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What Are the Holistic Nursing Standards?
General nursing standards form the nursing profession’s theoretical and legal basis as a whole. Further, they establish the tangible, essential nursing competencies and contributions that are legally expected by patients, clients, colleagues, and the general public.
Holistic nursing standards build on the general nursing standards to communicate the more specific competencies in holistic nursing as a specialty. The Holistic Nursing Standards of Practice reflect a deep valuing of whole persons and provide a guide for nurses who want to integrate holism, compassion, healing arts, and science with nursing education, research, and practice.
Experts in holistic nursing education, research, and direct patient care wrote the Standards, and the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) and American Nurses Association (ANA) jointly published them. The Standards of Practice require five areas of participation by each nurse:
Continuing education, consistently expanding one’s knowledge base about patient care and disease outcomes
Accepting nursing standards as a moral compass for determining patient care
Taking responsibility for giving patient care commensurate with these standards
Taking responsibility for ethical documentation of care
Supporting others within the care community
At the heart of the Standards of Practice is the nurse’s accountability to engage in competent nursing practice as established by the professional nursing community. Individual acceptance of these standards is the basis of ethical professional responsibility.
The Standards Form the Basis of Holistic Nursing Practice
Holistic nursing care is based on nurse competencies that support the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, cultural, energetic, and environmental needs of the whole person.
The Holistic Nursing Standards define these required competencies and provide parameters that help holistic nurses assess each patient/client’s needs, name them, then plan, implement, and evaluate the nursing interventions that are used.
The holistic nurse first develops a relationship with his/her patient while conducting an assessment. The nurse develops a nursing diagnosis through an interview, a patient examination, and a reflection on the patient’s needs. The nurse then develops an integrated plan of care to meet each identified need, using measurable outcomes for the nursing interventions. As much as possible, the holistic nurse integrates these efforts into a single, unified endeavor.
The Standards Guide Our Holistic Interactions with Patients, Colleagues, Other Professionals, and the Community
The Holistic Nursing Standards guide the practical and theoretical application of holistic nursing education, practice, research, and advocacy in our interactions with patients, colleagues, other professionals, and the community in which we live.
The Standards Form the Legal Basis of Holistic Nursing Practice
The Holistic Nursing Standards of Practice describe the nationally accepted nursing activities, including education, professional development, interprofessional relationships, research, advocacy, and patient/client interactions, by providing a uniform way to assess nurse competencies and contribute to emerging regulations, policies, and legislation.
When litigious circumstances arise, and the Holistic Nursing Standards and the state Nurse Practice Act, together, form the basis for the nurse’s defense. Following the Standards safeguards both the nurse and the profession of holistic nursing.
Places to Learn More
The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) serves over 5,500 nurses and holistic healthcare professionals in the USA and internationally. Their mission is to illuminate holism in nursing practice, community, advocacy, research, and education. https://www.ahna.org
The Holistic Nursing Standards of Practice are available for purchase on the AHNA website at https://www.ahna.org/Shop/Publications/BKctl/ViewDetails/SKU/AHN106.
The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) advances holistic nursing and nurse coaching through board-certification examinations that provide a way for nurses to distinguish themselves as experts in the specialty of holistic nursing. The Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) has accredited the AHNCC certification programs, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Program recognizes it. https://www.ahncc.org
New Directions for Nurses provides continuing education (CE) and coaching services to nurses who are passionate about solving health problems holistically. We believe that when nurses are fully supported to actualize their potential, it will change the world! Visit us at https://newdirectionsfornurses.org
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