The RN- BSN program at UMA has been honored by the American Holistic Nurses Association as having developed a nursing curriculum that exemplifies “excellence in holistic nursing education”.
The journey toward developing a curriculum that supports students knowledge of self-care and the use of holistic modalities for self-healing and the healing of others continues on. In retrospect, when I look back at the last 3 years of developing and implementing the curriculum, the main rewards live in witnessing students undertake their own healing process and return to a place of caring in their nursing practice and in sharing the healing journey together as a community. So many of our RN-BSN students at University of Maine at Augusta recover from burn-out and begin to find ways to implement self-care, which begins with a very clear reflective process that is threaded throughout the program. This approach to curriculum building is in partly based on Barbie Dossey’s Theory of Integral Nursing; and I believe more then ever now in Jean Watson’s theory of human caring, where she imparts to us the importance of the nurse being on his or her own spiritual-healing journey in order to be able to create caring and healing bedside interactions that are sustainable.
In order to develop a holistic nursing curriculum, the educator has to be on their own healing path and committed to supporting the healing journey of the students who come to us with their own healing needs. The curriculum must also thread through the scopes and standards of holistic nursing, while supporting students in finding ways to live the holistic nursing ideals in the healthcare arena.
We look forward to seeing what emerges as the program continues to grow and evolve in depth towards greater holism.