I have my BSN and have been practicing Med/Surg since 1999. It's time for a change!!! However, I am unsure what the best route would be to transition to Holistic Nursing. Should I get a Masters in Holistic Nursing (via Tenn State Univ) or get certifications in the areas I'm interested in (Craniosacral Therapy, Accupressure, Healing Touch). My professional goal is to work in an Integrative Medicine clinic providing the above services that I would be certified in. To be quite frank, I don't want to accumulate large debt from grad school if I can get the same professional position by obtaining certifications instead. Any insights, opinions, experiences, recommendations, etc. would be greatly appreciated. BTW, I have looked at the AHNA website, so I am aware of the certification programs.
Unfortunately, no one can give you an answer that will be right for you but perhaps we can provide additional food for thought.
1. If you don't have a Master's degree and want to get one...get it in Nursing...I got mine at Columbia University School of Public Health (MPH) which is very prestigious but it didn't (and doesn't) do anything to get me a teaching position at any level in nursing or to be eligible for some of the higher level nursing jobs that require a Masters in Nursing. But, you don't need a Master's degree to practice Holistic Nursing or to practice alternative medicine therapies.
2. I went to a certificate program (The BirchTree Center for Healthcare Transformation) which I HIGHLY recommend. You must be an RN to be eligible for the program. It takes 1 year to complete in 4 distinct "sessions" of 4 days each. I cannot recommend it highly enough as it is truly awesome. When you graduate from the program you are not only eligible to sit for the Holistic Nursing Certification offered by AHNA but you are prepared for it. I graduated in November 2009 and was certified in March 2010. The teachers, Veda Andrus and Marie Shanahan, are two of the most notable nurses in the field of Holistic Nursing today.
3. No program in Holistic Nursing (neither Masters in Nursing nor certificate program) will prepare you to practice the specific therapies (Aroma Therapy, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Yoga, Laugh Yoga, Tai Chi, Reflexology, Music Therapy, Nutrition Therapy, etc) without additional training. You will still need to take a course in your chosen "therapy".
4. No specific therapy program wil prepare you to be certified in Holistic Nursing. If you wish to be certified in the specialty Holistic Nursing, you will still need a certificate or Masters program that specializes in teaching Holistic Nursing.
5. If your goal is to work in an Alternative Medicine clinic it is more likely you will be hired if you have a specific therapy to offer. Holistic nursing is to be practiced wherever a nurse is practicing - in the hospital, clinic, ER, OR, critical care, Labor/Delivery, Med/Surg floor, procedure labs, Alternative Medicine centers or independent practice.
Hope this helps!
Last edit by NYLady on Feb 20, '11