Career Opportunities for Holistic Nurses - page 5

Hi all! I'm very interested in the holistic side of health but am not sure what career options are out there for me if I pursue the holistic nursing track. Can I be a travel nurse? How does... Read More

  1. by   Nurse Nancie
    hi gang....i've been a rn for over 20's been rough at times, draining many tmes, rewarding many times, challenging most times, and personally gratifying most times. nursing liability is huge with the many disease processes and dangers that we are constantly exposed to....not to mention the potential for law suits which can be financially crushing. "true" support is lacking most times. it is a great vocation/career, but nurses are expected to make many sacrifices. and while the salaries can be good to great, the many sacrifices can be life threatening, in addition to taking a huge toll on one's health......thus investing that salary to get well and healthy again.

    i have been trying to integrate some holistic healing modalities into my bedside care, but it has been very, very challenging. my neck of the woods is not ready for it yet.....even though the auditors/accreditors are assured that it is a major focus at the facilities in which i am employed. healthcare facilities are slow to accept alternative and complementary healing modalities as a valuable part of the plan of care, and insurance companies are pathetic with reimbursement for them.

    holistic health care has to begin with each individual nurse. take good care of yourself is not is being professionally responsible!! when studying holistic health (for over 10 years and still in the learning process), i have been repeatedly reminded that daily, commited holistic self care is primary. that, in turn, will allow us to be fully present with optimal skills, energy, ideas, and knowledge for [color=yellow]our patients who are trusting us with their health and their lives. leading by example has a huge ripple effect; it is not to be under-estimated.

    and hopefully, we will be pleasantly surprised at the end of our lives, when we are checking out our life review and preparing to meet our maker. that ripple effect may acrue more brownie points than expected.......and maybe even save out butts!!
  2. by   LuxCalidaNP
    As a former herbalist, I came to nursing because I knew I needed to know more. I could have done some serious harm and saw many instances where harm really was done to "patients." My previous thought that "synthetic" medicines all harmed when I saw the lives that were saved. Yes, they can cause harm, but they can also pull your ass back from the grave...something herbs never quite did reliably. I looked at Naturopathic medical schools like Bastyr and NCNM, but they didn't give me enough of the contemporary assessment and EVIDENCE that I wanted. My partner is the national expert on botanical medicinal safety, and I still have TONS of respect for herbal medicine and it's potential...

    Prereqs for LICENSED naturopathic medical schools are almost exactly the same as for allopathic med school: just no MCAT. Check out
  3. by   Steeleworks
    Like others just found this site and this thread. For me, holistic nursing is like being a kid in a candy store.

    Here is my plan...and how I created the plan and some answers to some of the debates above.

    The post that left us hanging no doubt it was cut off because it was spam. I get offered the various cures from MLM companies at least three times a week. They all claim to improve your health in some way.

    So that I do not alienate anyone, I think MLM's are great. Several friends are millionaires because of them.

    However, I think they are overpriced. How else can they pay our 50% in commissions to the downline. Statistically very few make a good income with them. They depend on the many supporting a few. They are not bad or evil but I do believe that the buyer should beware.

    In my opinion, they do not fit the holistic health care model of truly helping people as they take the commercialization we hate about hospitals and allopathic medicine and put it on steroids.

    I even sold a few MLM's for a while. Didn't do well in it. Then I heard about holistic nursing and fired the MLM companies and even started removing all the ads leading to them from my site (still doing that) and decided to become a certified holistic nurse several weeks ago.

    I have been doing holistic nursing in the hospital for over a decade.

    Two of what we did in the hospitals, gum chewing to decrease post op risks (illius) and bloodless medicine and surgery (providing all forms of care with out blood transfusions). Nurses were the biggest challenge for the first. Doctors love it, as they said, one less drug to give.

    For the latter, I unofficially case managed over 600 patients, treating with things like peanut butter and black strap molasses to increase the TIBC so that Epogen (EPO / Procrit) would work. It was harder to get it in pharmacopeia than get the doctor on board.

    The lowest Hgb was 2.9. None of my patents died and on the average, they were discharged as soon as 1/2 day (Hgb went from 5.5 to 7.5 in less than a day) early and as much as 3 days early. Diet, supplements and ROM was a big part of this working. And the work was less and safer than a transfusion. As a matter of fact, I have never hung a transfusion in my whole career. Those who worked with me love this as it lessened their load.

    Some of the holistic practices were introduced to hospice, my last hourly job. For instance using AlkaSeltser (after suggesting and with a doctors order) for UTI in a patient that had not more than a week and would most likely stop eating before the antibiotics were completed. It worked in less than 18 hours. Only problem, Alkaseltser, (sodium bicarb or baking soda) is considered a drug. Don't know where it falls in the holistic practice model.

    Since then I have started a coaching based practice that I am continuing to define. Right now I am serving those who are choosing not to get medical help, cannot afford it or it is not working for them.

    One 47 year old woman thinking she was allergic to milk was limiting her consumption. Once she switched to organic milk, she had no problems. She is loosing bone mass because of steroid use and milk is the only calcium she can tolerate with her disease.

    Another had shoulder pain similar to that of torn rotator cuff. This patient had no insurance and was reluctant to get care. Eating a raw beet root (think red carrots that bleed) and increasing the water intake along with a pinch of sea salt for ever 32 oz of water totally eliminate the pain. Next he was introduced to the ROM exercise.

    So, where can we go.

    My business plan is to offer community based holistic nursing. Once there is social proof that the care works and a client base is built up, it will be no problem getting new patients from referrals. Theses are already coming in.

    I will only have a small territory to work in and do house calls. Everything will be paperless and documented on my computer. It will be stored on a hard drive and eventually a disk. There will be some extra cost in the security and the cost of a lap top (I will probably go with a Mac). Also liability insurance for the documentation and insurance for un-replaceable documents.

    This eliminates office expenses which are considerable.

    I will look into contracting to do some of the dressing changes for some doctors for patients who are shut in, if they will allow me to use holistic treatments. I will try to work under a redi center or a family practice doc so I can get an order for labs and check for strep throat. Oh yea, the treatment, Zinc lozenges. Have not had a sore throat for over 16 years now because of them.

    There is a learning curve on how to do home health, for what you bring into the home and what you take out. There is daily cleaning of all of your equipment, even the bag. But, back to the fun stuff.

    Using a Canadian product I used to sell, I was able to heal a 13 mm long x 1mm wide by 1 mm deep cut to my finger made by a hack saw (why it was so wide). Normally you would not want to put a vitamin e based treatment on an open wound but I had to check it out. Oh, for those who wonder, it was cold processed vitamin e oil mixed with a bonded whey protein isolate made from bovine sources.

    I then called McGill Hospital where the studies were from on Pub Med on the powder when it was first reported on. They put me on the phone with the lead doctor. He told me that they have been using this in Canada for burns and bedsores for over a decade. They heal them in weeks not months. When asked why we do not have it here, he said speak to your FDA.

    It healed fast, but more importantly, it healed virtually with no scar. I used a butterfly to close it, no sutures. Of course, this was my finger so I took a liberty and just happened to have the isolate. I found a lab that makes it hear but will not share this until I do some due diligence first.

    As to travel....I believe you can.

    Having traveled to several countries to lecture, hurricane hugo relief and other things, it is very likely that you can travel to the next disaster and help out. To me, this would be an experience that would transcend a vacation. Imagine going armed with a suitcase of things that most hospitals throw away and you can leave them there. It is illegal to sell them or in any other way donate what most hospitals throw away here in the US to other countries. During a disasters, nobody minds if you happen to forget to bring a scissors or kelly clamp or 2 or 15 back with you.

    The doctors and nurses who live there will never forget you. You do not have a clue how good we have it in the states until you see the hospitals in third world countries. Some second world countries (communist) that are open, likewise have very poor conditions but I would not go there unless with an organization and following their guides.

    Once lecturing in Spanish, I said that I had been a nurse for several years. Everyone laughed at first. Then they realized that although they thought I meant to say I had been infirm for several years, I really said nurse. They had never seen a male nurse.

    As to modern medicine and holistic....well, I still think that some medicines which cross over to being supplements still have benefit. NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is associated with treating or helping over (I am up to, in my current research) 74 diseases or conditions. In the hospital it is a drug. Outside it is a supplement.

    I may be wrong but I think holistic crosses over to CAM (complimentary alternative medicine or modalities) as well. One patient had a low blood count one month out from surgery. I was called in to help. I had the doctor put him on a glutathione boosting regimen and a series of vitamins and minerals. His count post op was 15 and there was no infection at the surgical site. Not even a trace of pink, just flesh tone to flesh tone wound healing.

    Oh yea, GSH and the 74 conditions or diseases, it helps you make blood faster than EPO (several European studies but none in the US to date that I am aware of).

    But, back to the MLM and all the health claims they make mentioned at the beginning. I started researching the ingredients of all of these and they had one commonality. They all boost glutathione.

    The only problem, they all cost $69 to $95 a month. Out of budget for many in this economy. The one pitched to me today (actually this morning at 7 AM) was a patch, not even a supplement. And it has a scientific research paper behind it. And it costs $69 a month. Hmmmm 69 dollars. Is this the new $19.95.

    Then the idea hit me, if you can boost glutathione with a supplement, why could you not do it with food. You can, only it is even better. Actually it is only there is a caveat.

    You have to eat the food raw (fruit and vegs that is). Don't worry, you do not need to eat raw dead chickens. Actually only 50% of the diet needs to be raw.

    Added bonus, the raw food has benefits beyond the cysteine boosting glutathione supplements. The beets mentioned above have methionine which convert homocysteine (bad for your heart) into cysteine which is the precursor of glutathione, good for your heart and 73 other diseases or conditions.

    Oh yea, skip the MLM products. You can do the same at a much lower price for your customer. You will not make a lot of money selling the non MLM products nor will you be supporting one of my millionaire friends but you will be able to help a whole lot more people. This is the core of what I do or teach so far.

    If you are tempted to get into a MLM, just look at their annual sales and at their number of distributors. Assume they pay out 50% in commissions (advertising). One company, the average independent distributor only made $200 a year and no doubt paid at least $400 to $500 to join and $69 per month every year in order to make just $200.

    What if there was a better way, a cheaper way. A healthier way?

    Do a search on these....the core of my future practice.

    I am also just learning this but to start your research, look these up as each of these could be profit centers for your business model. Think coach, educator, treatment or consultant.

    Raw Food Diet
    (Instead of adding iodine supplements, add the iodine rich kelp to the diet. And train them that they have to do the electrolytes or end up in the hospital)

    Glutathione Disease Cure ( I have two sites on this, trying to remove all the contextual ads)

    Vitamin D Benefits / Vitamin D Sources (sun + free = Good Health)

    Bowenworks (neurosomatic therapy) Look ma, no more carpal tunnel syndrome and no surgery

    The Water Cure

    Deep Breathing Exercises and Health

    Isometric Exercises (think 30 second work out for those who do not have time)

    Yep, for me, this is like being a kid in a candy store, only the candy this time is all natural and no artificial sweeteners, no corn syrup, and no refined sugar.

    Once enough of us are doing this, we then get studies of outcomes. Then we go to the insurance companies as an association and start to ask for reimbursement. Remember, Pioneers perish, settlers prosper. Many have pioneered holistic health care. It is up to us to settle the undiscovered country, the future.

    Good health to you and yours.
  4. by   nizhoni
    Hi Steeleworks,

    Your post was very interesting, as I have been highly involved in midwifery and holistic nursing (primarily homeopathy) for many years now.

    I would like to offer a differing point of view regarding MLMs and network marketing, however. Direct marketing has allowed me to have additional income that also utilizes my knowledge of nursing and nutrition. I am able to assist a subset of individuals whose needs for improved health and vitality are usually unmet, utilizing technology that exists because of new research in genetic science and micronutrients. Direct marketing is just a way to market a product--that's it. Trust people and free market enterprise to work.
  5. by   Steeleworks
    Hi Nizhoni,

    Glad it is working for you.

    Yes, MLm's have made available things that otherwise would not be to the public. I think they are a great business model and some (like my friends) have done well with them. I love to argue in favor of the good that they do.

    However, until recently, to treat leukemia with a MLM whey protein isolate would have cost several hundred a month in my state using the MLM product. In some states it is covered by insurance. It is in the PDR and in the RedBook.

    I even have a few friends of the family who have had their leukemia in remission because of the MLM product.

    The 10 pediatric AIDS patients at McGill Hospital in Toronto, who were, in the words of the Nobel Prize winning doctor, cured of AIDS, would not have been had it not been for the groundbreaking work of the MLM company.

    This is a wonderful service provided to mankind.

    I just happened to hear the news (about the Aids) because of the feeds I subscribe to. The MLM's got the news out to places it would not have otherwise.
    Chances are, you never heard of this news. Yet it was main stream medicine using a holistic approach at a world famous teaching hospital.

    One friend, not able to afford the several hundred a month for six months died of leukemia.

    Now that that there is a product superior to the MLM one available (Based on German hospital study where the other out preformed the MLM) and it costs about 1/3 the cost of the MLM, more people can be benefited.

    Of course, I will not make the residual income.

    In my state, the Nurse Practice Act will not allow me to promote any products to patients that I or my family will profit from. So, this is a no brainier. MLM income or Providing Holistic Care income, the choice is mine.

    Again, I think MLMs are wonderful for some. Glad it works for you.
    My comment was that this was a business model I explored and for those starting out, it may not work. Considering the statistics of those who actually make income from MLM's, it is risky to be able to produce a self sustaining income stream.

    I believe that just providing a service that makes effective health care affordable can be very profitable.

    Help everyone else get what they want and we will get what we want is my motto.
  6. by   Steeleworks
    As I refine my business plan, the thought occurred....

    Could we have a pay me what it is worth to you payment schedule and be able to make a job quitting income?

    What do you think? Some companies in the western US do this and it works.

    They would have to pay for any supplies or tests. The only thing is my services would be paid for based on conscious.

    This way I could provide for those who have no insurance and no money.

    Some have even paid me in barter. A fresh chicken (it was butchered), one did some repair work on one of my pieces of equipment for me, a $65 value if I had to pay for it).

    Would appreciate your thoughts.
  7. by   magnolia nurse
    Quote from zenman
    Might want to check out for a program that will not only accomplish what you want, but will change you...can't beat that!

    the site is very interesting.. have you completed the program and what do you do?
    I am in an online FNP program but I am very intersted in this and the program looks has really sparked my interest..
    thanks for sharing..
  8. by   jitterbugg
    Quote from CaliAlli
    I want to make a positive difference in people's lives, and there is no way I can give medications to people with a good conscience. To me, hospitals are just a place to stay sick. (I do realize this is a generalization and that there are parts of a hospital where this isn't true.) I don't ever want to work in one. There is a difference in the Health System of America and the Medical System, and I want to work for the Health System. I want to stay a step ahead of the Medical System. I want to keep people well. I want to see well people. I don't want to let them get sick THEN try to "treat" them.
    This is exactly how I feel now. Since you posted this in 2006 how/what are you doing now?
  9. by   jitterbugg
    Very interested
    Last edit by jitterbugg on Sep 28, '11 : Reason: quote didn't quote
  10. by   Steeleworks
    Since first posting in May, I have hung out my shingle.

    My first patient was me. I belong to a few B2B Network meeting groups, when everyone saw me 40 pounds lighter and I told them about my new business, two new clients came from the group of 15. From them, I got another 8.

    Because I am more interested in testimonials, when they asked how much I charged and my reply was what it was worth to you...the 8 (3 couples, a mom and a kid), all from the same family, pooled $125. More importantly, I got the testimonials.

    My website is just about finished. If any reading this have a website, it is important to put the towns you serve on your home page. This is for Geo-Local searches.

    Not many nurses have websites for their practices or if they do, the sites are not visible in searches.

    Oh yea, I have already picked up my first patient from the web too. In all, about 20 or so patients so far have come to me.

    And one last thought. One 60's-ish lady I visited this past week owns a natural store, runs, and is a vegetarian. Only thing, she has an A-fib problem that her natural medicine MD could not care for. She had to go on drugs.

    Of course, the progression for this only gets worse (ablation) but until she can find what is causing the problem, the drug companies are keeping her alive.

    Good health to you all.
  11. by   Piglet08
    I'm still looking for a way to help people heal themselves, instead of throwing pills at problems. I'm looking at some kind of energy psychology career. A lot of what I read in that field excites me. But I don't see a way to do it within nursing, as the laws of my state now stand, and I don't plan to invest time and money in learning modalities I can't practice legally. I might have to leave nursing to practice my calling. Darn shame.
  12. by   Steeleworks
    For those wanting holistic career paths, here is some info to add to your arsenal.

    Cardiac Holistic Nursing

    In my never ending quest for answers, I found this all places, an auto parts store. It is a long story about a guy named Bob Butts and CK Auto Parts but it is true.

    It is called, Is Your Cardiologist Killing You? by Sherry A. Rodgers, M.D.

    It outlines many of the lab tests needed and the holistic treatments to manage most of the cardiac conditions that people have to deal with. She indicates all can be treated with out drugs.

    And there are dozens of nursing diagnosis that allow nurses to provide nursing care for cardiac patients which would include dietary considerations to manage those diagnosis. Most importantly, almost all of these patients have a Fluid Volume Deficit, less that body needs.
    Last edit by dianah on Jun 22, '12 : Reason: Terms of Service

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