What is Holistic Nursing?

Holistic nursing embraces all nursing which has as its goal the enhancement of healing the whole person from birth to death. Holistic nursing recognizes that there are two views regarding holism: that holism involves identifying the interrelationships of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual dimensions of the person, recognizing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; and that holism involves understanding the individual as a unitary whole within his environment. Holistic nursing believes that the goals of nursing can be achieved within either framework.

The holistic nurse is an instrument of healing and a facilitator in the healing process. Holistic nurses honor the individual’s subjective experience about health, health beliefs, and values. To become therapeutic partners with individuals, families, and communities, holistic nursing practice draws on nursing knowledge, theories, research, expertise, intuition, and creativity. Holistic nursing practice encourages peer review of professional practice in various clinical settings and integrates knowledge of current professional standards, laws, and regulations governing nursing practice.

Practicing holistic nursing requires nurses to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in their lives. This may lead the nurse to greater awareness of the interconnectedness with self, others, nature, and Spirit/God/Life-Force/Absolute/Transcendent. This awareness may further enhance the nurses’ understanding of all individuals and their relationships to the human and global community and permits nurses to use this awareness to facilitate the healing process.

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» About Holistic Nurse Certification


OHNA upholds the Core Values & Standards of Practice of the American Holistic Nurses Association


AHNA Core Values


  • Holistic philosophies, theories, and ethics
  • Holistic nurse self-reflection, self-development, and self-care
  • Holistic caring process
  • Holistic communication, therapeutic relationship, healing environments, and cultural care.
  • Holistic education & research

AHNA Standards of Practice for Holistic Nursing

  • Assessment
  • Diagnosis
  • Outcome identification
  • Planning
  • Implementation (coordination of care, health teaching, & health promotion)
  • Evaluation
  • Ethics
  • Culturally congruent practice
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Education
  • Evidence-based practice & research
  • Quality of practice
  • Professional practice evaluation
  • Resource utilization
  • Environmental health