About Holistic Nursing

“Holistic Nursing is like the thread that can be woven through each and every nursing specialty. You can be an emergency nurse and be a holistic nurse. You can be a surgical nurse, and be a holistic nurse. It’s about the way you affect your patients in a positive manner. You can have the technical skills, but you also have to have empathy for them.”

– AHNA Former President Lourdes Lorenz-Miller


It’s no surprise that Holistic Nursing spans all fields of nursing. It makes perfect sense that caring for patients from a holistic perspective, rather than just looking at the specific condition or disease, has been shown to reduce symptoms more quickly and enhance patients’ overall health and energy. While the UConn School of Nursing has long embraced the concepts and principles of Holistic Nursing, it did not have a specific formal offering in the field—until 2016, when we established the Holistic Nursing Online Graduate Certificate program.

Here’s how the UConn Holistic Nursing Online Graduate Certificate can support your Holistic Nursing practice.

Endorsed by the American Holistic Nurse Credentialing Corporation: The program recently received this important endorsement, entitling our students to take the Holistic Nursing examination upon receipt and acceptance of their applications. Students are not required to provide evidence of one year of practice prior to application, nor will they be required to complete the CE hours prior to the examination.

Well-rounded curriculum taught by leading expert Cathy Alvarez: The three-course online program begins in the fall, with NURS 5001 – Holistic Nursing Part 1: Basic Concepts, which covers the wide range of Holistic Nursing modalities, from diet and exercise to meditation and the effects of stress on health. The second semester—NURS 5002 – Advanced Concepts is much more “hands-on,” during which students learn about Reiki, acupressure, meditation, nutrition, and more. The last semester, NURS 5003 – Holistic Nursing Practicum, enables students to focus on a specific modality or combination of modalities and put their new knowledge to work in a community setting.

The curriculum for the Holistic Nursing Online Graduate Certificate was developed by one of the leading experts in the field: Colleen Delaney, former Associate Research Professor in the University of Connecticut School of Nursing.

One cohort of students: Because the courses are given in a sequence, beginning in the fall and ending the following summer, you’ll participate in the program with the same cohort. This format enables you to form strong bonds with other students, just as if you were in a traditional Master’s level program at UConn.

Zoom meetings with outside presenters: A few times each semester, students join in on real-time online meetings led by guest instructors with nationally recognized expertise. In addition to focusing their area of specialty, our guest lecturers address the future of Holistic Nursing, its challenges, best practices, and more. The Zoom platform also gives students the opportunity to share ideas with one another, practice modalities together, and in general, get to know other members of their cohort. Zoom meetings are scheduled well in advance, with the date and time included on the program syllabus.

100% online: In general, the courses are structured around weekly modules, each with a separate topic. Yes, there are deadlines. But our online platform—Husky CT/Blackboard—allows you to work at your own pace and on your own time, anytime that’s convenient for you. You may be surprised to discover that our online platform creates a highly interactive, collaborative experience. How? Faculty members post questions to a discussion board to which students add their responses—and can respond to each other, providing invaluable feedback and insights. Students have time to think and edit before they post—even those individuals who may be reluctant to talk in a traditional classroom setting feel more comfortable expressing their ideas and views. You may just find that the online discussions can get quite lively!