial topics of discussion for the meetings and site visits have been preliminarily identified as the following:

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About Lourdes Lorenz-Miller


About Lourdes Lorenz-Miller

Lourdes Lorenz, DHA (c), MSN-IH, RN, AHN-BC, NEA-BC, is the current President-Elect for AHNA , previously the VP Healthy Living Leader for Mosaic Life Care Journey and an Advisory Board member for Park University’s Nursing Department. Lorenz-Miller will function as AHNA’s President-Elect through June 2017 before serving as president until June 2019. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and is a doctoral candidate in Health Care Administration at the University of Phoenix. She currently serves on the AHNCC Advisory Committee and is a member of the American Integrative Holistic Medicine Academy Board Membership Committee/Fundraising Committee.

Lorenz-Miller founded the International Integrative Health Institute (IIHI), a consulting service that helps bring hospital administrators, medical professionals, nurses, CAM practitioners and the community together to share information and solutions to patient needs.  Prior to working at the IIHI, she created and implemented an Integrative Health department that provided holistic nursing inpatient and outpatient services at a large Level I Trauma hospital in Asheville. An RN of 32 years, she has extensive experience in critical care and healthcare administration. She is board certified as an Advanced Holistic Nurse, Advanced Nurse Executive and is a Healing Touch apprentice.

Lorenz-Miller is a national speaker promoting holistic nursing, Integrative Health and evidence-based]complementary modalities. She has provided presentations at the national meetings for the American Holistic Nurses Association, Oncology Nursing Society Congress, American Society of Clinical Hypnotherapy and at the Healing Touch Worldwide Program. In September 2011, she was appointed to represent the AHNA at the American Nurses Association

Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics and co-authored the position paper on The Value of Care Coordination. Lourdes Lorenz, DHA(c), MSN- IH, RN, AHN-BC, NEA-BC and President-Elect of AHNA

About AHNA

At its founding in 1981, the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) adopted as its primary mission the advancement of holistic healthcare by increasing awareness and promoting education as well as personal community-building among nurses, other healthcare professionals and the public. This non-profit professional membership organization is becoming the definitive voice for holistic nursing for registered nurses and other holistic healthcare professionals around the world. Holistic nursing focuses on integrating traditional, complementary and alternative treatment opportunities to improve the physical, mental, emotional and relational health of the whole person.

AHNA delivers valuable resources, improves educational tools, and offers superior networking opportunities to a vibrant and expanding universe of healthcare professionals. AHNA currently services almost 4,500 members through 143 local chapters/networks in the U.S. and abroad. Holistic nursing is recognized by the American Nurses Association as an official nursing specialty with both a defined scope and standards of practice.

The American Holistic Nurses Association’s Education Provider Committee is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission (ANCC) on Accreditation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # 10442.

For additional information, contact:




800-278- 2462


Dealing with Sensory Overload

Dealing with Sensory Overload

The modern world is full of inputs. We go from screen to screen all day. We are bombarded with information.  Nurses are also dealing with stressful situations and information as they move from patient to patient.  Because we are always reacting to the stimulus of our environment we loose touch with ourselves. Our bodies are processing inputs and our mind is trying to catch up. This situation results in sensory overload and makes it impossible to feel like our best selves. 

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Take a Deep Breath

Feelings are an emotional state or reaction. But feelings are not facts. When are bodies live in a feeling they assume it is a fact. We react when we are worried about a bill in the same way we would react if a tiger were chasing us. The stresses of modern life and our instinctual reactions are not always in sync. Ignoring your feelings however produces even greater stress.



Learning to self sooth so that your excess emotions are tamed can help. Modulating emotions allows you to not be held hostage by unruly feelings. If we can begin to do this ourselves then we are better equipped to help others.


Many of these techniques work because of a  concept called Reciprocal Inhibition which means that two emotions cannot occupy the same space at the same time. You cannot feel angry and happy at the same time. When you choose or create a positive emotion over a negative one, you feel better.


A great way to start is with deep breathing. When we are in a scared mode it is instinctual to hold your breath and to tighten up your body. You can use your breath to feel strong and more powerful.  Breath in through your nose for seven seconds, hold for four seconds and breath out through your mouth for eight seconds.  Do this for a few minutes and your stress will melt away.

Choose to Be Happy


Circumstances do not make you happy. You make you happy. Each day we strive to choose happiness. Nurses are in a difficult position, many times they do not have control over what happens around them.  A good nurse is empathetic and with that empathy we sometimes absorb other peoples feelings as own. 

You can choose to take responsibility for your life. Your thoughts, feelings, beliefs experiences, and behavior are all deeply part of you. You can choose to be happy. 

You can choose to change your perspective and see things differently differently including new possibilities and options.

You can choose to hopeful rather reacting in fear. When we see things from another’s perspective we can be inclusive and caring.

We can be the conduit for peace over conflict and love over fear.

When we listen to music that inspires and fulfill us we dance in our hearts. 

When we see the whole person we are caring for we can acknowledge them and ourselves. We can choose to love. 

We can choose joy and let it be contagious. .

Choosing to see problems as opportunities, challenges and gifts can be a challenge in itself. One we can take on with a glad heart. 

Choosing to forgive and let go of judgments and grievances is true freedom.  

Lt's choose to be positive and optimistic and to be loving and giving and to join with others. We are appreciative and grateful for both small and big things/experiences in our lives.  

Let's discover, listen to and follow our inner desires and  explore our purpose in life.

We cannot always change what happens in our life however we can choose how we respond to what life gives us. Choose happiness and peace. That is the key to nurse wellness and we can do it together. 

Strategy #1- Creating a Culture Shift for Integrative Health/ Medicine

Strategy #1- Creating a Culture Shift for Integrative Health/ Medicine 

This strategy is very important because it will help determine if the Integrative 

Health Initiative will move forward and thrive. There is a great deal of research, 

information-gathering and internal assessments to be done before creating a 

culture shift.  The process should be methodical, intentional, and include key 

steps for moving forward.

Step 1

Locate champions in leadership positions such as physicians, nurses, and 

executive team members who recognize and support the benefit of Integrative 

Health (IH) to the patients’ experience.  Once the champions are identified, 

create a meeting to brainstorm strategies for bringing Integrative Health/Medicine 

to the organization.  

Step 2

Assess and locate the Integrative Health practitioners in your community to 

establish networking and collaborative relationships. This step will help build the 

business case for Integrative Health by providing background information on 

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) providers.

Step 3

Surveying the physician and nursing staff will be the second strategy that will be 

used for assessing the perceived knowledge, desire to learn more about CAM 

and the support to implement CAM therapies.  Once the information is gathered 

from the surveys and there is a better understanding about the current staff’s 

receptivity to the Integrative Healthcare Program.  The survey will provide more 

direction as to how to determine an appropriate scope for the initial projects. 

Step 4

Making the business case is an important step in this process.  A SWOT analysis 

will be necessary for researching the opportunities and threats to creating an 

Integrative Health/Medicine program.  Investigate and gather research studies 

that demonstrate the financial value and return on investment of IH at other 

healthcare organizations.  Identify themes such as Public Demand for IH, Health 

Care Trends, Patient Satisfaction, and Nursing Satisfaction.

2015 AIHM Conference

I was honored to represent the AHNA at the Association Leadership Council Meeting at 

the AIHM, and will be co-chairing a Governance committee.  During the week of 

October 25th though October 29th, the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine 

(AIHM) had their annual conference titled People, Planet, and Purpose sponsored by 

Scripps in San Diego, California.  The conference was wonderful with inspiring 

Integrative Medicine speakers such as Mimi Guarneri, MD, Dean Ornish, MD, Tracy 

Gaudet, MD, Tieraona Low Dog, MD, and Deepak Chopra, MD.  We also had 

inspirational presentations from Holistic Nursing leaders Lynn Keegan, PhD, RN and 

Jean Watson, PhD, RN AHN-BC, FAAN.  The conference was truly interprofessional 

with a variety of speakers such as Naturpathic Doctors, Homeopathic Practitioners, 

Holistic Nutritionists, Environmental Scientists, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, 

Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine physicians.  

Holistic nurses and nurse practitioners met during lunch to collaborate how to shift the 

paradigm of health care delivery from disease centric to health creation.  It was amazing 

to connect with these nurse colleagues and find out about the amazing work they are 

doing in their health care organizations and practice.  It was wonderful to reconnect with 

past president of the AHNA Lucia Thornton, RN, MSN, AHN-BC who is a board 

member of the AIHM.  It is always exciting to connect with holistic nurses and nurse 

practitioners across the U.S….I hope to see all of these colleagues at the AHNA 

conference in Bonita Springs, Florida on May 31, 2016!

Five Strategies for Creating a Successful Integrative Health/Integrative Medicine Program

Since 2002, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has been providing statistics demonstrating the increase of public spending for complementary alternative modalities.  Hospital systems are looking ways to incorporate Integrative Health/Integrative Medicine (IH/IM) in the outpatient setting as the focus in healthcare is shifted to managing population risk.  Healthcare leaders need to consider several strategies when launching a cost-effective, progressive, sustainable Integrative Health/Integrative Medicine outpatient models.  Successful models for Integrative Health/Integrative Medicine begin with smart strategies that include:


1.     Creating a Culture shift

2.     Expert Resources

3.     General Framework

4.     Models of Delivery

5.     Marketing


The size of the healthcare organization’s investment may vary based on volume of community members served, the size of the organization, and the available resources.  A large organizational system’s initial investment for an IH/IM Outpatient Program Model may begin with costs of $600,000 or more.  This factor will depend on if there is a designated facility infrastructure to accommodate the services being offered.


Lessons Learned from Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson

It was inspiring to hear from so many nurses standing united to defend Miss Kelley Jones and the nursing profession.  United, nurses have a very strong and powerful voice!  We are over 3 million strong and do not usually speak out and feel empowered.  I came to several realizations while reading all of the comments.

The first realization is that the public really does not have a clue what we do in our very diverse nursing roles.  I feel it is time we educate the public.  Our expertise is derived from a strong scientific foundation that has extensive empirical evidence-base research supporting that what we do on a daily basis improves patient outcomes.  We also have a strong theoretical foundation that guides our nursing practice.

Another realization is that I believe that the public and physicians probably believe that our role is strictly confined to following doctor’s orders.  Many do not see how we proactively, monitor, assess our patients using all forms of knowledge (critical thinking, intuition, evidence-based practice, etc.).  We also serve as a patient advocates providing emotional support for families and provide information to assist with decision-making.  We educate many patients and their families regarding their diagnosis, medications, diet, physical activity, signs and symptoms to report to their physicians and modifying lifestyle behaviors.

I realize that many of the comments revealed the passion we have when discussing our dedication to patients, families, and our profession.  We talk about the intentional caring connections we make with patients and families during moments of witnessing suffering, fear, and grief.  We do not necessarily discuss how we go about our days with all of the tasks that can be overwhelming to complete within our 12-hour shifts.  We also do not talk about how we fill in all the gaps in the care of the patients to ensure that all everything has been addressed in the care of the patient.

Lastly, I came to realize that if we collectively used our unified voices to affect change, it would have a dramatic impact on our profession.  We are great advocates for patients, but when are we going to begin to advocate for ourselves?

Lourdes Lorenz

LMH seminar to help nurses deal holistically with stress



In the emergency room, nurses assist the shocked and grieving parents of a teenager killed in a car accident.

Or in the critical care unit, they watch as a local resident takes a last breath.
Nurses often spend hours assisting the elderly, getting to know them personally until the day they pass away.
Nursing is more than physical work. It involves caring for people, nurturing them and helping their family members deal with their loved ones health issues.
In doing so, nurses often neglect their own needs.
So Lenoir Memorial Hospital, the hospital’s Foundation and friends of nursing are sponsoring two sessions of the inaugural Rosalind S. McDonald Nursing Education Seminar on Wednesday.
Lourdes Lorenz, the president-elect of the American Holistic Nursing Association, will be presenting “The Nursing Self-Care Journey Positively Impacts Patient Care.”
There will be a 90-minute session at 11 a.m., which repeats at 2 p.m. in the LMH auditorium. Participants may only attend one session. A Healthy Options Fair will be held from 12:30-2 p.m.
All nurses in the region are invited to attend, but registration is required.
Nursing is the largest profession in health care with more than 3 million of them taking care of and nurturing patients and their families, Lorenz said.
“So many times nurses don’t take breaks. They work long shifts — 12-hour shifts,” she said, “and they take care of their family, and the last person they take care of is themselves.”
Lorenz said nurses have a high obesity rate, often suffer from back injuries, may incur injuries from patients who become violent and many suffer from depression.
The work is physical, but also emotional as they deal with sickness, pain, terminal illness, the dying process and death, plus be observant for warning signs to inform the physicians.
“Because of that,” Lorenz said, “nurses are very stressed out, they get burned out (and) they get what’s called compassion fatigue, which is also called secondary post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Awareness of addressing their “whole” or “holistic” needs — physically, emotionally and spiritually — is paramount, she said.
“And spiritual needs is not only calling their pastor, their priest or their rabbi,” Lorenz said, “it’s finding out what gives them strength, what gives them hope, what anchors them.”
The seminars will provide tools, such as guided imagery and self-reflection, for nurses to gain stress-heartiness, she said. Attendees will receive one CEU credit.
Constance Hengel, a board certified holistic nurse and community program developer at LMH, said learning about oneself enables a nurse to be more perceptive and clinically aware of others.
  •  “Holistic nursing practice encourages the nurse to be more personally aware,” she said, “and face one’s inner self with honesty, compassion, curiosity and hopefully even humor.”
    Lorenz has a master’s degree in nursing with a focus in integrative health, is CEO and founder of the International Integrative Health Institute, is an advanced board certified holistic nurse and teaches holistic nursing.
    For a brochure/registration form, visitlenoirmemorial.org and click on departments and specialization, then nursing. Email forms to kbest@lenoir.org. For information, call 252-522-7172.
    Margaret Fisher can be reached at 252-559-1082 or Margaret.Fisher@Kinston.com. Follow her on Twitter @MargaretFishr.

Personal Awareness as a First Step to Self-Care

Personal Awareness as a First Step to Self-Care


            According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), nurses comprise the largest work sector in the healthcare industry, totaling 2.7 million in 2012.  The majority of registered nurses work in the hospital setting.  Researchers have demonstrated that stress has a negative impact on an individual’s mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.  Nursing professionals face extraordinary stress in the present healthcare environment.  Many reasons for nurses feeling stressed are linked to the nature of the profession.  Factors that contribute to nurses experiencing emotional exhaustion and burnout, include working extended hours, providing emotional support in the face of patients’ suffering, increasing nurse to patient ratios, and challenging computer documentation shifting the care away from the patient’s bedside. 

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Recently I had the privilege of teaching the holistic nurse certification prep course in 

Louisville Kentucky.  There were 22 nurses who attended the course and 11 were nurses 

that were selected by Norton healthcare system leaders. The more I teach the class in 

different cities throughout the United States, the more similarities I find with nurses 

struggling with the time constraints in their work.  The nursing profession has been so 

focused on implementing new technology, that it is creating a barrier for nurses to connect 

and care for the patients at the bedside.

Holistic nursing is a solution that provides tools for nurses to create  more meaningful

connections and positive experiences with patients.  Holistic nursing incorporates holistic modalities  

that increases comfort to patients. Many times as nurses we get so task oriented, that we forget

that the patient is a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, etc. I believe when we are task oriented,

we become mindless to the fears and anxieties of our patients. Having tools to ground and center 

ourselves helps us to create those meaningful connections with our patients.

Some of the comments that the nurses who attend the class, reflected this need for 

connecting with others. Below are comments made by the students that attend this class: 

“All nurses need to go through holistic program and gain certification, it will help them 

become more compassionate in nursing. This class will enhance my nursing practice, 

relationships, and remind me to increase my empathy and treat patients like my most 

precious family member."

"This class allowed me to realize some of the practices I do are holistic. It reaffirms my 

thought processes and opens my eyes to another aspect of nursing.  I realize the more 

present in the moments I am, I recognize what a privilege it is to share that with my 


“ These past three days, I've learned about the importance of self-care, self reflection, and 

techniques to help heal myself body, mind, and spirit. We need to heal the healers!"

“This course has provided tools to sharpen my ability to be present and listen to my 

patient. It has also encouraged me to create a sacred space with my patients and 

connecting with them in a more meaningful way."

Nurses Lead National Effort

Certified Holistic Nurses Lead National Health Promotion Efforts

Nurses are doing great things for positive change in our health care system. 

Senator Tom Harkin has been a political leader dedicated to transforming the current disease-management model of healthcare to an inclusive model that promotes holistic health and wellness. He recently honored the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) with the following recognition:

"Board Certified Holistic Nurses are part of Workforce 1 which means they are at the forefront of leading health promotion and fostering well-being for all populations, and they partner with others to transform the U.S. healthcare system to promote a true wellness society."

- March 17, 2015 Senator Tom Harkin, [D-IA, 1985-2014] Former Chairman of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee

Photo: Peggy Burkhardt, President of the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), Senator Harkin, and Francie Halderman, Chair-Elect of the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC)