Holistic nursing care was one of the first things I heard when I started nursing school
in 1985 in The Netherlands. It is something I have never forgotten, it makes an incredible amount of sense to me. It is as far as I am concerned the only way to approach nursing.
You look at the whole human being when providing care. Being physically ill results very often in social economic or mental health problems (unable to work, no money, improper nutrition, strain on marriage etc.). It can also result in other medical problems, for example the patient has surgery, receives IV fluids ends up with congestive heart failure due to an overload. Or mental problems, patient comes to hospital with broken hip, has surgery becomes confused as a result of the anesthetic.
On the other hand social economic problems can result in physical or mental health problems (improper nutrition, late detection of illness due to inability to pay, no prenatal care resulting in problems for mother and child).
Holistic nursing tries to look at the human being and all of its systems. If a thing happens to one part of the body, what is the result to other parts of the body and its surroundings (including mental status). A nurse who provides holistic care will be aware of these things and will provide care accordingly, he/she looks at cause and result and will plan care accordingly. This kind of nursing can be used in any kind of setting I think.