Integrative Private Practice

by milesel milesel (New) New


It has been my dream for a number of years to work in integrative/holistic medicine. My vision is to be able to offer western and eastern treatments (herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic) along with complementary and alternative therapies (yoga, massage, mindfulness, etc) in my own practice (as I have not found many available integrative medicine clinics). Included in my goal is to work with cannabis medicine.

I currently have a BSN and work as an RN in an acute care adult oncology inpatient unit for almost 2 years (come October). I do not know if I have to become an NP (MSN? DNP?) or if I can get my masters in acupuncture/traditional oriental medicine. I have special interest in care of the dying and pain management.

What are my options? Where do you suggest I begin my career advancement?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond. Love and light



1 Post

Hi milesel, that's great that you want to focus on integrative medicine! That's exactly what we need in this world! I'm also interesting in integrative private practice and have the same questions as you do. Just wondering if you've had any luck?

I recently saw and Integrative Health and Healing NP program offered by the University of Minnesota. The only thing (besides cost!) keeping me from doing FNP with post-grad cert in holistic nursing/Integrative Health and Healing NP, is the scope of practice restrictions by the Board of Nursing. I'm not sure what the limitations are regarding that or if there are any. I've also considered a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) master's program since once you graduate, you treat the individual as well as their family--and according to MFTs I know, you can treat them using alternative methods and nutrition, none of which are considered "medicine", so the AMA cannot interfere.

Anyway, good luck! Please share if you have found anything!

Edited by azylem27
additional information



Has <1 years experience. 27 Posts

Oh no. I too have a dream of becoming an FNP with integrative medicine practice. I had no idea there was a scope of practice I just figured you could get your MSN for NP. Get your practice, prescriptive abilities, get integrative medicine traning in my case herbalism, and on you go. But this might be a huge setback. :( ... I have spoken with other RNs though that are practicing herbalist nurses and make it work. I went to a few local holistic nursing chapter meetings. I might begin there for info. Check out AHNA local chapters.

Best of luck and let's stick together this is our only hope in this field of practice.




Has 5 years experience. 4 Posts

Hi milesel,

I’m wondering if you found any clarity in your question?

I have a BSN and am taking the Integrative Healing Arts Program offered by the AHNA. It is a great course and opens you up to so many modalities. This fall I will take the board certification exam. This is my first step to becoming an official Holistic Nurse.

I too want to do more. I have looked at the program in Minnesota and also a couple of NP programs. I haven’t found anything that I love enough to take the leap of going back to school.

I was interested in Naturopathic Medicine school, but I am glad I didn’t go that route. An ND just shared with me that school, at one of the private ND programs can leave you with about $250,000 in debt and the average ND make about $70,000 a year. He said he wished that he had gone the NP route and then supplemented learning the holistic therapies via CEUs.

There is also a new cannabis Nurse association and learning program. They are working on an official certification program.

Best of luck



Specializes in Med Surg, Home Health. Has 2 years experience. 199 Posts

I think it all depends on what kind of herbalism you practice. In my state you are only allowed to prescribe and dispense commercial herbal supplements. Also, my understanding with herbal medicine is that you are allowed to say herbs "support cardiac health" (hawthorne berry, for example) and share research but you would NOT be allowed to in any way imply that hawthorne berries are a treatment for, or heavens forbid a cure for, heart issues.

Herby nurses, am I right?

In my state, if you were hoping to have your patients take local remedies, you'd have to teach them how to gather and prepare them on their own.