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This article reviews the development of the practice standards, and presents the philosophies and values which underpin holistic nursing.
The relationship between holistic nursing practice and complementary and alternative modalities is discussed. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. The AHNA is a national nursing organization committed to bringing holism, compassion, science, and creativity to nursing practice with a stated mission "to unite nurses in healing" www.
The AHNA Standards of Holistic Nursing Practice hereafter called the Standards provide guidance for nursing care that meets the intent of the description of holistic nursing -- "care.
The Standards represent practice of a nursing speciality, but unlike speciality practice defined by a client group pediatric nursing or a disease category oncology nursingholistic nursing is practiced by nurses in virtually every area of care.
The speciality is based on practice that recognizes the body-mind-spirit connection of persons, and demands its practitioners integrate self-care and self-responsibility into their own lives.
As the modalities became the widely visible aspect of holistic nursing practice, it was both important and necessary to develop standards of practice so that the philosophy, values and knowledge that underpin care would be articulated.
The process began with reflective questions among members of the AHNA: How is holistic nursing the same or different from all nursing practice? What is the relationship of holistic nursing to complementary modalities?
Answers to these questions were not automatic, for there was no published authority from which to draw definitive or even tentative answers. These position papers were developed through committees of interested nurses, critiqued by experts in the field, published in the association's newsletter Beginnings for review, and finally were adopted by the organization's membership.
The result was an initial set of statements to the wider nursing community about the concept of 'holistic nursing' and its meaning.
The AHNA description of holistic nursing is presented below Table 1 as an introduction to the concept. AHNA Description of Holistic Nursing Holistic nursing embraces all nursing practice that has enhancement of healing the whole person from birth to death as its goal.
Holistic nursing recognizes that there are two views regarding holism: Holistic nursing responds to both views, believing that the goals of nursing can be achieved within either framework. The holistic nurse is an instrument of healing and a facilitator in the healing process.
Holistic nurses honor the individual's subjective experience about health, health beliefs, and values. To become therapeutic partners with individuals, families, and communities, holistic nurses draw on nursing knowledge, theories, research, expertise, intuition, and creativity.
Holistic nursing practice encourages peer review of professional practice in various clinical settings and integrates knowledge of current professional standards, law, and regulations governing nursing practice.
Practicing holistic nursing requires nurses to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in their lives.
This awareness may further enhance the nurse's understanding of all individuals and their relationships to the human and global community, and permits nurses to use this awareness to facilitate the healing process.
The description makes clear that the views, beliefs, and practices of the nurse are as important as the nurse's view of nursing care. This statement on holistic nursing provided a basis from which to consider the actual practice. With this description of holistic nursing in hand, the AHNA undertook a four-step process to 1 develop initial Standards of Practice, 2 complete a role-delineation study of the actual practice of nurses who consider themselves to be 'holistic', 3 promote certification in the speciality, and 4 revise the Standards based on previous work Dossey, While there was no definitive authority on holistic nursing practice in the early s, there existed a wide literature on holistic nursing.
The team working on the initial draft of the Standards reviewed all articles published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, and the journal Holistic Nursing Practice from toas well as numerous holistic nursing articles appearing in the literature Dossey, It was believed that the content of this literature would cover the domain of the speciality and could form a basis for national standards.
The first draft of the Standards was thus created in An eight-member task force used these initial Standards to develop a survey instrument that would solicit information about the practice of holistic nursing in the field. Data obtained indicated areas of commonality that crossed over all nursing areas of practice.
These data were used to develop a nursing certification exam and to refine the Standards. A final draft of the Standards was submitted by the task force to the AHNA Leadership Council in and gained approval of the Council and the membership at that time.
These core values represent the essence of holistic nursing and are each necessary for holistic practice. Core value 1, Philosophy and Education, emphasizes that holistic nursing is based on a philosophical framework embracing holism and a commitment to education, reflection, and knowledge.
Core value 2, Holistic Ethics, Nursing Theory and Research, emphasizes that professional nursing is grounded in theory, informed by research and bound by ethical principles to guide practice that is competent, thoughtful, and principled. Core value 3, Holistic Nurse Self-care, is based on the belief that nurses must engage in self-care to promote health and personal awareness so that the nurse may serve others as an instrument of healing.Neshaminy Manor is a non-profit nursing home funded in part by the taxpayers of Bucks County, and the Federal and State governments.
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