Suggestions on RN starting up as a Holistic Nurse,

  1. 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.
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    About lumbarpain

    Joined: Mar '11; Posts: 327; Likes: 241
    Homecare RN; from VA , US
    Specialty: 17 year(s) of experience in Geriatric/Sub acute/home care


  3. by   mystcnurse
    Not sure what you mean by "holistic" nurse. Do you want a JOB as a holistic nurse? What do you picture that entailing? I believe that all nurses, by the very definition of "nursing" are "holistic", encompassing the whole person into their care. Also, families and communities. You can practice "holistic nursing" in any area. You may also want to join the American Holistic Nurses Association.
  4. by   mgp6
    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.
    do you mean hospice nurse?
  5. by   lumbarpain
    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 guess I should have been more specific, My interest lies in Alternative medicine or Complementary Medicine fields....working with Herbs, relaxation techniques, Chinese Medicine, Chelation therapy.....are there basic low cost courses to start an RN on without hurting the wallet?
  6. by   mystcnurse
    The problem is that a nurse generally works under and MD's orders, and most don't subscribe to the whole CAM thing. I am an NP, and just got my dream job as a "holistic nurse", working in an integrated medicine clinic, with chiropractors. I would start with maybe doing some continuing education on CAM therapies, evidence based practice. There is a very complete one on NetCE. A nurse can do accupuncture, in some states, but you have to look closely at your BON regulations. It is a precarious situation, because if you are practicing under your nursing license, a whole lot of grey area becomes involved.
  7. by   tlancio
    a great person you may want to talk to or connect with is annette tersigni, she is the yoga nurse and is a holistic nurse. you can find her at connect with her and ask her how you may get started in holistic nursing, she does teaching in relaxation, yoga and nutrition. she also does a yearly retreat i'm hoping to get in on next year. she's easy to connect with and would be more than happy to help you especially since you live in a rural area. it's tough when you don't have resources near you, i'm sure there's not much in the way of alternative clinics in your area right?
    hope this helps, i write about holistic nursing on my blog and have a great interest in the topic and in answer to mystcnurse comment about "
    by the very definition of "nursing" are "holistic", encompassing the whole person into their care" this is not true, not all nurses practice holistic nursing, i wish they did but nurses mostly treat the symptoms, they don't have time in a hospital setting to treat also the mind, spirit, [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]environment, culture etc. and western medicine has not caught up to the concept of holistic healing as of yet. . just saying.
  8. by   Steeleworks
    Quote from lumbarpain
    How does an RN begin to get her feet wet in Holistic Nursing without becoming broke in the process...?
    Congrads on your choice. There is no simple answer. First, let me clarify something here.

    While presumably, all nursing is holistic, on studying the holistic field, it became apparent that the nursing profession is probably as far as it can be from holistic. Individuals may practice holistic modalities, as did I and others who taught me, but the profession on the whole is somewhat against it.

    Consider...I implemented gum chewing to decrease post op complications of the gut in several hospitals. The doctors, when presented with the proposal were elated. All of the doctors presented were excited by this. The only ones giving me grief or questioning it were my fellow nurses.

    On another occasion, no wait, this happened several times through the years...a colleague was quite upset that I did not give an IV push when not one, but 2 patients had sugars in the low 40's. Both were conscious. Both doctors thanked me for using my head in managing the patients and not policy and procedure. Oh yea, I had blood drawn to confirm.

    Mind you, my nursing always included holistic care. Like getting an order and giving Black Strap Molasses and Peanut Butter to a patient with a HGB of 2.9 and a crit of 9 when the EPO was not working. The hemonk looked at the iron stores and not the TIBC, the essential indicator and why the EPO was not working. Oops, this was in the product literature. Guess he did not read the instructions. Maybe it is a guy thing.

    One doctor suggested that this patients avoidance of a transfusion probably saved him from metastatic cancer. Studies confirm this outcome. His count was up to safe in just 48 hours (and he was pink again).

    Lets see, several hundred patients I case managed with out blood transfusions in my career, none died, all got out 1/2 to three days faster, JAMA says every hospital should be doing this, NEJM says similar, 2 US hospitals are totally Bloodless Centers (give no transfusions) and yet most nurses will say to me, "I don't believe in it." (Read: I don't believe in evidence based medicine.

    "There are no high level studies showing Blood Transfusions save lives." Dr. Richard Spence says, "All the high level studies show the exact opposite. From any to the more blood you get, the greater the morbidity and mortality." He concluded, "The transfusion you refuse may save your life." It is not just doctors, it is nurses who are resistant to holistic health.

    Additionally, holistic involves teaching, way more than what most nurses have time for. How many friends and family do you meet who were not given any teaching on dietary requirements after any kind of broken bones. I have yet to find more than just a few who got this teaching. And those who did get teaching were taught outdated info (yep, even the teaching sheets given were wrong based on current evidenced based research). Does anyone know about the Harvard Women's Study?

    How to Start

    Begin by choosing your modality of treatment. I use only the four most basic natural cures. Proper hydration, exercise, deep breathing and diet. Yep, the medicine cabinet in you cupboard and the pharmacy in your fridge.

    Consider just one aspect of what I teach.

    Remember, you cannot make medical diagnosis. So, my patients are not dehydrated (medical diagnosis), rather, they may get a nursing diagnosis from me that they have or be at risk for a Fluid Volume Deficit as evidenced by concentrated urine, decreased skin turgor, etc.

    My treatment: I give them education on how to properly rehydrate the body starting with morning and night time hydration and nothing more. The amount of water they drink is based on body weight and lifestyle / activity level.

    Included with the water intake is putting a certain amount of unprocessed sea salt in the mouth and letting it dissolve before drinking the water. If there is an associated sleep pattern disturbance or sleep integrity: impaired, I suggest that they drink the water first then take the salt prior to sleep. Of course we were not taught this in nursing school but water is a natural diuretic. Giving just water IV is contraindicated in a dehydrated patient unless the proper electrolytes are present, read, 'add salt to the fluid.' So, why would we be taught to only give water to someone dehydrated. And table salt, it is toxic. Why do we give it to patinets in the hospital. It has been stripped of all the natural buffers that make it safe. As to the first part, no, nursing is not truly holistic.

    This is all I teach on the first visit when doing a H&P.

    Next, once you have your modality, you will need to start practicing.

    Also start getting testimonials to use as advertising and to get referrals. One of my first male patients called to tell me the proper hydration teaching worked the first night.

    Impossible and it was probably the placebo effect was my response. He said no and explained that he drank the entire 32 ounces of water before sleep, the max safe amount. He took the salt (unprocessed sea salt) after the water and also in the correct amount. He then said that he slept the entire night with out having to get up three times to use the bathroom. Oh yea, he got me 8 additional patients, referrals, one a nurse. He continues to loose weight and feel great.

    Another patient told me how it lowered her BP from 220/110 to 180/68 when her meds were not working. She is now working with her doc to use both treatments. Her doc is weaning her off the BP meds and I am introducing improved diet considerations to continue lowering her BP. She is 82 and my oldest patient.

    The best of all, a friend with chest pain riding in the car with us said that her second nitro did not work. Giving the option of going to the hospital or the opposite direction and treating it holistically, she opted for holistic. Taking just a pinch of sea salt in her mouth and then drinking a bottle of water from the first available convent store ended her chest pain in seconds. Needless to say, she called a few days later to say she can no go for walks with her daughter and not get tired now that she is properly hydrating.

    You can specialize. One of my contacts only does maternity related holistic nursing. Guess which patients I send to her because it is out of my scope of practice.

    You can also specialize in cardiac treatment. Yes, you read that right. The holistic health treatments have considerable evidence based research and are more effective than the typical medical treatments that end up shortening the lives of patients (per the studies). So you will find a number of nursing diagnoses. like Cardiac Output Decreased, as evidenced by.... (actually it is better to use one of the diagnostic clusters).

    The treatment or nursing care involves teaching the patient what to do. The biggest part of this is what to eat, what to take or in some cases, what to ask the doctor when getting blood tests. For instance, the erythrocyte magnesium is the best and not the serum mag level (an inaccurate level per the studies). Giving the proper amount of mag can help lower blood pressure and correct arrhythmia vs using diuretics that increase homocysteine (one raw beet a week takes care of homocysteine, turning it into cysteine, for many, eliminating arthritis pain).

    Getting Paid

    I am trying something unique. I simply ask the patients to pay what it is worth to them. If any driving of more than a few miles is required, a charge for travel is suggested before the meeting. You can have a flat rate visit fee and an initial consultation fee. Many of my patients require ongoing coaching.

    Look at the many life coaches and the business models they use. You are the ultimate life coach, helping people master their mind, body and spirit to have the best possible health.

    Plan on it taking about 2-3 years to build a practice that will give you job quitting income. Please avoid the MLM companies and their promises. I have two friends both making lots of money (20K / month and 1.5 mil / year) who both are now in a new MLM. Why? Because the original MLM changed the pay method and they both ended loosing a lot of their income. They were also dangerously close to practicing medicine. Avoid guilt by association. You do not need them.

    Besides, why make the MLM rich when you can do the exact same thing with the right food at a fraction of the cost of the 'products' that the MLM push.

    The most important thing to do, START.

    Good health to you and your new career.
  9. by   MissErsko
    Steeleworks, I am interested in becoming a nurse and am very interested in holistic health care. What program did you take to educate yourself on holistic nursing?
  10. by   MauraRN
    I started with a Reiki I class, I am in home health with lots of patients doing chemo, Reiki is a proven method to reduce s/e, used in many oncology units. I have been certified in Reiki I, II, and Master. You could look in your local health food store for the free holistic health publications and find a local Reiki class. Reiki can be a stepping stone for nurses interested in integrative/complementary modalities. A Reiki I class will cost from $100-200 depending on where you live.
  11. by   Steeleworks
    If you want to become a nurse, you will have to learn modern medicine nursing. This is not bad as once you know what and how it is done, you will have foundation to work within the system once you start holistic.

    Some in the holistic field sound as though they are anti doctor, anti big pharma. If I get a broken bone I am going to a doc to get it set. If I am in an accident and cannot speak for myself, I am going to be taken to a hospital. I want to be friends with them and work with them as I want them to work with me.

    I am mostly self taught. I got my nursing degree from University of the State of New York. I would highly recommend that if you are a self starter and can handle independent study. You will miss the boring lectures where the instructor simply reads out of the book you could read yourself. You will miss the wonderful lectures though.

    There is a holistic nursing association The American Holistic Nurses Association - the voice of holistic nursing that can provide some of your education.

    For me, it was the nursing experience and always wanting to learn that helped me the most. I can often look at people and tell what is going on or what challenge they face. What ever your specialty, you will, if you apply yourself, become very intuitive.

    As a high tech pediatric nurse, I knew when a patient was going into respiratory distress based on the sounds of the respirator and before the alarms went off. As a hospice nurse and occasionally even before, I could tell when a patient was going to pass away within the next several hours. Many nurses have this ability. It comes from experience in working with and providing nursing for patients.

    So, experience is essential.

    For me, nursing is like being a kid in a candy store. I like everything. For now, holistic is my favorite candy as the outcomes are so wonderful.
  12. by   Parkerone
    Thanks Steeleworks for the information. Are there any particular books you would recommend? Also where did you get the information about the water?
  13. by   Steeleworks
    Before you go crazy, decide where you want to be in your practice. I am building a very broad practice but limiting it to the 4 natural cures.

    Once you have your practice outlined, get the Handbook of Nursing Diagnosis. This you will want to take to bed with you and tuck under your pillow at night when you sleep. When you can't sleep, you will read it to put yourself to sleep. This will provide the basis for any diagnosis and treatments you provide.

    For diet, heart, mental, and weight loss: Your Bodies Many Cries for Water

    For weight loss: Eat Right 4 Your Type (4 Blood Types, 4 Diets)

    For heart: Is Your Cardiologist Killing You and (have yet to read this next yet) The Cholesterol Hoax

    For All of the Above and Weight Loss: Any books on the Raw Food Diet

    Anything on Isometric Exercise. It is the easiest to teach and get patients to start doing some kind of exercise.

    Read up on NLP or Neuro-Linguistic-Programming. Likewise, anything on motivation. You not only need to teach, you need to motivate your patients to follow thru.

    For Blood: Dailey's Notes on Blood (this provides a foundation for anything related to blood) The latest version should have a section on Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. This info will provide clues to how to help patients who have blood related health challenges

    I only use Dr. Google to find scholarly research or to find directions to research. There is a lot of info that has no scientific basis or research to back it up. Even though published research is often biased, it is the best we have to go with.

    Also do some reading on Glutathione (GSH). There is a new book but do not have the title yet. It is by Dr. Jim Guttman. GSH is made by consuming cysteine. Cysteine comes in the forms of NAC or N-Acetylcysteine and Bioactive Whey Protein Isolate.

    NAC and or Bioactive Bonded Whey Protein Isolate forms of cysteine that make glutathione inside us are of the only supplements that are essential rescue treatments for many health problems. Actually, according to Pub Med, cysteine that makes GSH is associated with helping at least 76 different diseases and conditions. These are available outside of MLM companies which makes them more affordable.

    Note: The MLM companies want people to take their products for life. The problem, this causes dependance and if sudden withdraw should happen, it could be disastrous. I have seen two instances where people died from sudden withdrawal from long term use of one MLM product.

    Watch Forks over Knives (it should be free on Hulu currently) I do not agree with everything it says but it is very good. As you work with patients, you will discover two things. Not every diet works with everyone and not everyone can do every diet. You will find some patients that need to have some meat in their diet to prevent their hair from falling out, for instance.

    I do not get into anything other than foods, exercising, deep breathing and the water cure. I only use supplements for rescue purposes. Most foods provide what we need. Sometimes it is the combinations or avoiding certain foods that will bring the desired results.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edit by Steeleworks on Jun 29, '12
  14. by   Smurfette752
    Quote from Steeleworks
    Hope this helps.
    Steelworks....this helped me a great deal! (I'm not the OP) I just passed NCLEX, but I've been a doula, midwife (lay), and a phlebotomist before entering nursing school....I have also been extremely "into" Holistic health. I believe in it before anything else....I will always try a holistic/alternative cure, remedy, etc...before going for a med. I am not "anti" doctor, per say....but I am anti pharma (unless it is REALLY medically necessary, and yes, I have an will take a med if it is truly medically indicated.
    I was so sad when my son's doctor (a family physician, who als practices alternative medicine) closed her practice for primary care...but was thankful to have found a pedi who is more alternative than 99.9% of them.

    I'm rambling, im sorry....thanks again for all the info!

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