Become A Holistic Nurse: How To Get Started

Holistic nursing is a patient-centered approach that focuses on treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms. It recognizes the interconnectedness of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health and aims to promote overall well-being.

Relevance in modern healthcare

In the face of the growing need for patient-centered care, holistic nursing and holistic nurse coaching has gained significant relevance in modern healthcare. It addresses the limitations of conventional medicine by integrating complementary and alternative therapies, promoting self-care, and considering the patient’s unique needs and preferences.

Bridging Holistic with Conventional

Collaboration in interdisciplinary teams

Holistic nursing encourages collaboration in interdisciplinary healthcare teams. By working together with physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals, holistic nurses contribute to a comprehensive and integrated treatment plan, ensuring that all dimensions of the patient’s health are considered in every healthcare setting.

Advocacy for holistic approaches

One of the responsibilities of a holistic nurse is to advocate for holistic approaches within the healthcare system. By educating colleagues and challenging the status quo, holistic nurses help to expand the understanding of what constitutes effective and compassionate care.

Becoming a Holistic Nurse

Educational prerequisites

The American Holistic Nurses Association’s vision is “a world where every nurse is a Holistic Nurse.” To become a holistic nurse, registered nurses should start by obtaining the necessary education and licensure. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is usually required, although some programs may accept an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). An understanding of basic holistic principles is essential, and pursuing additional coursework related to holistic nursing is beneficial.

Additional certifications and training

After obtaining the foundational education, registered nurses can pursue additional certifications and training to specialize in holistic nursing. The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) in partnership with American Holistic Nurse Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC)  offers the Holistic Nursing National Board Certification. This certification aligns with the nurses degree level such as Associate Degree Nurse would receive the credential Holistic Nurse (HN-BC), Holistic Baccalaureate Nurse (HNB-BC), Advanced Holistic Nurse (AHN-BC), and Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse (APHN-BC) which validates a nurse’s degree knowledge and competence in holistic nursing practices. Other certification programs, such as becoming a Nurse Coach (NC-BC), can further enhance a nurse’s ability to integrate holistic communication approaches into patient care.

Essential Skills

Communication and empathy

Healing presence, effective communication, and empathy are at the core of holistic nursing. Holistic nurses establish trust and rapport with patients by actively listening, asking open-ended questions, and valuing the patient’s unique experiences. By incorporating active and reflective listening, holistic nurses create a safe and supportive healing environment for patients to share their concerns and goals.

Holistic assessment techniques

Holistic nurses are skilled in using holistic assessment techniques, which include comprehensive physical assessments, as well as exploring various areas of wellness such as the patient’s emotional, mental, spiritual well-being, and more. By using these techniques, they can identify underlying root causes of health and non health related issues and tailor their care plans to address the whole person.

Networking and Development

Joining organizations

To further their professional growth and network with like-minded individuals, holistic nurses are encouraged to join organizations such as the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), and the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA). These organizations provide access to resources, educational opportunities, and networking events.


Mentorships play a crucial role in the development of holistic nurses. At Sage Integrative Wellness, we offer nurse mentorship programs specific to holistic nursing, nurse coaching, cannabis nursing, and holistic nurse entrepreneurship that connect aspiring holistic nurses with experienced practitioners, education, and training. By learning from our dual board certified integrative nurse, aspiring holistic nurses, nurse coaches, and cannabis nurses can deepen their knowledge and gain valuable insights into the practical application of holistic nursing principles. If you would like to explore expanding your nursing career, click here for a FREE consultation. 


As healthcare continues to evolve, there is a growing need for nurses who can provide holistic and patient-centered care. By exploring the field of holistic nursing, registered nurses can expand their skills, enhance patient outcomes, and contribute to the advancement of healthcare.

The impact of holistic nursing on patient well-being is profound. By considering all aspects of a patient’s health, holistic nurses can help patients achieve a more balanced and fulfilling life. By embracing holistic nursing principles, registered nurses have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of their patients.

Holistic nursing is not only a path towards career growth and professional fulfillment but also a personal journey of transformation that enhances the quality of life from care provided. By embracing this holistic approach, registered nurses can play a vital role in reshaping the future of healthcare and promoting optimal wellness for their patients.

Finally, click here if you would like a FREE ebook for more information on how to start your holistic nurse journey. 

Nurse Author Dominique Fontaine, BSN, RN, HNB-BC, HWNC-BC is a double board certified holistic nurse, holistic medical content writer, and medical content reviewer for Sage Integrative Wellness, LLC, and various national and international wellness companies and media companies. Dominique offers holistic nurse consulting for businesses, media companies, and organizations in holistic medical content writing and medical content reviewing upon request. She’s a passionate neurodiverse nurse and disability advocate striving to transform healthcare and culture through brain health awareness, holistic education and research, and integrative nurse coaching.

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