Anyone done NIWH Whole Health Educator program?

Specialties Holistic


Has anyone completed (or know anything about) the National Institute of Whole Health (NIWH) Whole Health Educator for Nurses program? If so, have you become a Certified Holistic Nurse? What's the verdict? I'm trying to learn if it would be helpful to my career. I believe the education itself will be very valuable for the knowledge itself, and to help patients, but I'm asking more in terms of credentials, job obtainment and career advancement. The course is not free, so I'm thinking of payback in terms of the practical, realistic stuff.

Also, I'm trying to learn about coaching options independent from a hospital setting. Is it possible to teach classes or do one on one counseling with this certification. What would be the legalities, and how does it work with an RN scope of practice? Does anybody have any experience with this?

Thanks for any input!

Specializes in Correctional Nursing; MSN student.

I have the same questions! Anyone out there???

Specializes in CCU, Neurosurgery, M/S, Home Health,.

Also wondering the same thing.....

Specializes in Healthcare IT.

Also interested...

Specializes in Correctional Nursing; MSN student.

I am planning on taking this course after in about a year. I think it looks wonderful. It's not horribly expensive but as you said, not free either. I think with holistic nursing you sort of have to work your way into the right niche. I'm interested in wellness counseling. I just joined the American Holistic Nurses Association to help me gain some insight and develop some networking. I have a friend who is taking it and she frequents this forum. So far she loves it. Hopefully we can get more feedback on the program.

I am currently enrolled in the program and I'm loving it. The information is fantastic, and while its certainly not a perfect program, I am learning a ton. There's definitely a lot of philosophy involved in it, but there is also a ton of research based medical knowledge thats quite impressive. I am only a couple months in, but I'm planning on using the certificate in a number of different ways. There's a hospital opening near me that's going to have a wellness center, and I'm going to try applying there. Also, chiropractors tend to use this sort of coaching model a lot. I also plan on starting an online website to get private consultations, and to see where the road leads. I looked for a program for about a year before committing to this one, and I'm glad I did.

Specializes in Correctional Nursing; MSN student.

I am really interested in this. I want the information for its own value but I'm also hoping that somewhere down the road I can transition into an area of nursing that embraces holistic nursing. I would love for you to PM with more information about your website. It sounds wonderful! Keep me posted on the program. How long is it?

The program is designed to be completed within a year, with a maximum time of 18 months. The first half is completing the modules, then you take a test. After that, you meet 6 times with 3 different clients, and write it all up in a paper. I'm trying to complete the modules a little more quickly so that I can have more time for the client visits and paper writing. I am also hoping to transition into a more holistic role, whether it ends up being my primary job or something I can do from home as additional income. It's hard to predict what you'll be able to do with it, but I do know that more corporations and insurance companies are hiring nurses to act as wellness coaches for their employees and clients. I think its a field that is going to grow in the coming years as more people become interested in alternative health care strategies. My website is currently a blog where I'll be posting about what I'm learning. I'm hoping to get some followers who will be interested in my services when I'm done. The site is Feel free to check it out and good luck with your own endeavors!

Specializes in Psychiatry.

Do you need to have a BSN to take this program?

You don't have to have BSN & there are options for different backgrounds. I'm also very interested in NIWH($5000) and The Wellness Inventory($1800) programs. Still doing more research due to cost & NIWH doesn't seem to have a strong wellness focus therfore my interest in the Wellness Inventory. I'm currently in private practice as a coach specializing in sports & performance- my intention is to work at a college. Plus I have this year to recertify for ANCC specializing in psych/mental health so ANCC accrediated courses are a must. So far NIWH seems to be the most nurse centered & the WI seems like a fabulous tool for coaching.I appreciate hearing the pros of NIWH & would also like to hear cons plus ANY input on other programs.


I'm finishing my final requirement for the NIWH program and have already passed the final exam. Hopefully I can answer some questions. I enrolled in the program with the hopes of becoming a Health & Wellness Coach as a 2nd job to my inpatient nursing career. However, I'm not sure this program has provided me with the information I need to be an effective coach. The program is meant to be completed in a year, but it is time-intensive, especially if you are working full-time. I had to pay for additional extensions to complete the program, which has taken me about 2 years thus far.

The classes are self-study. You access a one to two hour video-taped lecture (some very old) from various instructors and a packet of notes for each section plus assigned books to read. Then you need to write a paper for each section.


- There was a lot of good information and basic review on the different systems of the body and a discussion of the different illnesses that occur. The program provided a holistic way to look at some of the major diseases (i.e.- heart disease).

- There were some good, thought-provoking lectures about coaching, active listening, inflammation, etc.


- I felt as though some of the guest instructors were participating in the program primarily to promote their own book, supplements or website. Many were promoted as being an expert in their field, but much of the information certain instructors provided was not based on sound research. For example, Dr. Barry Sears was one of the guest lecturers and talked extensively about fish oil. However, fish oil does not prevent heart disease. It was not mentioned that omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in plants and without the side effects and contamination risks of fish oil. I felt like he, and other guest instructors, were using this platform to promote their books.

- I felt the program ignored the latest evidenced-based nutrition information, such as important information from Dr. Campbell's The China Study, Dr. Calldwell Esselstyn's research on Reversing Heart Disease and Dr. Neal Barnard's research on Reversing Type 2 Diabetes. The program ignored the consistent science that promotes a whole-foods, plant-based diet in preventing and reversing disease and avoiding fad diets, supplements and reductionist approaches of nutrition that are not supported by sound evidence. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving nutritional advice from this program and am seeking out the Wellness Forum's program in addition to this one, since it provides the latest in non-biased, evidenced based nutrition information.

- The program was expensive

Anyhow, I don't think I will be using all of the information from this program with potential clients, but at least it provided some information on a holistic view of diseases, active listening and coaching skills that may be useful.

Specializes in Nursing Education, Med-Surg, Home Health, Travel.

Hi! So, currently I'm an RN, but have gotten certificates from the National Society of Health Coaches, and eCornell in plant based nutrition. I really want to get a strong nutrition background so that I can coach clients on developing a healthy lifestyle, etc. I gained some knowledge from eCornell, but not a comprehensive view of nutrition. I'm also looking for credibility (while Cornell sounds good, the program itself isn't that well known, and pretty much anyone can take the program and pass). I was interested in either the Whole Health Nutrition Educator program or the Whole Health and Wellness Nutrition Certificate. Anyone take either of those programs and have any insight? Thanks!

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