How to Become a Holistic Nurse:
The Definitive Guide

Do you enjoy helping people, and want them to live their best lives?

Do you value everyone and honor their personal values of health and life experience?

Then, you may be just the right person to work as a Holistic Nurse.

As a Holistic Nurse, you’ll spend time making sure that people are healthy as a whole, their entire body, including a spiritual aspect.

What is a Holistic Nurse?

Since 2007, Holistic Nursing has been a specialty in the United States.

As a Holistic Nurse, you will consider a patient as an entire person.

This means that you will assess a patient’s body, mind, spirit, culture, and background.

You won’t just be speaking to people on medical terms, you’ll learn much more about their minds and bodies as well.

Some of the tools that can be used during a Holistic Nursing session are:

  • Herbs
  • Homeopathy
  • Meditation
  • Reflexology
  • Guided imagery
  • Dietary changes
  • Exercise


You can find a Holistic Nurse performing many of the same duties as your typical Registered Nurse, but there are some differences.

As a Holistic Nurse, you can expect to do tasks such as:

  • Identify patients as individuals
  • Acknowledge your patient as a whole
  • Interact with patients and colleagues mindfully
  • Assess patients holistically, including acupuncture, aromatherapy, Eastern medicine, etc.
  • Pinpoint stress points


On average in the United States, a Holistic Nurse can make around $77,000 a year.

However, for those that are just starting out in this career, it is likely that you will make around $63,000 a year.

When you have the experience, education, and certifications, it’s possible to earn up to $111,000 a year.

Holistic Nurses who work in larger populations, and where Eastern Medicine is more popular will likely make more money.

Holistic Nurses working in California make much more than Holistic Nurses working in states like Missouri and Ohio.

If you are looking for a job as a Holistic Nurse, it’s important to find hospitals and other facilities where this type of care is accepted.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

Annually National Average Salary: $77,460


Average Annual Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$94,820
New Hampshire$73,880
New Jersey$84,280
New Mexico$73,300
New York$87,840
North Carolina$66,440
North Dakota$66,290
Rhode Island$82,310
South Carolina$64,840
South Dakota$59,540
West Virginia$63,220
Puerto Rico$35,040
Virgin Islands$68,500

Annual Average Salary: Top 5 States

The top earning state in the field is California, where the average salary is $113,240.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

California - $113,240
Hawaii - $104,060
District of Columbia - $94,820
Massachusetts - $93,160
Oregon - $92,960
* Employment conditions in your area may vary. * Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey.
Conducted by: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.

How to Become a Holistic Nurse

Step 1Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Just like every other Registered Nurse, a Holistic Nurse must also earn an Associate’s degree in nursing or a Bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Nowadays, it seems that more and more employers are requiring a Bachelor’s degree in nursing in order to gain employment.

There are several courses that are required within a nursing program, and a lot of these courses are science-related.

Some of the classes that you can expect to take while earning a Bachelors degree in nursing include:

  • Chemistry
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Research
  • Nutrition
  • Nursing Care for Mothers and Newborns
  • Geriatric Nursing Care

And many more.

With a Bachelor’s degree, you will also be required to take classes like English, math, and other elective courses.

A typical Bachelor’s degree can take around four years to complete.

Step 2Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam

Once you’ve earned your degree, it’s now time to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

Passing this exam will allow you to gain licensure as a Registered Nurse.

You must be licensed as a Registered Nurse to work in any state in the United States.

In order to be eligible for this exam, you must have a nursing degree.

There are many multiple-choice questions on this exam, as well as graphic options, audio questions, and charts.

Since this exam is competency-based, which means the more you know, the fewer answers you will have to give, the test can be as little as 75 questions, or as much as 265 questions.

There is a six-hour limit for this exam, and the cost can be up to $250 per exam.

Step 3Gain Nursing Experience

Did you pass your NCLEX-RN exam?

Perfect, it’s time to start working.

Now that you are a Registered Nurse, you can work anywhere in the United States.

Even though you are interested in becoming a Holistic Nurse, this is your chance to work in a clinical nursing facility so that you gain experience working with medicine and treating patients.

Some Registered Nurses work in hospitals, others work in doctor’s offices or clinics, where you work is up to you.

Sometimes, universities or nursing programs allow for internships, which means you might already have a job before you even graduate.

Either way, you’ll need at least one year of clinical nursing experience before you are able to earn a Holistic Nursing Certification.

Step 4Obtain Holistic Nurse Certification

You’ve been busting your butt as a Registered Nurse for a year, and you’ve learned the ropes.

Now it’s time to earn your Holistic Nursing Certification.

In order to be eligible for this certification, you must:

  • Hold a current and active RN license
  • Have a minimum of one year experience
  • Have 48 hours of continued education in Holistic Nursing
  • Be a graduate of a nursing program with a Bachelors degree

A Holistic Nursing Certification is valid for five years, after which it must be renewed.

In order to renew this certification, you will have to prove your eligibility again or retake an exam.

There are also certifications for Holistic Nurses who hold Master’s degrees.

These certifications are:

  • Advanced Holistic Nursing Board Certification
  • Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse Certification

You must have a Master’s degree to be eligible for these two certifications.


Every state requires either an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree in order to work as a Registered Nurse.

Although holding an Associate’s degree is perfectly acceptable in the field of nursing, most nurses opt to earn a Bachelor’s degree.

Many employers prefer this as well.

A Bachelor’s degree in nursing can take around four years to complete, and also requires that students do clinicals and possibly work an internship.

This will give you hands-on experience in a hospital or doctor’s office setting, and prepare you for your career as a Registered Nurse.

It is likely that in a nursing program, you will take classes like English, algebra, social studies, and so on, but you will also be required to take classes like:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Nutrition
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Nursing Research
  • Health Care Ethics
  • Acute Care
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, it is likely that you will want to gain some education in Holistic Nursing as well.

There are some schools that have Holistic Nursing tracks, but many are still behind the times.

For the schools that do have Holistic Nursing tracks, it’s possible to earn a certificate in Holistic Nursing in around a year.

Some of the courses that you can expect in a Holistic Nursing program are:

  • Integrative Health Approaches
  • Advanced Concepts in Health and Wellness
  • Relationship-centered Holistic Care

There are also continuing education programs that will provide much knowledge about Holistic Nursing.

The Integrative Healing Arts Program is an American Holistic Nurse Association program that takes around 72 hours to complete.

This course will help aspiring Holistic Nurses to take the certification exam.

With this program, you should learn to:

  • Incorporate new skills and knowledge in the nursing field
  • Embody therapeutic presence
  • Implement personal-centered care

After earning a certificate, continuing your education, or earning a degree, you may have to take an exam to become a Holistic Nurse.

Video About The Career


The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation offers several certifications for aspiring Holistic Nurses:

  • Holistic Nurse Board Certified
  • Holistic Nurse Baccalaureate Board Certified
  • Advanced Holistic Nurse Board Certified
  • Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse Board Certified

The Holistic Nurse Board Certified certification is the beginning credential for a Holistic Nurse.

This certification shows that you are competent in Registered Nursing as well as Holistic Nursing.

In order to sit for this exam, you must have a current RN license, at least one year of experience in nursing, and have continued education in Holistic Nursing.

The average Holistic Nurse Board Certified exam costs around $100 to take.

Many of the questions on the HNBC exam are multiple-choice, and others are short answer.

The subjects you should study for every one of these certification exams are:

  • Holistic Philosophy and Theory
  • Holistic Nurse Self-Reflection and Self-Care
  • Holistic Communication
  • Holistic Education and Research

For the Holistic Nurse, Baccalaureate Board Certified certification, you must hold a Bachelor’s degree in nursing.

You will take the same exam for this certification as you would the Holistic Nurse Board Certified certification.

The Advanced Holistic Nurse Board Certified and Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse Board Certified certifications require a Master’s degree to sit for the exam.

You will also need at least 1 year of nursing experience and at least 5 years of advanced education in nursing in order to sit for these exams.

Each one of these exams has year-round testing, which means that whenever you are ready and prepared for the exam, you can take it!

Once your application is approved, you will have two months to take the exam.

You will receive an immediate notification of your exam results.

Many exams cost anywhere between $100 to $200 to complete, it is your responsibility to find out before you take the exam.

Each certification can last between 3-5 years, after which you will need to prove further education or retake the exam.

Certification Example:

nursing ba example

Average Training Program Duration: 4+ Years

You should have at least one year of experience in Registered Nursing in order to sit for a certification exam.

It is important to have some continued education in Holistic Nursing as well.

To take an exam, you must prove your knowledge and experience in nursing, but once you submit your application, you have up to two months to take the exam before you need to reapply.

So, it depends on how confident you are in your education, but be sure you take at least one practice test before taking the real exam!

Popular Degree Programs

Job Outlook

It seems that anyone who wants to become a Holistic Nurse shouldn’t worry about finding a job in the near future.

Within the next ten years, the Registered Nurse career will grow around 12%.

This is true for all careers across the nursing field.

As a Holistic Nurse, you should be advised that there will be more job opportunities in places that accept Eastern medicine as true medicine.

The most common places to find a job as a Holistic Nurse are private practices, patients’ homes, and birthing centers.

Some of the most common states for Holistic Nurses include California, New York, Illinois, and Texas.

* The numbers below reflect all registered nurses and are not limited to holistic nurses.

Employment Growth Projection: 12%


That's a higher than average projected growth of 371,500 jobs.

Should You Become a Holistic Nurse?

Overall Satisfaction

Overall Satisfaction: High

All around the country, it seems that Holistic Nurses love their careers.

They feel as if they are helping out their patients for the greater good, which gives them a boost in self-esteem.

Since Holistic Nursing is not just looking at one piece of a patient and putting it back together, nurses who are in this field feel that they are creating a better place.

Each patient has their own story, and a Holistic Nurse can help to heal from past pain and current frustrations.

This is an emotionally charged career, so those that look to work as a Holistic Nurse should be prepared to endure emotional rollercoasters.

Average Salary

Average Salary: High

The average salary for a Holistic Nurse in the United States is around $77,000 a year.

After several years of experience, advanced education, and extra certifications, a Holistic Nurse can make over $100,000 a year.

To gain the most out of this career, it’s important to work in areas of the country that Holistic Nursing is more popular.

Those that work in smaller populations, or in populations that lean toward Western Medicine, it’s likely that a Holistic Nurse will make much less, at around $60,000 a year.

Job Growth Outlook

Job Growth Outlook: High

The career of a Holistic Nurse is likely not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Overall, the careers of Registered Nurses everywhere shouldn’t be in trouble.

There will likely always be a need for nurses, and with the rise in alternative medicine, Holistic Nursing is on the rise.

The field is likely to grow around 12 percent within the next decade.

Due to the rise in the aging population and the acceptance of Eastern medicine, Holistic Nurses should find more job opportunities within the next several years.

Growth will be the most in places like California, New York, and Texas.

Education Duration

Education Duration: 4+ Years

On average, it takes around four to six years to become a Holistic Nurse.

First, a prospective nurse must obtain a degree in nursing.

This can be an Associates or Bachelors, however many employers are looking for Bachelor’s degrees nowadays.

A typical Bachelor’s degree can take around four years to complete.

Then, you must gain some experience as a Registered Nurse before continued education as a Holistic Nurse.

A Holistic Nurse program can take anywhere from several weeks to a year to complete, it depends on the program and timeline.

Personal Skills Needed

Personal Skills Needed

It takes a special person to work as a Holistic Nurse.

This person should be down to earth and willing to help others no matter what.

Some of the other personal skills that a Holistic Nurse should hold include:

  • Knowledge of the nursing field
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Assessment skills
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to listen
  • Problem-solving skills
  • A love for people
  • Empathy

It’s not only important to understand the role of a Nurse, but it is also important to understand the role of a therapist, psychologist, and emotional support person.

A Holistic Nurse heals a patient as a whole, which means they must have excessive knowledge about the entire body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the average salary of a Holistic Nurse?

The salary of a Holistic Nurse can vary throughout the United States, but on average a Holistic Nurse can make around $77,000 a year.

When just beginning a career as a Holistic Nurse, it is likely that you should expect a salary of around $60,000 a year.

However, after many years of experience, continued education, certifications, and specializations, it’s possible to earn over $100,000 a year in some areas as a Holistic Nurse.

Holistic Nurses that work in more progressive areas will typically make more money than Holistic Nurses in rural areas.

Q. How long does it take to become a Holistic Nurse?

That depends on how much education you want to receive.

Some nurses earn an Associate’s degree, which can take around two years to complete.

Other nurses opt for a Bachelor’s degree, which can take around four years to complete.

After you earn an education, you will need some work experience and certification in Holistic Nursing.

This can take around one to two years to finish.

Overall, it can take anywhere from 4-6 years to become a Holistic Nurse.

Q. What does a Holistic Nurse do?

Holistic Nursing is quite like your typical Registered Nursing.

However, a Holistic Nurse will look at the patient as a whole, instead of just what is currently bothering them.

Patients are assessed inside and out, spiritually, and emotionally.

This can help to alleviate pain and emotional attachments that require healing.

Q. What is the demand for Holistic Nurses?

Over the next decade, the demand for Holistic Nurses will continue to rise.

More people are enjoying the fruits of Eastern medicine, and Holistic Nursing becomes more and more popular.

It seems that all types of nurses will see a rise in job opportunities over the next several years.

This is due to the aging baby boomer population and the increase in facilities for patients.

Q. How much does it cost to become a Holistic Nurse?

On average, a Bachelor’s degree in the United States costs around $30,000 to earn.

Depending on the continued education you choose to receive as a Holistic Nurse, you can spend anywhere from $250 to $1000.

Other certifications and exams can cost around $250 to $500 to complete as well.

So, depending on the type of education you receive, it can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 to become a Holistic Nurse.

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