Candidate for President-Elect

Deborah Shields PhD, RN, CCRN, AHN-BC, QTTT
Associate Professor of Nursing
Capital University
Bremen, Ohio

Deborah Shields, PhD, CCRN, AHN-BC, QTTT, offers the following brief description of her holistic nursing background.
To be sure, the greatest gifts in Deb’s life are her family and friends. She lives with her husband David (a holistic nurse), and their furr-bud family in SE Ohio. Her professional life is abundant and truly delightful. She began her nursing career as an LPN and, over the years, ultimately earned her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentrate focus in Holistic Nursing at Union Institute & University in Cincinnati. Deb is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Capital University, a staff nurse at Doctors Hospital OhioHealth in perioperative care, and has a private practice as a Therapeutic Touch Therapist and teacher. Deb has enjoyed numerous opportunities to deepen her holistic practice through presenting at workshops, conducting research, publishing, and sharing relationships with others through networking and membership in professional associations.

Deb has been involved with AHNA since the early 80’s when she read Cardiovascular Nursing: Bodymind Tapestry (Guzzetta & Dossey) – and knew she had found her home in holistic nursing. Her time in AHNA has been nothing short of amazing, having met so many wonderful people and learned so much about life and about herself! She has had the opportunity to serve in many roles with AHNA over the years. Currently she is a member of the AHNA Education team on both the Provider and Approver side, a Nurse Planner on the 2016 Conference Committee, the AHNA representative to the AHNCC Consensus Model Task Force and a member of the NANDA-I Task Force that is resubmitting the Nursing Diagnosis related to Energy. Deb belongs to a number of other professional associations including Therapeutic Touch International Associates, the International Association for Human Caring, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

On Capital University campus, she serves as a faculty in both the pre- and post-licensure program, and is currently the facilitator of the workgroup that assembles all materials required for the American Holistic Nursing Credentialing Corporation endorsement as a Holistic Nursing education program. Deb was instrumental in the initiative for the educational partnership and faculty/learner exchange program with Guangxi Medical University in Nanning, China. 

Deb has stated that she “is humbled at the blessings offered to her and her heart is so grateful.  Thank you for reading this and for being part of her life!”


BSN, Ohio University, Athens Ohio (Summa Cum Laude)
MS, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio (Summa Cum Laude)
PhD: Interdisciplinary Studies with Holistic Nursing Specialty, Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, Ohio (Summa Cum Laude)

Organizational Membership
Phi Beta Delta
Therapeutic Touch International Associates, Inc.
Institute of Noetic Sciences
American Association of Critical Care Nurses
Sigma Theta Tau 

Position Statement
It’s funny how I am invited to pay attention to what seems so clear. A recent experience with a patient I cared for offered me one of those ‘aha’ moments. As I reflected on our time together, I saw what I believe is the priority of our time… an authentic shift in understanding and living holism.

Giving voice to holism requires a shift from a culture of illness to one of health and wellness- it is a transformation that moves us to a belief in possibilities, in healing, in wholeness. Foundational in this shift is the creation of a holistic approach to health and wellness through the integration of unitary and biomedical paradigms, interdisciplinary collaboration and impeccable communication, and a commitment to stay the course.

Holistic nursing practice is grounded in knowing and living wholeness. Holistic nurses meet people where they are, skillfully weaving science and art into the co-creation of an integrative approach to health that is both evidenced-based and practice-informed. Each of you, every day, are the voice of holism! Each of you, every day, never give up!

As the definitive voice of holistic nursing, the AHNA is positioned to lead this cultural shift and the transformation of healthcare. The AHNA leadership can support nurses in this sacred work through the expansion of solid initiatives in holistic self-development, advocacy, education, research, practice and membership, providing concrete resources to ‘spread the word’ about holism. I believe that strategic resource management and investment, developing international relationships to ensure AHNA’s participations in meeting global health challenges and, intentionally creating committees/workgroups for sharing and disseminating intergenerational wisdom will build the resilience and collective strength necessary to stay the course. There will be bumps on the path but together we can determine how to transcend them. From ‘how-to’ to ‘who-to’ to ‘why’, stepping stones can pave the way to the day that holism is fully integrated into our healthcare systems, educational institutions, regulatory bodies…even into the political arena. The time is now…the voice is ours. We are the AHNA…a vibrant, generative, caring community committed to holism! Let us, together, shift the culture!


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