AHNA and the Nursing Crisis 

Holistic nurses engage in holistic self-assessment, self-care, and personal development, aware of being instruments of healing. 

Nurses are health care’s frontline professionals, practicing in a wide variety of settings and communities, and touching the lives of every person who needs health care. As the nation’s largest health care profession, nurses are indispensable to our well-being.

Yet, the nursing profession is in crisis, with major shortages predicted, large numbers leaving practice, and increasing burnout.

AHNA is the Answer

Holistic nursing practice is based on the philosophy and theory of holism – the mind-body-spirit-emotion connection. This provides for enhanced interconnectedness with self and others and can lead to greater personal fulfillment and professional empowerment. AHNA embraces nursing as a lifestyle and a profession and provides a means to create bonds within the nursing community.

AHNA grew out of the need to heal the healer and prevent nursing burn-out. As the AHNA Core Value states, “Holistic nursing practice requires the integration of self-care and personal development activities into one’s life.”

AHNA member Jean Watson, PhD, renowned holistic nursing theorist, promotes caring as the essence of nursing. She states that human caring has been increasingly deemphasized in the healthcare system and that caring of self is a prerequisite to caring for others (Neil, 2002).

Current approaches to decreasing nursing burnout involve building healthy work environments that give emphasis to caring and healing. Magnet designation of hospitals, integrating holistic care, Nightingale units, the Planetree movement, alternative clinics within hospitals, and various education programs have been shown to increase nursing satisfaction and decrease nurse turnover rates.

AHNA is an organization that emphasizes the needs of the nurse – through self-assessment, personal development, and stress management.

As more and more people desire alternatives to conventional health care, holistic nursing and AHNA truly are the answer.

For more information, visit:

The Nursing Shortage and Holistic Nursing
Integrating Holism into the Hospital Setting to Reduce Nursing Turnover
    Appendices to Integrating Holisim (pdf, 2.44 MB)
Stress Management Resources
Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice
American Nurses Association/Nursing Shortage
The Affordable Care Act

AHNA and Advocacy

As the only full-service professional organization representing the nation’s holistic nurses, AHNA is at the forefront of policy relating to holistic nursing and integrative health care. AHNA recognizes the bond linking patient satisfaction and holistic nursing, as well as the connection between holism and career fulfillment. We are working to legitimize holistic health care and to help resolve the nursing shortage.

Recent Policy:

AHNA comments on FDA Guidance on CAM Products and their Regulation

Position Statements:

Position on the Role of Nurses in the Practice of Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Position on Holistic Nursing Ethics
Position on Nursing Research and Scholarship



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