Holistic Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice 2nd Edition
Carla Mariano, EdD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAIM

In 2007, the AHNA first co-published the Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice with ANA, marking the pivotal turning point of specialty status recognition for holistic nursing.  Now, AHNA is proud to announce the release of the second edition of our Scope and Standards of Practice.  Following is a brief summary of the importance of this document and new revisions/changes to the second edition.  Please be sure to look for the upcoming article in the December issue of Beginnings for even more specifics.

Why are the Scope and Standards important?
The Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition is the foundational document and resource for holistic nursing education at all levels (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, continuing education), and for holistic nursing practice, research, advocacy, and certification. It is a guide for clinicians and practitioners, educators, researchers, nurse managers and administrators in professional activities, knowledge and performance that are relevant to holistic nursing.  It tells the world who holistic nurses are and describes how we practice.

Why do we need Scope and Standards?
This document not only articulates the scope and standards of the specialty practice of holistic nursing, but also delineates the professional responsibilities of a holistic nurse.  It informs holistic nurses, the nursing profession, other healthcare providers and disciplines, employers, third-party payers, legislators and the public about the unique scope of knowledge and the standards of practice and professional performance of a holistic nurse.  

What is incorporated in the Scope and Standards?
Included in the Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition (2012) are:
  • The definition and scope of Holistic Nursing. 
  • An overview of the evolution, focus, philosophical underpinnings, and phenomena of concern in holistic nursing.
  • An in-depth discussion of the Core Values of Holistic Nursing. 
  • The practice settings and educational preparation of holistic nurses. 
  • A comprehensive look at issues and trends affecting holistic nursing.
  • The Standards and Competencies of Holistic Nursing Practice – both basic and advanced levels.

What are the changes/revisions in the second edition of the Scope and Standards?
There have been a number of revisions and additions to the new Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice 2nd Edition.  Of particular importance is that this document has now been identified as the foundational document and resource for holistic nursing practice, education, research, advocacy and certification.  All sections of the document  – including the Introduction and Overview, Scope of Practice, Standards of Practice, Standards of Professional Performance, References and Appendices – have been updated and revised.  For instance, competencies have been included for each standard at both the basic and advanced levels and the contributions/value/influence/impact of holistic nursing’s philosophy and practices on contemporary nursing and health care have been incorporated in all major sections throughout the document. Also, each of the Core Values of Holistic Nursing now identifies the who, what, when, where, how, and why of holistic nursing.  Plus, there is updated information on educational preparation, practice settings, certification, and the current trends and issues pertaining to holistic nursing. All standards were revised to reflect the 2010 ANA language for Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance while also incorporating the orientation of holistic nursing.  Please refer to the article in this month’s Beginnings magazine (vol. 32, no. 6) for more specifics.

The Holistic Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition contributes significantly to the formalization and credibility of  all our work by providing holistic nurses a guideline  to develop theoretical and empirical knowledge as well as caring and healing approaches.  This document helps fulfill AHNA’s mission to advance holistic nursing practice through education, research and advocacy.  Holistic nurses are in a prime position to lead the profession in the integration of a more holistic approach to nursing practice, transforming health care for the healing and well-being of all. 

The Holistic Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition is scheduled for release in early 2013.

About the Author
Carla Mariano EdD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAIM is Past-President of AHNA and integrally involved in developing the Holistic Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice. She spearheaded the initiative which gave holistic nursing official recognition by the ANA as a specialty within the discipline of nursing. She chaired the Values and Competencies Task Force of the National Education Dialogue, the White House Commission on Integrative Health Care. 


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