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Also called Complementary Health Nurses, Holistic Nurses use alternative medicine, sometimes combined with traditional Western medicine, to care for patients. This field of nursing is based on the premise that you cannot treat a patient’s physical health without addressing the “whole” person—including their mental, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. This approach to nursing is much different than other, more traditional specialties, and an increasingly sought-after, niche field.

Things You'll Do:

  • Acupuncture
  • Stress management
  • Aromatherapy
  • Massage
  • Hypnosis, hydrotherapy and balneotherapy
  • Chinese and Eastern healing practices
  • Wellness coaching

Your job characteristics:

  • Multifaceted
  • Structured
  • Patient-facing
  • Independent

How You'll Get There
  • Get Your
    Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Pass Your
    National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
  • You can start working as a Registered Nurse, practicing Holistic Nursing for a minimum of one year (full-time) or 2,000 hours within the last five years (part-time). Also, complete at least 48 contact hours of continuing education in Holistic Nursing within two years before applying for certification.
    More about becoming an RN ›
  • If you choose to practice acupuncture and massage, you need to get a separate certification in your state first.
    More about this option ›
  • Get Your
    Board Certification (HN-BC) from the American Holistic Nurse Certification Corporation (AHNCC)
  • The next, and highest, certification is optional and requires an MSN degree.
  • Get Your
    Advanced Holistic Nurse-Board Certification (AHN-BC)
  • Become a
    Certified Holistic Nurse

More About this Specialty
  • Where You
    Can Work

    • Integrated care departments in hospitals
    • Patients’ homes
    • Birthing Centers

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  • What Else You
    Can Expect

    • A heightened awareness of patients as a whole.
    • A highly sought-after specialty in metropolitan areas.

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