Why it's time to unite science-based and alternative care in holistic nursing
Sally Star, Holistic Health Practitioner and Nurse with specialisms in specialist community public health nursing, educator, and Founder Member, Holistic Nurses UK (www.linkedin.com/in/sallystaratbioelectriclife)
Let's make this clear from the start: the blending of nursing and holistic health care is not a popular choice in the UK. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) does not recognise holistic nursing as a specialty. At a time when the professional body is trying to reduce the number of specialties, this may not seem like much of an issue. However, is this really reflecting the needs of the population that it serves? The simple fact is that public health is changing, and this is not just because of an increasingly ageing population. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape of health has changed, and this is only going to continue. Therefore, it's time to build a bridge between these two aspects of health care, and that connection is the formation of the Holistic Nurses UK group.
The complex issue of terminology surrounding holistic nursing does not help its cause, as there is not one definitive definition. The interchangeable use of language around holistic, complementary, alternative and integrative care, adds fuel to the fire to those who do not take the specialism seriously within nursing. If practitioners can't even decide on a common description, then how can it be seen as an area of expertise? The NMC (2018a) Future Nurse Standards state:
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