How do I get involved in Alternative/Holistic nursing?

  1. What do you do when you have a nursing degree but don't believe in Western medicine or our health care system? I recently received my BSN degree and through my schooling came to the realization that I very much disagree with our health care system and Western medicine. I do not want to work in a hospital and am more interested in working in holistic/alternative nursing but have no idea where to begin to get into that field. Has anyone else had these feelings? I would appreciate any advice on this, I feel completely lost right now. I am still interested in helping people and being a nurse, but I don't feel that Western medicine is really that helpful. No one else in my nursing school cared to try and understand my feelings/beliefs, so now that I am done I am really trying to find others who do, but am having a hard time. I don't want to be a typical nurse in a hospital because I feel that by giving medications and other Western medicine treatments I would be going against what I believe. I didn't work as hard as I did in school to not use my knowledge. I know that I am a very compassionate and caring person who is great with people, I just need to find the right place for me and don't know where to begin!
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    About Sarah27

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 22; Likes: 16
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  3. by   trw07
    As a person coming into nursing from an alternative background, I have a couple of suggestions. Try visiting The American Holistic Nurses Association ( to find a list of their "approved" courses for certification. Also, try visiting to see the incredible advances in energetics research. Good luck and welcome to what I think is the future of nursing!
  4. by   RNGreen
    I totally agree with you. I have about 1 1/2 years of hospital nursing now, but have never really believed in Western Medicine. I was going to go to naturopathic school but was afraid of the high tuition and then opening my own office/expenses. So I decided on nursing. Sometimes I wish I just went into acupuncture or TCM, or another "alternative" field. But since I am a nurse I plan to eventually become a holistic nurse practioner, hopefully. I am also looking into hospice nursing now since they focus on quality of life. Email me if you want and good luck on finding your path.
  5. by   marnacla
    I became a raw food nutrition specialist and lifestyle coach. You'll have to make your own job however you can look into energy healing, herbalogy, etc. I was a western nurse for a lot of years and, like you, have moved into an alternative arena where I feel I'm giving people valuable information and assisting them to take control of their health. There's a ton of stuff out there.
  6. by   jitterbugg
    I also agree with you. I am currently in my second semester of an ADN program and feel that a more natural-whole person approach is where my heart is. I will continue to get my RN but I am still searching for a different career than most. I would also love any suggestions as well. I will check out the ahna website.
  7. by   BA.LVN
    I'm "only" a LVN, but I too, would love to work in an alternative/holistic environment.....a clinic that offered massage therapy/reflexology/homeopathy/herbology/aromatherapy/health&wellness coaching....etc. etc. etc! If anyone opens up one of these in or near San Jose, CA, PLEASE let me know! hahaha. Anyways, kidding aside, I am finally going for my BSN-RN. I want to be able to have more career opportunities, including something in holistic healthcare. I'd go for massage therapy, but that's another however long program and I think I need to focus on the BSN first.....:spin:
  8. by   mom2-3
    I am also in the same boat. I have been an RN for 12 years now, and am feeling very disheartened by many things I am seeing. I believe in a more natural/preventative approach to life and wellness, and am sick of pill pushing. I live in NY where we are presently fighting a mandate for all healthcare workers to recieve flu shots annually along with the h1n1 vax. I am outraged by this and find myself questioning the entire profession. I have realized I need to be serving people as a nurse in a different capacity, and would like to become a holistic practitioner. I am not sure which avenue to persue in the realm as there seem to be so many options out there, and then what to do with it when I am done with my training. I have a dream of opening my own business/natural healing shop...any other ideas for schooling out there?
  9. by   RosesRN
    You all should look into Nutrition Response Testing. That is what I want to do with my nursing degree. I was an office manager for a Doc who practiced that. When I got the job I thought it was a normal nutritionist office, but it was VERY different. I was skeptical but during the year I worked there I saw so many HAPPY patients, people that the medical doctors could not help we were able to heal! Also skeptical patients would heal too, so it wasn't some placebo effect! Patients would still see their medical doctors for tests and such and we encouraged that, but during treatment at our office their medical doctors would take them off insulin, statins, bp medication because they no longer tested as diabetics, high chol, high bp. Therapeutic doses of nutrition offer your body the building blocks to repair itself. Simple and it makes sense right? Our body is designed to heal itself if given the proper nutrition. Pharmacology just overrides the body's autonomic nervous system, suppressing symptoms to give "normal" vitals and labs and then you get a TON of side effects. HOWEVER---there is definitely a place for allopathic medicine in acute care and special situations. Some people prefer that type of care, that is why they go to a medical doctor, that is why they go to the hospital, so my role as a nurse it to provide the care that the patient is seeking, it is not my job to change someone's mind (plus if you are in a hospital or medical doc's office, legally you can get in big trouble if the patient doesn't like what you are saying. If they want something different they will research it and find it) I decided to go to nursing school because you have to have a degree in the healthcare field if you want to take classes at Ulan Nutritional Systems...the program is one weekend a month for 6 months in Florida. The supplements are all whole food from an American company that is 80 years old, check out their website, They offer lots of seminars around the country, just speak to a rep, you can get a student discount, it might cost between $50 and $150 for the weekend. I just reread this and it kinda sounds like an advertisement, it is not! i just get really excited about it! I took a full year of prenursing classes and now I am in my first of three semesters of nursing school for a second degree bachelors in nursing. 3 years ago I had horrible paranoia, anxiety, depression, and I could NOT cope with stress, I would crumble...I got an Rx for Xanax which I took twice and stopped because I Hated the druggy feeling. So when I started working at the nutritonist's office he found that I was severely B-vitamin deficient. I never told him about my symptoms ("hey boss, I feel crazy and too stressed most of the time"). I tested for 30 B vitamin tablets a day, it is called Cataplex B. Now I just take one per day IF I remember, usually I just swallow a couple a week when I remember, I may take a couple more if I have alcohol or have a bit more stress than normal. But I am so functional now! That is my testimonial. Most of America is B vitamin deficient. Feel free to email me any questions, but contact Ulan Nutritional Systems in Florida and they will tell you about the program and what credentials you need. You can have your own practice, and set your own hours, and it was very lucrative (that wasn't the goal, the goal was getting people well, but it was a nice byproduct of that! Most patients were word of mouth, I think that speaks for itself) Good Luck!
  10. by   zahryia
    You could try getting another degree. I'm currently attending Tai Sophia Institute.
  11. by   acubed
    Some chiropractor's offices have many services available, and some DO offices also offer holistic services. Maybe you can focus on preventative care which would include educating the public/patients, nutrition sounds great too.
  12. by   touchhealth
    I just became a (student) member of the American Holistic Nurses Association, and really feel like I've found "my people" in nursing. It's hard to reconcile the limitations in allopathic care for natural preventive approaches to health and wellness. But we've got to push those limits and work towards increasing public awareness of these practices.

    What's great about the AHNA membership is that I was also able to find an AHNA network of nurses in my area and have started going to meetings and events with others in the field. They are doing a lot of different types of work: nutritional counselor, oncology nurse navigator, lifecoach, private practice massage therapy, holistic nurse practitioner. Some within the hospital, some in outpatient settings, some independently. Try and network with others who feel the same way you do. It will really make a difference, and might help you feel less lost.

    Good luck on your journey!!
  13. by   IndianaHH
    Im currently studying Healing Touch, which is a nursing modality recognised by the Holistic Nurses and proven many times over. I, too, have been disheartened by the changes in "healthcare". I don't see it becoming any better.

    I am hoping and praying to open my own practice within 18 months.
  14. by   BetsyRN1
    i'm a holistic rn and i felt the same way as you. i've always wanted to help people, but was not a fan of hospitals or pushing medication. after nursing school, i worked on a psych unit for a few year to get hospital experience, but could no longer keep doing it because i felt that hospitals were all about money & did not care about the patients.....they were simply dollar signs to the "hospital business". i always believed in natural medicine and loved teaching my patient about natural healing therapies, so i decided to look for a holistic nursing program. it can be hard to find a program, but i enrolled in the one i found...the ny college of health professions. the program revolved around chinese medicine & amma therapy, and even had clinicals in the teaching clinic so we got hands on experience with real was tough, but i'm so happy i did it. i love holistic nursing and being able to teach people how they can heal themselves. since graduating from there, i took certification classes in reiki & raindrop therapy. i'm glad i finally found my niche in nursing, and do love it, but since holistic medicine i not yet mainstream or covered ny insurance, it is difficult to find a job as a holistic have to create it yourself sometimes. i worked at an integrative healing center providing holistic treatments, and now working in a city office with my own business.
    i have a fan page on facebook if you'd like to check it out.

    i'm not sure where you live, but you should look into holistic nursing programs in your area.
    i believe that you should always do what makes you happy! hope this helped
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Jan 18, '12 : Reason: Please don't include links to FB.