Holistic Nursing Is a Nursing Specialty 

In 2006, holistic nursing was officially recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA) as a nursing specialty with a defined scope and standards of practice. Holistic Nursing is based upon:

  • A unique body of knowledge
  • Evidence-based research
  • Sophisticated skills
  • Defined standards of practice
  • A diversity of modalities from a broad range of health practices
  • A philosophy of living and being that is grounded in caring, relationship and interconnectedness

Why Is Specialty Status Important?

ANA recognition as a nursing specialty distinguishes holistic nursing from general nursing practice by acknowledging holistic nursing’s unique contribution to the health and healing of people and society. Specialty status provides both nurses and the public with greater clarity, sets a foundation for holistic practice, and strengthens the voice of the entire profession. It also helps holistic nurses articulate, explore and develop who they are. 

Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice

Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, Second Edition (2013), co-published with ANA, defines what holistic nursing is, what holistic nurses do, and the responsibilities for which holistic nurses are accountable. These guidelines are consistent with the definition, values, assumptions and standards of nursing as outlined by the Nursing’s Social Policy Statement, Second Edition (ANA, 2003) and Nursing: Standards of Practice (ANA, 2005).

Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, Second Edition (2013) is an essential resource for nurses and others in related healthcare work, including care providers, educators, researchers and administrators, and those involved in funding, legal, policy and regulatory activities. The holistic nursing scope and standards of practice can deeply influence nursing practice. These standards:

  • Provide schools and universities with a template for curricula and influence the development of continuing education programs 
  • Validate research and attract research funds 
  • Provide for recognition by state boards of nursing 
  • Describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities that hospitals and other health care agencies can expect from the nurses they hire  
  • Help the professional practice regulate itself 

Click here to purchase the Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice book through the AHNA online store.



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