AHNA's Past, Present, and Future

Our Past

The American Holistic Nurses Association was founded by Charlotte McGuire in 1981, partly as a response to major changes in health care delivery that were transforming the work of nurses in hospital settings. Many felt that nursing care was suffering due to changes in staffing patterns as well as a nursing shortage exacerbated by these dramatic changes in focus. Nursing care was becoming less and less patient and wellness centered and the founding of AHNA was a response and the call for a solution.

Our Present

Today, with over 4,500 members, AHNA serves as the definitive voice for holistic nursing, responsible for the recognition of holistic nursing by the American Nurses Association as an “official nursing specialty” with its own defined scope and standards of practice.  Accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, AHNA approves over 150 educational activities and provides a myriad of educational activities though the Journal of Holistic Nursing, the annual AHNA conference, the Foundations of Holistic Nursing Course and other CNE activities.

Our Future

 As AHNA continues to grow, we have the opportunity and responsibility to:

  • Ensure the integration of complementary/alternative modalities into nursing curricula. Holistic nurses will need to take leadership roles in working with the accrediting bodies to assure that this content is included in educational programs.
  • Educate the public more fully about complementary/alternative modalities and practitioners.
  • Participate in the political arena as leaders in this movement to ensure an increased focus on wellness, health promotion, access and affordability for all.
  • Advocate for the reimbursement of CAM nursing interventions.
  • Participate in the development and dissemination of an evidence base for effectiveness and efficacy of complementary/alternative therapies. 
  • Our Story AHNA History Highlights


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