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Holistic Nursing Schools and Careers

Holistic Nursing Degrees, Certification and Training Resources

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Holistic nurses see the healing of the whole person as their goal, and they draw on a variety of therapies—including complementary modalities—to broaden their scope of practice.

In this way, they are able to address the emotional and spiritual needs of their patients as well as their physical health.

An education from a holistic nursing school can help you earn a holistic nursing degree or, if you already hold an RN or BSN degree, it can augment your existing skill set.

Career Overview

In a holistic nursing career, spirit and emotion are just as important to wellness as the mind and the body; and the philosophy of caring and interconnectedness is inseparable from knowledgeable nursing practice. Under that general umbrella, there is a lot of variation in holistic nursing vocations. Graduates of holistic nursing school may practice in hospitals, universities, medical offices or alternative health centers. Some holistic nurses become wellness coaches, or specialize in healing modalities such as bodywork.

Training and Education

What You’ll Study in Holistic Nursing School

All nurses must complete a basic range of science, health policy and nursing practice courses. In addition, if you attend a holistic nursing school, your coursework will include theory and practice of holistic medicine, professional standards, and specific healing modalities such as energy work.

Many holistic nursing programs also offer training in compassion, self-care, massage therapy, healing or therapeutic touch (bodywork), intuition and spirituality, depending on the school. By combining these healing modalities, the body is able to heal as a whole, rather than in segmented parts. Holistic healing recognizes the totality of the human being, integrating natural healing with clinical practice to treat people’s physiological, psychological and spiritual needs. This type of nursing helps to complement more traditional methods for a well-rounded, complementary approach.

Average Length of Study

Nurses looking for holistic nursing certification must hold a diploma, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in nursing. Beyond the nursing degree, at least 48 hours of continuing education in holistic nursing or a related subject are required, as well as a minimum of one year of full-time active practice as a holistic nurse.

Average Tuition

Completing the 48 hours of coursework required for certification generally costs between $1,000 to $3,000 for programs approved by the American Holistic Nurses Association. Tuition for a full holistic nursing degree varies depending on the length of the program.

Holistic Nursing Certification

A state license is required for all practicing nurses. You do not need a special license or certification to incorporate holistic nursing philosophies, but the American Holistic Nurses Association strongly suggests holistic nursing certification for those who plan to focus on holistic or complementary modalities. Certification as a Holistic Nurse – Board Certified (HN-BC), Holistic Baccalaureate Nurse – Board Certified (HNB-BC), or Advanced Holistic Nurse – Board Certified (AHN-BC) proves that you have met well-defined professional standards of practice that have been approved by the AHNA.

Career Outlook

With interest growing in complementary and alternative health care, professionals with holistic nursing training have reason to be optimistic about their career outlook. Nursing job opportunities are expected to grow much faster than average, and in particular, nurses with bachelor’s degrees will be in high demand.

Holistic Nursing Salary

Salaries for graduates of holistic nursing school vary depending on your job title and level of education in nursing. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors. Search nurse salaries for your state below.

Registered Nurses

National data

Median Salary: $75,330

Bottom 10%: $53,410

Top 10%: $116,230

Projected job growth: 7.2%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $58,630 $43,150 $80,420
Alaska $94,070 $65,530 $126,260
Arizona $79,010 $57,530 $104,290
Arkansas $62,330 $44,660 $82,480
California $118,410 $76,180 $173,370
Colorado $76,500 $55,820 $104,070
Connecticut $82,770 $60,560 $113,320
Delaware $72,110 $54,260 $100,150
District of Columbia $89,440 $61,410 $123,540
Florida $67,510 $50,220 $93,500
Georgia $69,630 $51,270 $98,810
Hawaii $110,410 $70,090 $134,660
Idaho $71,280 $53,700 $95,480
Illinois $72,610 $52,470 $103,210
Indiana $65,000 $51,110 $88,310
Iowa $61,130 $46,930 $80,610
Kansas $62,550 $46,400 $83,450
Kentucky $63,060 $45,960 $84,070
Louisiana $66,240 $50,510 $87,420
Maine $69,510 $54,450 $93,920
Maryland $79,810 $57,720 $106,040
Massachusetts $90,290 $61,660 $146,480
Michigan $73,040 $55,280 $98,080
Minnesota $79,540 $57,730 $107,000
Mississippi $59,850 $42,740 $82,260
Missouri $64,220 $44,060 $91,880
Montana $68,740 $53,930 $93,550
Nebraska $68,010 $53,690 $90,220
Nevada $87,960 $66,130 $121,100
New Hampshire $74,840 $55,160 $101,400
New Jersey $84,990 $65,070 $110,510
New Mexico $75,350 $55,810 $98,230
New York $89,840 $57,990 $126,660
North Carolina $66,820 $50,820 $93,250
North Dakota $68,800 $53,200 $88,780
Ohio $67,580 $53,370 $91,370
Oklahoma $65,680 $47,760 $85,160
Oregon $96,790 $70,860 $126,470
Pennsylvania $72,970 $53,910 $99,870
Rhode Island $83,060 $59,460 $105,150
South Carolina $66,050 $47,240 $86,150
South Dakota $60,000 $44,550 $79,900
Tennessee $62,220 $44,640 $86,170
Texas $75,320 $54,800 $103,040
Utah $67,180 $54,560 $92,160
Vermont $69,670 $53,190 $98,380
Virginia $72,420 $52,940 $102,300
Washington $89,650 $65,400 $125,970
West Virginia $63,180 $45,490 $87,180
Wisconsin $73,540 $56,040 $99,060
Wyoming $70,450 $54,090 $95,870

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2020 median salary; projected job growth through 2029. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Is a Holistic Nursing Career Right for You?

As the American Holistic Nurses Association puts it, holistic nursing is “an attitude, a philosophy, and a way of being.” It recognizes the patient as a whole human being whose body, mind, spirit, relationships, and environment are interconnected. Graduates of holistic nursing school learn to be caring, compassionate, knowledgeable about nursing, and devoted to being a facilitator of healing as well as a medical professional.

Sources: American Holistic Nurses Association, American Holistic Nurses’ Certification Corporation