Jump to content

RN ready for the next step


Specializes in critical care, ortho-surgical. Has 5 years experience.

I have been an RN on a surgical floor for the last 3 years. Since working I have realized that I want to get more on the PREVENTION side of health than the treatment. I have been considering a holistic nutrition certificate or possibly a Masters in health and wellness. However I am at a loss of what I can actually do with these specialties. I want to maintain the RN aspect but focus on preventing disease and promoting wellness. Is it even worth pursuing higher education in another masters program other than nursing?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I apologize in advance if my response is perceived to be offensive - I don't mean to be.

The thing is, it is unlikely you will actually be able to earn a decent living in any sort of 'holistic' practitioner role in the US. Our healthcare system is based on a (Western) medical model. Insurers' payment for wellness is very limited - usually only the standard annual preventative care examinations. Therefore, alternative health care services are supported only by private pay. . . (how to say this in a nice way. . . ) a few years ago, my organization did some feasibility studies of alternative care and discovered that the demographic most likely to seek those services were most likely to be either: 1) uninsured, back to nature, 'live off the grid' folks or, 2) suffering from an illness that had not been successfully treated by more conventional therapy. Neither group was capable of paying very much for services.

So - while it is certainly possible to continue your education in those directions, those credentials may not provide much of a return on your investment. There are Nursing Jobs in public health that work on the preventative side of health care. Have you explored this possibility?

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, asowash:

My wife works for a doctor of naturopathy. While his practice is several decades old, he and his fellow practitioners continue to face the dilemma HouTx pointed out as it relates to a society that expects insurance to pay for anything medical; and, when they find out something is not covered, are less likely to follow through on it.

For example, a family member has a condition going on for about a year or two now that just baffles doctors and the medical community; they have no diagnosis, no treatment, no prognosis. One of the practitioners where my wife works believes she can resolve the problem over time with natural methods of care. Yet, because the family members insurance will not cover the $65 per hour involved, the family member would rather live with the problem than pay for it. We've had conversations that if he hired a plumber, mechanic, or even paid out of pocket for a doctor, it would come to the same thing... maybe one day he will listen.

asowash, while this barrier of thought does exist, the practice where my wife works continues to grow as does the industry. So check out where you would work if you made this change over, and see what the general thought process is in that area. Would they be accepting? Willing to try? Or resistant to change?

Thank you.


Specializes in critical care, ortho-surgical. Has 5 years experience.

Thanks for the input. I completely understand what you mean and while I am a bit "off the grid" myself, I do want a lucrative career. I've been exploring other career options and have found a diabetic educator to be a good fit. Its a shame we are a "treat em and street em" society. Everyday I go to work and see our patient kitchen stocked with diet soda, Lorna doones, and oreos. Our vending machines are full of doritos, honey buns and powdered donuts! And we wonder why people are sick...

I say holistic because I know our society is one big trend after the next. First it was cool to smoke, now its cool eat kale and workout. I'm hoping we as nurses stress how everything boils down to proper nutrition. Here's to hoping.