Holistic nurses are nurses who have been specifically educated and trained to assist in providing treatment to patients through CAM or complementary and alternative medicine. Because holistic nursing is based on the concept that a patient's physical health cannot be treated without healing or treating the "whole" person or the patient's mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being as well, holistic nurses usually approach nursing in an entirely different way than the traditional type of nurse. Some of the alternative medical treatments that holistic nurses can perform include acupuncture, massage, hypnosis, hydrotherapy and aromatherapy.

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New York Holistic Nursing Programs

To become a holistic nurse, an individual should already hold a diploma, an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in nursing. He or she should then look for schools that offer holistic nursing programs. Holistic nursing programs generally provide nursing students with a range of courses that would give them the education and training they need to practice various forms and types of alternative medicine. Holistic nursing programs usually take at least 48 hours of coursework that an individual should complete as one of the steps to become certified as a holistic nurse. After finishing the program, an individual should then take a certification exam that is approved by the AHNA or the American Holistic Nurses Association.