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By Sharon Burch, MSN, APRN, PHCNS-BC, APHN-BC, HWNC-BC
The art and science of holistic nursing emanate from five core values. These values reflect an integrated approach to caring for the whole person, including body, mind, spirit, emotion, energetic, cultural, and environmental connections. These core values are documented in the book Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice.
The Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd ed. (2019) is the primary foundational resource for holistic nursing. It reflects a consensus of the most current thinking in the specialty of holistic nursing and provides a blueprint for its philosophy, theory, principles, education, research, and practices. The following is my synopsis of the five core values.
Core Value 1. Holistic Philosophy, Theories, and Ethics
The holistic philosophies, theories, and ethics that ground holistic nursing practice also inform a way of being that deepens our inner knowing and connects us with others and our environment.
Core Value 2. Holistic Nurse Self-Reflection, Self-Development and Self-Care
Nurses can become more aware of themselves and reflect on the values, beliefs, and perceptions that influence their holistic practice, making them more authentic and mindful of the world around them.
Core Value 3. Holistic Caring Process
Holistic nurses empower the client as a whole person by developing a holistic caring relationship with the client that integrates nursing assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention, and evaluation and promotes healing and well-being.
Core Value 4. Holistic Communication, Therapeutic Relationship, Healing Environment, and Cultural Care
Holistic nurses artfully use a holistic communication style that values cultural diversity, the therapeutic relationship, and the healing environment. Holistic nurses use coaching, appreciative inquiry, and motivational interviewing to assist the client to establish health behavior patterns that generate and maintain greater health and well-being.
Core Value 5. Holistic Education and Research
Holistic nursing education is required to begin holistic nursing practice and continue it, and it is based on evidence that's been gathered through nursing practice, research, and leadership.
In addition to the core values, the Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice also contain the standards that define holistic nursing competency. These standards incorporate the fundamental philosophical beliefs, theories, practices, new developments, and advancements in the field. Together with the core values, the standards guide holistic nurse clinicians, educators, researchers, nurse leaders, and administrators in the professional activities and knowledge that are relevant to basic and advanced holistic nursing practice, education, research, and advocacy.
The Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice delineate the legal and ethical responsibilities of holistic registered nurses when they are used in conjunction with Nursing’s Social Policy Statement: The Essence of the Profession (ANA, 2010), Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd Ed. (ANA, 2015b), Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (ANA, 2015a) and the laws, statutes, and regulations related to nursing practice for the nurse’s state, commonwealth, or territory.
For complete information on the Core Values and the Standards of Holistic Nursing Practice, see the Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (3rd ed.), by the American Holistic Nurses Association/American Nurses Association Publishers. To purchase this book, go to: https://www.AHNA.org/Shop/Publications
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