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Capital University’s Department of Nursing has been awarded a second $200,000 grant by the Ohio Board of Nursing from the Nursing Education Grant Program (NEGP) to increase enrollment capacity in the university’s nurse education programs.

“Exceptional, holistic nurses and nurse leaders, like those we prepare at Capital, are essential to sustaining healthy communities, families, individuals and the health care systems that support them,” said Capital Nursing Dean Ann Peden. “By investing to expand Capital’s nursing program, the Ohio Board of Nursing and our partners are helping Capital champion lifelong health and well-being to lift up and improve lives in communities near and far. We are grateful for their confidence in us and our mission.”

Nursing’s ongoing relationship with OhioHealth was instrumental in being awarded the NEGP grant, which will provide resources for new laboratory equipment to expand and complete dedicated nursing simulation and skills lab spaces in Battelle Hall of Science and Nursing. Equipment will include high-fidelity simulation mannequins, laptop computers, a mobile medication administration system and other equipment to complete the two new labs and to update the original nursing skills lab. Grant funds also will support the addition of faculty necessary to expand Capital’s new Hybrid Online Nursing Accelerated Program.


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Welcome to all who are interested in standardizing Holistic Nursing curriculum guidelines,  transforming healthcare,  and empowering nurses so they can practice to the maximum of their abilities.

The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) in concert with the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) announce the publication of a document that can be used to standardize holistic nursing educational processes for those entering the Nursing Profession. The Holistic Nursing Curriculum Guidelines can be viewed or downloaded starting October 15, 2017.

View or download document.

The Curriculum Guidelines reflects more than two years of work by AHNCC in concert with AHNA. The authors have years of experience with Holistic Nursing practice, education, research, and administration. Reviewers include Holistic Nurse experts from the several groups including the AHNCC and AHNA Boards,  AHNCC Endorsed Program Faculty, Nurse Theorists, Nurse Leaders, and others. To read related material that preceded this work click here. 

The FOUNDATIONS, COMPETENCIES, AND CURRICULAR GUIDELINES FOR BASIC TO DOCTORAL HOLISTIC NURSING EDUCATION builds on AACN’s Essentials of Basic and Graduate Education, and is designed to describe the why, what, and when of Holistic Nursing Education. The document provides standardized curriculum guidelines that inform nurses how to practice person-centered care; use the sciences of holism, health, wellness, and wellbeing to understand the individual’s worldview; and ensure that they know how to practice self-care that will help them grow, learn, and become the most they can be so they are able to create energy-based connections with others.

The First Edition of the Curriculum Guidelines will be available for complimentary download through 2018. Edition 2 will include revisions based on input from colleagues and selected Tool Kits currently under development. We anticipate that Edition 2 will be available early spring 2019 for digital download and/or a hard copy for a minimal fee. Availability will be announced here and in AHNA’s eNewsletter.


Comments and questions are welcome. Post them here, and we will respond as soon as possible.

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 Kay Sandor - Fishing
Kay Sandor loving life as she enjoys fishing – one of her favorite pastimes.
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Kay Sandor always has a smile on her face. It is evident she is at peace with her life and passionate about her beliefs.
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Dr. Sandor has been involved with holistic nursing for almost 20 years. Although she was drawn to a holistic philosophy and practice later in her career; she continues to practice in mental health settings and hospice settings yet today. The core essentials of holistic nursing are woven into her practice and research, her communication, self-care, and care for others. The Holistic Core Essentials are:
• Philosophy and Education
• Ethics, Theories, and Research
• Self-Care
• Communication, Therapeutic Environment and Cultural Competence
• Caring Process

Her career path has been varied over the years and eventually led her to think differently about nursing and how she could offer support for the patient who intuitively and ultimately knew how to best care for their own minds, bodies, and spirits.

When Kay started out, she worked in critical care. She found the energy (adrenalin) of the work environment was satisfying at first. However, after several years, she began to feel dissonance at some of the futile efforts to keep people alive at any cost. The cost was great for the patient, their families, and the nurses and other professional health care providers

At that point in her career, she sought additional education for end-of-life care. She attended End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) courses taught by Betty Ferrell and others and returned to the University of Texas Medical Branch and shared what she learned with staff nurses and students. Kay also attended the University of Houston Clear Lake to complete a Masters level program in Clinical Psychology and get licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Dr. Sandor continued to seek additional education and attended the Metta Institute “End of Life Care Practitioner Program” with Frank Ostaseski. In addition, she attended the “Being with Dying” course at Upaya Zen Center with Roshi Joan Halifax. These three programs and their nationally and internationally known teachers have had a profound influence on Dr. Sandor’s ability to care for herself and others (especially those who are about to die and in transition). They are Betty Farrell, Frank Ostaseski, and Roshi Joan Halifax.

Although Dr. Sandor has many educational credentials and two licenses (RN and LPC), she states she values the Advanced Holistic Nursing-Board Certified (AHN-BC®) Credential.

After she and several of her colleagues at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing (UTMB SON) got certified, they saw the importance of incorporating holistic values into the nursing curriculum. Even though they were already involved in a very holistic program incorporating the core values of holistic nursing was culminated with this endorsement program. Once the program was finalized, the school sought and achieved endorsement by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.

She got certified in 2002 and was faculty at UTMB SON until 2013. She recently re-certified for another 5 years. Kay continues to emphasize to young nurses and graduates from endorsed schools that they can sit for their certification examination as soon as they receive their nursing license. More and more hospitals require certification and holistic nursing certification is valued.

Dr. Sandor serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (credentialing organization). She is the chair of several committees and during her four years as a Board Member held the positions of President-elect, President, Past President, and Treasurer, She states she loves the fact she can connect with kindred spirits; and check in with Leaders from Endorsed Schools, which continues to be her passion.

She tries to attend every American Holistic Nurses Association (membership organization) annual meeting every year In addition she attends as many presentations as possible to receive CE for her nursing license and re-certification.

Kay lives in Texas, with her life partner Gary; where they are avid sailors. Dr. Sandor sees patients three days a week in her Psychotherapy Practice
Besides fishing and sailing, this busy lady is an active Rotarian (ten years) where she is Chair of the Vulnerable Populations Committee. This group holds a free bicycle helmet giveaway annually. For the past 18 years, Kay chaired the Neighborhood Community Garden, one of her favorite activities.

Although her schedule is demanding, Kay always takes time to meet new people and welcome them with open arms.

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AHNCC now has new programs available for Certificants to access their certification information.
On our web site, you can create a password and log in to your records (upper right part of the screen) using our secure provider Caspio.
Once logged in, you will be able to:
– View and update personal information (mailing address, email address, license information, etc.)
– View your AHNCC certification information (certification number, expiration date, etc.)
– View, add, and update CE records. (This information is only required if your recertification application is audited, but can be updated at any time.)
– View, add, and update your education records.
Some earlier information provided on paper applications and recertification applications is not available online. (The information is kept as scanned history.) We are working towards a total online recertification process. Until that time, recertification applications from our web site must still be used, but much of the information can be submitted with these new programs.
If you have any questions or issues, please contact us at

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 Barb Picciano
Barb Picciano didn’t begin her career as a nurse — she worked as a dental assistant and nursing assistant. However, she has an insatiable curiosity for all areas of health care and her journey continued in various roles at the Cleveland Clinic. Her wide range of experiences included work as a Pediatric ICU Nursing Assistant; Neurosurgery Staff Nurse; Quality and Accreditation Manager in the Rehab Institute; Coordinator first, then the Director of the Healing Services, in the Office of Patient Experience, and currently she is the Manager of Healing Services and Code Lavender, Center for Ethics, Humanities and Spiritual Care.
Picciano claims she approached her career without a particular direction but eventually ended up where her heart is offering holistic healing to staff, patients and their family members as needed. Early in her career she had a mentor who was practicing holistic nursing. Barb reports her mentor sought her out due to holistic activities she was offering on her days off. This mentee relationship helped Barbie to move forward and join the holistic nurse community. She eventually got certified through AHNCC and says knowing what she does now, she certainly would have been certified earlier in her career but the focus was on program development at first. The certification helped her to provide validation of her and her team’s practice to the large healthcare community watching the evolution of holistic care at the bedside.

During her journey she has been recognized as a respected leader with an extensive, well rounded set of skills in management, strategic planning, and program development with the successful record of building multiple teams. Barbie’s team participated in a pilot study where staff teams were able to bring holistic care to the bedside. This program was the first in the country to approach holistic healing as a partnership with the patient, healing services and spiritual team. As the program model was developed it expanded to include patients, their family members and caregiver staff. The inclusion of the staff members was a particularly driven factor in providing holistic care in acute care setting. The staff support factor is now a central focus of the entire enterprise and the team she works with are very in tune with ways to help.

This focus on staff support with holistic tools was the birth of Code Lavender: the holistic rapid response model that provides on-the-spot care in weaving of care into the workplace. The program has been well-received, and Barbie reports at times caregivers express immense gratitude for such overwhelming support. Code Lavender provides a much needed, appreciated and holistic model of care for caregivers in a timely manner to an emotional event. The Code Lavender program also exemplifies a partnership model with employee assistance and wellness departments in the enterprise.

With background in Healing Touch™, Reiki, HBLU, holistic coaching, holistic nursing and holistic stress management, Barbie also provides training enhancement for the Cleveland Clinic Caregiver teams such as classes in Non Pharmacologic Pain Management, Self-Care for the Caregiver, Interdisciplinary Holistic Care Education Program, and many more educational opportunities. Her passion is not only to provide a patient experience that addresses the whole person and their families, but to also support caregivers in their roles and workplace, and educate them about self-care, holistic practice and healing modalities. The programs and educational opportunities are also offered to all region hospitals in her system and the teambuilding continues throughout. Looking forward, she anticipates innovative models to enhance the team’s availability utilizing technology to enhance and reach team goals and the needs of those they serve.

If you want to learn more, Ms. Picciano provides consultation about Code Lavender. You may contact her at: or 216-444-5131.

More information on Code Lavenders can be found at or at

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The Retired Status certification phase-in period is ending December 31, 2016. During the phase–in period, nurses who have been certified in the past in holistic nursing, but are now retired may apply for the title of Retired Certified Holistic Nurse even if they are past the one year expired renewal date of their certification. .
As of December 31st, 2016, applicants will be required to submit an application within one year after expiration of their latest AHNCC re-certification date. (Note: If your RN license expires, your active certification expires. If your AHNCC certification expires, you are no longer eligible to use the previous AHNCC credentials.)
Candidates may apply using the application at this link. Please feel free to email us at if you have any questions.
To all of our retired certified holistic nurses we want to say thank you for all you have done to move Holistic Nursing forward. One person at a time, you have made a difference, changing lives and making it a better world to live in. Thank you for the gift of yourself and your service.

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Anna Rhodes Captain Rhodes, a new AHNCC board member, brings a wealth of nursing experience and an entirely new perspective to holistic nursing to the organization.

Anna lives in Iowa City, IA where she earned her BSN and a BA in music. Anna reports she has always been driven to the complementary and holistic philosophy of healthcare. While in college, one of her assignments was to shadow a local holistic nurse. Following that assignment, she was even more passionate about holistic nursing and the holistic philosophy of caring for a patient.

After spending ten years in the National Guard, including one deployment to Iraq as a medic; she was commissioned as an officer. For the past three years she has been on active duty as an ICU nurse and as a Nurse Case Manager in San Antonio, Texas. A major component of her job was to manage the transition for wounded, ill, and injured warriors to Veterans Administration care. Her role as an advocate for the injured and ill soldiers as it relates to the Global War on Terrorism continues today. Anna teaches resiliency training to the men and women soldiers and self-care to the healthcare providers. Captain Rhodes looks at nursing not only as a science, but also as an “art”. She practices nursing with a holistic philosophy, caring for clients’ bodies, minds, and spirits. This practice includes caring for others by listening authentically, offering presence, offering hope and optimism, setting mutual goals, and understanding the client’s world view and modeling it back to them. Because she is a soldier, Captain Rhodes can relate to warriors and veterans and may be perceived as a bit more credible through the connection as a sister-in-arms. Her mission is to make a real difference in their lives.

Anna continued to look for additional opportunities to expand her knowledge and enrolled in the Master’s program in Holistic Nursing, at Tennessee State University, where she recently completed her degree. In addition, she also joined the American Holistic Nurses Association and became a certified holistic nurse by the AHNCC. Rhodes was elected to the AHNCC Board of Directors in January 2016. In that role she will be instrumental as the board builds the relationship between AHNCC and NOVA (Nursing Organization of Veteran’s Affairs) nationally. NOVA’s mission, to educate, communicate, and advocate for the Department of Veterans Affairs Nurses professionally, personally, and legislatively is aligned with self-care, an essential core value foundational to Holistic Nursing. Through a partnership with NOVA, AHNCC can help nurses facilitate holistic health in our veterans’ while supporting self-care of the nurses providing the care. Anna is excited to mentor other nurses within the military and civilian sectors in holistic nursing.

Upon being released from active duty, Anna relocated back to Iowa City, where she is employed at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the Cardiovascular ICU. She continues her duties of Captain in the Army Reserves, with a possible promotion to Major in the future.

Join the Board as we offer a big salute to Captain Anna Rhodes for her dedication to the health of the many service men and women in her care. She is truly an inspiration.

(Disclaimer “The view(s) expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of Brooke Army Medical Center, the U.S. Army Medical Department, the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General, the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.”)

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AHNCC Presents Award to Veda AndrusThe AHNCC Board of Directors presented Veda Andrus with the award Outstanding Support for AHNCC Certification at the American Holistic Nurses Association Conference. This award was created to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of AHNCC through certification. The criteria for this award include advancing the mission and philosophy of AHNCC, supporting certification as a means of advancing holistic nursing and nurse coaching, contributing expertise through significant participation in the health care community, and serving as a spokesperson for AHNCC in state and national venues.
Veda Andrus was chosen because of her continuing support of certification for the past 20 years. She initiated certification for holistic nurses and is certificant #1 for AHNCC. She prepares nurses for certification through her educational programs at the Birchtree Center for Healthcare Transformation where she serves as Vice President for Education and Program Development. The largest cohort of candidates for certification has studied in that program. In addition, Veda has served on the Board of Directors for AHNCC. Congratulations, Veda. .

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Introducing Ellen Schultz, Ph.D., RN, HTCP, AHN-BC® President, Board of Directors, AHNCCEllen Schultz lives and breathes everything holistic — from the way she eats, to her exercise routine to the way she lives her life. She is shown in the photo walking a labyrinth in her hometown of Hudson, Wisconsin. She holds certificates in Labyrinth Facilitation and Feng Shui and is truly at peace in all of her surroundings.

Ellen recently retired from Metropolitan State University teaching holistic nursing in the RB-BSN program and integrative care, nursing education, and nursing ethics in the graduate program. While there she learned about AHNCC through the school endorsement process. Dr. Mary Brekke was leading the effort to have Metropolitan State University’s nursing program endorsed as a holistic program. As a faculty member teaching holistic nursing, she participated in writing the application. As she learned more about AHNCC she began to understand the benefits of certification. She is currently certified in Advanced Holistic Nursing (AHN-BC®) and a Healing Touch Practitioner (HTCP).

When asked what certification means to her, Ellen stated: “Certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence in holistic nursing. Certified holistic nurses are part of a community of nurses who share a common goal to promote a paradigm change in health care that promotes health and well-being. It is through certification that nurses validate their expertise and competence. Certified nurses also support the leading edge work of AHNCC that goes beyond certification and endorsement. Committees and task forces are working independently and in collaboration with other national organizations to promote holism and the unique role of holistic nurses in changing health systems.”

Ellen began her service on the board in the role of president-elect. She is currently serving a second term as president. In addition, she chairs a number of committees including the Executive Committee, Exam Development Committee, Standards, Hearing and Review Committee, and Documents Review Committee. She is also a member of the Bylaws Committee, Nominating Committee, and the Website Task Force.

She feels that becoming a board member opened her eyes to the scope and complexities of work of AHNCC. Ellen stated that she ”now knows about the multiple steps involved in exam development to insure valid and reliable tests, the collaborative work with AHNA and other organizations necessary to be at the forefront of health care change, the importance of marketing to promote certification and endorsement, the multiple strategies employed to promote holism and well-being in nursing and coaching, and the multiple roles of the CEO, to name just a few.” AHNCC is indeed very blessed to have such a dedicated and loyal volunteer.

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As AHNCC approaches its 20th Anniversary, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce that two awards have been established to honor volunteers who have served the organization.

The first award is the Helen Erickson Award for Outstanding Service to AHNCC. This award is named in honor of Dr. Helen Erickson who has been instrumental in the establishment and ongoing growth of AHNCC.  This award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding service to AHNCC through volunteer contributions to the organization in the following ways:

  • Served on the Board of Directors or as a non-board volunteer
  • Made significant, active contributions to AHNCC
  • Advanced the growth and success of the organization

The second award is Outstanding Support for AHNCC Certification that recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of AHNCC through certification. Candidates for this award have:

  • Advanced the mission and philosophy of AHNCC
  • Supported certification as a means of advancing holistic nursing and nurse coaching
  • Contributed expertise to promote holistic nursing and nurse coaching through significant participation in the health care community
  • Served as a spokesperson for AHNCC in state and national venues