School of Nursing’s holistic approach recognized

October 20, 2016

Nursing student in the clinical simulation lab at the Quinnipiac School of Health Sciences

QU students encounter a wide range of scenarios that teach them how to provide patient-centered care.

The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation has again endorsed the School of Nursing's undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Quinnipiac School of Nursing is one of only 12 nursing schools nationwide with holistically-endorsed programs; it's one of only two schools with endorsed programs on the doctoral level.

"Students in our undergraduate and graduate programs learn holistic nursing is a way of life in which the nurse engages in genuine caring, mindful living and ethical practice," said Cynthia Barrere, a board-certified advanced holistic nurse, who is the chair of faculty development as well as a professor of nursing at QU.

The programs prepare students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide holistic, patient-centered care for diverse individuals, families and populations across the lifespan. Students are also introduced to a variety of integrative health practices, which combine traditional western medicine and nursing with complementary and alternative therapies.

The students are taught to value healing the body, mind and spirit while also considering the patient's environment, family and culture. They also learn that nurses are instruments of healing who facilitate patients' rights to make informed decisions based on their beliefs and values.

"The doctor of nursing practice students graduating from the endorsed program will be adult-gerontology and family nurse practitioners," said Mary Helming, a professor of nursing, who is also a board-certified advanced holistic nurse. Our nurses understand that the patients' and families' socio-economic, spiritual and psychological needs are as important as the physical.

Graduates from Quinnipiac nursing programs have the added benefit of an expedited application to become certified holistic nurses, Helming said. The usual requirements — a reflective essay, 48 hours of continuing education in holistic nursing and one year of nurse practitioner or holistic nursing practice — are waived. QU graduates only need to pass a quantitative test to become certified.

"The School of Nursing faculty believes an essential aspect of integrating holism into the curriculum is providing classroom, lab, simulation and clinical experiences that foster the students' understanding of what whole-person caring is," Barrere said. "They blend both eastern and western approaches in nursing practice to provide students with a solid foundation in caring and healing practice. They implement the school's mission to teach nursing in a manner consistent with the American Holistic Nurses Association's philosophy and core values."

“Students in our undergraduate and graduate programs learn holistic nursing is a way of life in which the nurse engages in genuine caring, mindful living and ethical practice.” said Cynthia Barrere, professor of nursing and a board-certified advanced holistic nurse.

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