I just returned from the Scripps Holistic Nursing Conference in San Diego and had a great time. Sharon Murnane (pictured) and I spoke to a couple hundred practicing nurses, mostly from California, and was uplifted and energized. Two themes emerged over the two-day event. First, many nurses talked about how they were disappointed in the lack of real caring that takes place in our current health care system. One nurse said she got in trouble if she spent too much time with her patients. Another nurse said the whole system she worked with was driven by money and not the best interest of patients. Many nurses yearned to get back to the heart of nursing by using interventions such as presencing, listening, massage, non-judgment and having time to support family members. Many of them agreed with my saying, “People are not cars and nurses are not mechanics.” Nurses are healers. It is time to change the health care system to allow nurses to embrace the healing tradition started by Florence Nightingale.
The second theme was certification. Many nurses wanted to know how to be certified as a holistic nurse. If you are a nurse and would like to be a board certified, visit the website of the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. I also strongly recommend you join the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). The AHNA is 32 years old and has lots of resources to help you prepare for certification.