Nurses as Leaders in Integrative & Holistic Medicine

Nurses as Leaders in Integrative & Holistic MedicineWestern healthcare is in urgent need of reform. The costs of sustaining current models of medicine continue to escalate and are becoming increasingly unaffordable. The question as we move forward is not just one of administration – deciding who will pay the bills – it is, how can we create a more efficient and cost-effective model of practicing medicine? One potential solution is to evolve towards an integrative model of medicine, where nurses and nurse practitioners play an increasing role in the delivery of holistic patient care.

As a Canadian medical doctor for many years and one who has been exposed to the American medical system, I have come to understand the pros and cons of both social and private approaches. It is imperative that we now question the way medicine has been practiced. With a foundation that is symptomatic in its approach, it has not been successful in treating the root causes of chronic diseases or cancer, which statistically have represented a major portion of healthcare expenses. There is an increasing consensus that Integrative medicine can play a crucial role in reducing healthcare costs, and in returning us to a more humanistic and holistic approach to medicine. Many hospitals have already begun using protocols of Integrative medicine for stress management, smoking cessation, weight loss, and pain reduction.

So who will be the most qualified, licensed healthcare providers to implement holistic modalities within the existing system? You may think that the answer is the medical doctor, but most of the time they can’t add more to their growing load of responsibilities for less remuneration. The answer is obvious: the nurses and nurse practitioners. Amongst all of the healthcare providers, these are the people who are already known to have developed a good sense of clinical skills, and are capable of delivering new modalities with the patience and care they require. By reputation, they have the most presence at the bedside of the patient and a privileged relationship with both the patient and their families.

By training nurses and nurse practitioners in holistic healing modalities and evaluation techniques, we have the opportunity to define a new area of specialization and redefine their role within the healthcare system. This new nurse, with a PhD. Doctorate in Integrative Medicine, will be able to serve as one of the driving forces behind a profound transformation of the future of medical care.

By Dr. Paul Drouin


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Philips E. Idahosa


I completely agree with your stance. I would imagine on a conservative estimate that less than 1% of Physicians in North America, Europe and the developing countires outside China, the Indian subcontinent and Japan practice holistic medicine. That estimate will be much smaller when it comes to Orthomolecular Medicine. It must be realised that it takes considerable guts for an MD to deviate from mainstream medicine and start practising natural healing which is becoming clearer every day, that it is the way medicine will be practiced in the future.

Nurses and Nurse practitioners are at the fore front of clinical medicine. Because of their close involvement with patients and their families, it is they who see the failure of mainstream medicine on a daily basis and they know that many things are not right. Sadly, their feelings and opinions are stressfully kept under lock as it is for their consumption only.! Can you imagine what it is in Psychiatry where so many nurses do know that Orthomolecular Medicine does cure Mental illness and yet all that the Psychiatrists say is that these patients will never be trully integrated into the community again. Nurses are more sympathetic towards patients and their allegance towards their professional bodies is not influenced by big pharma. Targetting the Nursing profession in Integrated Medicine is a bold step that will benefit humanity.


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Margaret Kefer

The article resonates with me.
Had organized a stress reduction clinic 2/28/13 at a spa in Santa Barbara. It went well and alternative practitioners provided free service to the public.
Thank you,
Margaret RN


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Diane Rizun

I agree, as retired RN. When I had my private holistic practice, so many patients were helped in ways that are not even recognized in orthodox medicine.


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James Karns

Everyday I encounter at least one person who is not able to manage their stress, resulting in painful and debilitating conditions. I am a nurse practitioner who needs more tools in my bag, and I have already completed the biofeedback course with excellent results. The world is eager for our services, and offering them is a great satisfaction.


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Robin Lambrecht

I’ve been a RN for over 20 years. After completing my Masters Degree, while instructing the nursing BSCN program, I enrolled in my Master Herbalist program. I was very impressed with the caliber of instruction and amazed with the information. We get taught very little about the dangers of sugar, GMO, microwaves, fluoride, etc, in the mainstream medicine education. When I found out about Integrative Medicine, I was so excited to combine all my studies and obtain my Doctorate. This allows for the Art in healing which is also a nursing function. There is more than just science to how a person functions. I opened my own practice, have been recognized by my Nursing governing body and enjoy the ability to really assist people in their journey towards health. Nurses are the largest healthcare group and in a unique position to assist in healthcare reform.


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