What is Holistic Nursing Certification?

Holistic Nursing Certification

The AHNA describes holistic nursing as healing the whole person, not just the body.

Holistic nurses are professional registered nurses specializing in a particular theory and technique to treat patients.

These nurses focus beyond treating the symptoms of ailments. They may incorporate complementary health practices, but they are not specifically called complementary health nurses.

Holistic nurses often use traditional and alternate medicine in combination with modern Western medications.

A holistic nurse provides therapeutic massage, dietary advice, meditation therapy, and breathing techniques for faster recovery.

These professionals also educated patients about self-care, spirituality, self-responsibility and self-reflection.

These techniques help the patients maintain a good balance between mind, spirit and body.

About Holistic Nursing

What is Holistic Nursing Certification

What is Holistic Nursing Certification – About Holistic Nursing

Holistic nursing is an attitude and commitment to integrating self-care, spirituality, self-reflection and self-responsibility into healthcare services. This often makes holistic nurses more aware of the interconnections between the self, others, spirit and nature.

Holistic nursing is recognized as a specialty by the American Nurses Association and has specific standards of practice and competencies. It has a defined scope and practice standards, which all holistic nurses must maintain.

Educational Requirements for Holistic Nurses

Similar to registered nurses (RNs), holistic nurses should have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or at least an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). Once you get your BSN or ADN, you should prepare and sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

See Also: Types of Nurses

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) administers the NCLEX-RN exam, which licenses individuals as registered nurses, not specifically as holistic nurses.

Although you can get employed as a holistic nurse with a BSN or ADN degree, most employers prefer candidates with a BSN degree.

Many RNs who plan to advance in holistic nursing also choose to enroll in a master’s program with a special focus on holistic medicine. A higher-level degree always leads to a higher-paying position.

Certification Requirements for Holistic Nursing

Obtaining AHNCC certification is optional for holistic nurses and is not a requirement to practice as a holistic nurse after passing the NCLEX-RN exam. The eligibility criteria for AHNCC certification include a current RN license, a minimum of 1 year of nursing experience, and specific educational and practice requirements in holistic nursing, not simply passing exams.

Although not mandatory, you can also seek additional certification in complementary and alternative treatment techniques. This usually requires undergoing additional training with their specific certification criteria.

Responsibilities of Holistic Nurses

Holistic nurses combine modern medicine with traditional remedies to treat various ailments. They also educate patients and the community about preventive and wellness health care. Holistic nurses are focused beyond just treating the visible symptoms of any illness.

Their focus is on improving the emotional, psychological, spiritual and social health of the patient. As clinical nurses, their main duties involve providing a high standard of holistic care for the patient for overall good health.

Some of the techniques and therapies commonly offered by holistic nurses include:

  • Administering aromatherapy
  • Providing wellness coaching
  • Massage
  • Eastern and Chinese healing remedies
  • Integrating homeopathic and natural products
  • Educating and helping patients with stress management techniques
  • Hypnosis, balneotherapy and hydrotherapy

Employment Scope and Salary of Holistic Nurses

According to BLS statistics, the projected growth rate for registered nurses, including those practicing holistic nursing, is about 7% from 2019 to 2029. However, this figure is for the nursing profession overall, not specifically for holistic nursing. The average annual salary for certified holistic nurses in the US is between $45,695 and $86,471, depending mainly on the location.

The exact salary figure will also depend on the individual experience and the type of employer. A couple of years ago, the median annual salary for RNs was around $73,300.


Holistic nurses integrate Eastern and Western medicine to treat patients. They are also tasked with educating their communities about various traditional wellness and preventive measures for maintaining good health.

The focus on emotional and physical well-being makes the holistic nursing field extremely satisfactory for passionate nurses.

See Also

Aesthetic Nurse Certification

Oncology Nursing Certification

Texas Board of Nursing

EMT Certification

Current Version
September 16, 2023
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
March 20, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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