Suggestions on RN starting up as a Holistic Nurse, - page 2

How does an RN begin to get her feet wet in Holistic Nursing without becoming broke in the process,. I live in a rural area, Always loved Holistic nursing....what is the best way to get... Read More

  1. by   sethmctenn
    A great place to start with using herbs in diet is to look at ayurvedic "kitchen cures." Graduate to Vasant Lad's textbooks if you like a basic book on the topic. That way, you have some dietary tools for supporting constitutional health and working with people that have goals about specific aspects of their health.

    There are some good herbal conferences out there. I try to go to Medicines From The Earth (near Asheville, NC) or Breitenbush (OR). I haven't been to the Southwest Conference but I hear it's amazing. The group that puts on Medicines and the Southwest conference have audios available from That way, you can cherry pick topics of interest or areas where you need more growth.

    For books, consider:
    Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions by Stargrove and Treasure (You'll need a reference. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database is way too conservative but is more comprehensive. I always trust Stargrove over it.)
    he Mood Cure by Ross
    Healing with Whole Foods by Pitchford
    Medical Herbalism by Hoffman (for reference, not that you'll be practicing as an herbalist)
    Nourishing Traditions by Fallon
    Encyclopedia of Healing foods by Murray
    When the Body Says no by Mate

    The audiocourse from Bergner on insulin resistance is helpful Herbal Education -- Beginning, Advanced, Clinical, Classroom, DistanceYou may want to pick a specific area and do lots of study on that area for a year at a time. There are so many tools out there to learn about. It's better to really delve in deeply to one modality, get to know it for a year or two than it is to try to learn a little about everything and not have deep knowledge about any one thing.

    Good luck!
  2. by   Steeleworks
    I agree in principle about what you said, " It's better to really delve in deeply to one modality, get to know it for a year or two than it is to try to learn a little about everything and not have deep knowledge about any one thing."

    This is especially true if you look at the 60 or 70 most common diseases and conditions and the thousands of treatment modalities.

    Where I differ is when you are only using a few basic treatments or variants to treat the same 70 diseases or conditions.

    So, just the Water Cures as an example, can basically end diabetes, asthma, solve sleep, help people loose weight, and is a whole lot safer for lack of energy than the 5 hour stuff you can buy, not to mention cheaper. Although there is not a lot of research, it is likely that the water cure will help with the majority of the 70. Woman's Day featured a woman surgeon in California who cured her breast cancer using it.

    Now imagine that even just a few other treatments were used in conjunction with the water cure, adding the other treatments in combination. Now focusing on just the few basics, becoming expert on them, it is possible to take on the 70.


    As a Legal Nurse Consultant I have to warn the future Holistic Nurses that anything that has a cultural designation of being medicine, if you use it, could get you onto a slippery slope. Non-licensed professionals can promote them with no problem. However, if there is an untoward side effect or if someone takes it wrong (can't imagine that happening), what they say to their lawyer could put you in financial ruin. The law is about words and in the end, a lawyer can make them mean many things and a judge can interpret them in a way that nobody in the world ever would.

    Remember, to be safe, everything we do has to be backed up by a nursing diagnosis and care plan.

    I currently have a few patients with various heart conditions that I am having success treating where the doctors were not. Yes, there are nursing diagnosis for all the heart conditions and this allows me to provide nursing care plans that are safer and will provide a better quality of life. Things like ending chest pain in 15 seconds when 2nd nitro did not work. Or getting a BP of 210/110 down to 180/90 in minutes, much faster than we could have got her to the hospital. It continued to drop through the evening. Both with the nursing diagnosis of fluid volume deficit, less than bodies needs and the appropriate cardiac nursing diagnoses. Both were accomplished by having the patient eat a tiny amount of unprocessed sea salt and drink an appropriate amount of water to their body weight.

    Oh yea, it will even bring blood sugars down. A local doc has tried it in the hospital with just normal saline. He then tried it several times. It is much safer and faster than titration of the insulin and lasts longer.

    As to the drug/ herb interactions book, if going that route, it is a must have item.
  3. by   ckoopsen
    Quote from lumbarpain
    How does an RN begin to get her feet wet in Holistic Nursing without becoming broke in the process,. I live in a rural area, Always loved Holistic nursing....what is the best way to get accreditations or certifications in this and get a job doing so.....sorry so many questions ....just so frustrated with conventional nursing.
    I love your enthusiasm for this area of nursing since it is growing rapidly and is a very powerful way to shift the paradigm of health care today from one of "disease" care to one of "health care."

    One way to "get your feet wet" (especially if you live in a rural area) is to seek out an online (nationally accredited) certificate program in holistic and/or integrative health. This provides you with an overview of the field (since multiple topics are usually addressed) and can also provide you with appropriate contact hours for your ultimate application as a certified holistic nurse. There is a national exam that is required to become nationally certified in this field. Usually, contact hours in the field of holistic or integrative health are required as part of the application process. A certificate is different from being nationally certified. A certificate provides you with additional expertise and knowledge in a particular area and can help you get a job in the field (depending on the requirements of the job). A certification allows you to place "letters" after your name and requires ongoing study and work in the area to maintain. It can also help you get a job.

    There are numerous job options for holistic nurses in the marketplace, including managing employee or consumer wellness programs, being a health coach, obtaining extra training in a particular area and having a "private practice," helping a hospital or health care organization set up holistic therapies or a holistic/integrative health programs, etc.

    I hope this helps! Keep pursuing this passion. You are on the right track!
  4. by   Steeleworks
    Thank You,

    You provided answers to the most often asked question....How can I create job quitting income from holistic nursing?

    You wrote...
    There are numerous job options for holistic nurses in the marketplace, including... (made into a list)

    managing employee wellness programs
    managing consumer wellness programs
    health coach
    private practice
    helping a hospital set up holistic therapies or a holistic/integrative health programs
    helping organizations set up holistic therapies or a holistic/integrative health programs
    Private practice, probably the most difficult, looks like it will take at least a few years to build up enough business in my area. The other opportunities you mention could be pursued as either an entrepreneur or as an employee. As an entrepreneur, becoming a 'contract' employee wellness manager could allow for building a private practice as well. Everyone has family. And pursuing it as a biz rather than as an employee allows for going after several businesses. I love it.

    I was just thinking today, there is sports medicine, why not sports holistic health care and sports holistic nursing. Same nursing diagnosis, different care plans.

    Also, teaching at local colleges. You do not need an advanced degree. You only need to be an expert or an authority and be able to teach with out boring your class to sleep. The program has to have appeal so that people would want to sign up for it as well. There could be dozens of classes from specifics like mastering sleep hygiene, weight loss for gender or blood type to the general like how to manage health with food. It is called teaching credit free classes. Here is an explanation on how to do it. Teach Credit Free Classes to Start Earning Public Speaking Income

    Is there anything else we can add to the list? Please post.

    Remember, we are not competing with each other for business. We are competing with non-consumption. The more that start holistic nursing, the more people who will want it. I would even welcome 10 other nurses right next door to me to start doing it. It is a whole lot easier to build a buzz than just helping one patient at a time by myself.
  5. by   vandrus
    Quote from lumbarpain
    How does an RN begin to get her feet wet in Holistic Nursing without becoming broke in the process,. I live in a rural area, Always loved Holistic nursing....what is the best way to get accreditations or certifications in this and get a job doing so.....sorry so many questions ....just so frustrated with conventional nursing.
    I recommend you connect with the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) and consider attending The Integrative Healing Arts Program (IHAP) which is one of AHNA's endorsed certificate programs. The IHAP prepares nurses for holistic nursing practice and also prepares nurses for National Board Certification in Holistic Nursing.
  6. by   Treewise1
    Find a place and volunteer, all your out is gas and time that you would spend studying. I actually placed an ad in the paper and started my own community wellness group where I "experiment" with these techniques that I read about and apply them to my practice, hey that why they call it practice right? Keep a log of your hours. I highly suggest a relationship with The American Holistic Nurses Association - the voice of holistic nursing. They have a vast library of ceu's and have a home study course that leads to certification.
  7. by   Steeleworks
    Interesting idea but there is one problem. The nurse practice act in some states will not allow nurses to serve as volunteers in the capacity as a nurse in some instances. Also, will malpractice insurance cover work as volunteers?

    Then the question of how to get paid comes up.

    Also there are those who cannot afford care. I am trying two different models in two different cities. One is pay what it is worth to you and one is a fee for service based structure.

    Both have worked well but the fee based service is gathering even more steam than the "free" one, even though I am making similar incomes from both.

    One of my recent referrals said they did not have insurance and could not afford health care but they could afford me. Theirs was a simple solution for recurring UTI, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water, completely dissolved and drink. Do twice a day, AM and before sleep for 3 days. It works in 7 hours but the extra is for, shall we call it, overkill.

    I try to package deals. So to assess a couple is $147 (with out any lab work) vs $87 for a single and I provide what ever solution to what ever problem. Virtually everyone wants to lose weight so the husband created his plan to loose 10-15 lbs and keep it off and the wife how to stop the UTI. The were one of several referrals from just one single patient. I offer a 100% money back guarantee.

    Nobody has ever asked for a refund, including one of the above who a treatment did not work on. He simply wants me to try something else, which, now I am expanding my knowledge base too (practicing). Turns out his body was too acidic as he is in acidosis. Now to try to figure out why which will probably solve many of his other problems that the docs have not been able to for years.

    All in all, this is just way too much fun. If I were a rich man, I would pay to be able to do this.
  8. by   redfoxglove
    Steeleworks, you are an inspiration.

    I've commented on this subject in another thread somewhere in this specialty section. Just to add to the conversation here, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm a licensed massage therapist since 1993, an RN since 2011. My holistic health practice has been in effect since my initial licensure, and now I'm incorporating my nursing training to provide an expanded scope of practice.

    I could not agree more with Steeleworks' opinion that nursing is far from a holistic practice in the mainstream. However, I believe that many nurses have a holistic heart. My encouragement and support goes out to any nurse who is being called into the holistic health circle.

    One perspective I would like to offer here is to ask each one to meditate on exactly what do you mean by "holistic"? And in doing so, there is one more question to ask: are you applying to yourself the principles that you wish to teach others?

    In other words, are you the first patient or client in your own practice? We have studies to show that as a group, nurses are at the top of th list in terms of ill health. What are we doing about that?

    Now in the way of encouragement, I will offer this: to be called into a holistic practice is a gift from the Universe. If you follow that calling, and apply to yourself first, the things that you learn, you will be blessed in ways that you can't really imagine right now.

    In doing so, the circle of holistic health will continue to expand, until everyone stands in the circle with hands joined.

    Resources for interested seekers, check out the website for:
    American Massage Therapy Association (includes online courses, e.g. "when medications contraindicate massage" or something like that)
    American Holistic Nurses Association (includes online course links, also has student or recent grad membership rate)
    National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists (some online courses, a handbook for nursing documentation)
    National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
    Jin Shin Do Bodymind Acupressure Foundation

    A suggested way to get started: source out a "holistic practitioner" of some variety in your local community and book an appointment. Naturopath, chiropractor, reflexologist, acupuncturist, acupressurist, bodyworker, qi kung, iridologist, herbalist, etc. etc. See what the Universe provides for you in the way of inspiration and guidance. In other words, get out of your head and into your bodymind.

    Just do it! Start where you are.

  9. by   Steeleworks
    Thanks and I not only agree, I am following your advice.

    Really, all modalities of health care can be more or less holistic depending on how we practice. For instance, if someone approaches massage therapy as a job to be done, just a pay check, they may not have the passion that makes them look beyond the particular muscle groups they are manipulating and they attain unconscious competence. In other words, they just follow a routine rather than treating the whole person.

    To be holistic would require looking at what we are doing consciously with the holistic mindset. Then as a scientist asking, what is working and why and what is not working and on who.

    One thing I encourage massage therapists to do is to incorporate the water cure in their massages. Have the patients take 1/8th teaspoon of sea salt first thing in the AM as soon as they get up. Dissolve it in the mouth. Then drink 8 to 10 ounces of water. Then do the same at least 45 minutes before the massage if on an empty stomach and at least a few hours before if they will be eating within the 2 hours before the massage.

    The end result of your massage will be even more remarkable as their body will be more hydrated and will easily give up the toxins to the lymphatic system. This takes massage to a whole new level of holistic.

    As to self care for RN's, I went from construction work and weighing 198 lbs and able to dead lift over 500 lbs to weighing 300 lbs and barley able to lift myself out of bed after years of being a nurse. So yes, I was the first patient. It took me getting sick and modern medicine not able to help me for me to finally apply holistic health to myself.

    Using one simple life change first thing in the AM and last thing at night, I lost the first 40 pounds and have kept it off going on 9 months now. Note that I did not change the way I ate or exercised to accomplish this weight loss.

    Actually, I stopped looking at the scale once I hit 300 so do not know how heavy I was. The next 15 pounds came off with the raw food diet and today, I hit 245. I still eat meat and occasionally less healthy food, such as when going out with friends. Otherwise, it is only raw and live foods. I can have all the chocolate I want (or can afford) so long as it is raw. No being deprived, well, except of my excess weight.

    Good health to you and all.
    Last edit by Steeleworks on Aug 28, '12 : Reason: better wording, mispelling
  10. by   redfoxglove
    Steeleworks, thanks to your prompting in one of these columns, I went back to my old copy of Your Body's Many Cries for Water by Dr. Batman. Over 3 weeks I have healed the edema in my legs and feet. Now noticing edema receding around my eyes and face. Also have dropped 6 pounds. Oh yes, I did stop taking the hydrochlorothiazide too. So I am my first patient in this water cure.

    Yes, I totally agree on your comments about massage therapy. Not every massage therapist has a holistic approach. Many massage therapists do the same as nurses -- they give, and give, and give some more without ever giving to themselves first. Not to be too religious, but Master Jesus told us to love one another as you love yourself. What could that possibly mean, if you don't love yourself?

    Self care is the prime directive! For me, I find out if the practitioner I'm thinking about engaging with does their own self care. If not, it's just more of the same old, same old, Do as I say, not as I do. Doesn't work for me, either!

    Such good results you have achieved on dropping the unneeded poundage! I had a similar experience, after "gestational diabetes" at the age of 40, my weight went up from 160 to 250+. I stopped counting after 252. Made various changes in eating pattern and activity level (an ongoing art and science) and have dropped down below 200. Now I am experimenting with the water cure and adding minerals. Also looking at acid/alkaline diet. I think I will contine to see poundage transformed into energy for current projects.

    Oh yes, I will be teaching these things as I go.

    I am intrigued by your specific suggestions as to the use of salt, something that Dr. Batman (and other authors) are vague about.

    Last edit by Esme12 on Aug 30, '12 : Reason: TOS/self promotion
  11. by   smilingrn1
    Hello...just stumbled onto your response and wanted to comment, and inquire.
    Namaste to you, too. I am an experienced R.N., have worked in many areas of nursing, but got laid off from my last FT, benefitted position 2 years ago and have not been able to find a new FT benefitted position since despite spending MANY hours daily in my search. I have been working as a home health/home infusion nurse for the last 2 years, but a per diem position that has no benefits and the work fluctuates quite a bit. Some weeks I would make more money if I worked as a Walmart Greeter, especially with all of the time it takes to do the paperwork involved and the driving to patients. I am very disillusioned, and although I LOVE being a nurse I no longer get up each day and look forward to my job. I've always been more interested in wellness vs illness, and am personally an avid yoga practitioner and I meditate daily. I have spent the last few months trying to figure out what I can do to:
    1. Make enough money to be more comfortable (right now if my car broke down I'd be hard pressed to be able to afford to fix it) and 2. Get up each day loving what I do for a living and excited to get busy taking care of people...After a long thought process I have decided to go to Massage Therapy school...not to REPLACE my R.N. (as many people are assuming and bringing up to me) but to have something I can ADD to my arsenal of ways to help heal. Yes, as many people have mentioned on this site, a nurse can give a "backrub" as part of his/her scope of practice...but massage therapy involves much more than that, and training to become an R.N. definitely doesn't qualify anyone to give a therapeutic massage! I am on my way today to enroll in a 300 hr MT program (to start...that's all I can afford right now), and I look forward to being able to help heal many people's stressful existences by providing massage, AND to be able to work for myself and earn a better income (it will take some great marketing and hustling to get the business I will need, but that is do-able)...I am very interested in starting a mobile chair massage business (but will also do full body massages when needed)...I am most looking forward to getting up each day LOVING what I do for a living!!!!!
    Any thoughts, comments, or help you can offer????? thank you...Namaste...Debbie
  12. by   Steeleworks
    Hey Smilingrn1,

    It may be too late but if not, consider Bowen Works. It is incredible. In learning how to do it (neuro-somatic manipulation, sort of an independent sub specialty of therapeutic massage and deep tissue massage), I was able to put an end to my carpel tunnel pain. This is so gone that I have been able to paint (in pointillism) and even can hammer my metal sculptures pain free.

    Bowen has a place in chiropractors offices and may be cheaper to get started and actually start earning an income.

  13. by   changeofpaceRN
    Wow what great advice. I strolled onto allnurses in hopes of finding some answers and sure enough, I am in luck! I've been searching my state's statutes and trying to figure out what is allowed in my state vs what is not (everything here needs a license of some sort). I'm still searching and I will find an answer one day. But what I don't understand is if a nurse writes a nursing diagnosis and care plan for a client, doesn't the nurse still have to be under the direction of a physician? I don't see how a private practice RN can run by itself. Are there any resources to address these kinds of concerns on what a RN can and can't do without their doctors approval? Of course the scope of practice varies by state but my scope of practice is as vague as vague gets....