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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




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Recently, June 3, 2016, at the 37th annual national AHNA conference we shared the historical background, current status, and future plans of AHNCC and AHNA to ensure that Holistic Nursing is included in the Consensus Model. Look below to learn how you can prepare provide feedback on the important work the two organizations are doing.

If you were unable to attend the conference, but want to be informed, participate, and provide feedback, we encourage you to download all documents provided below, read them, and provide feedback through the survey described below.

Background Documents

A copy of our request for inclusion in the Consensus Model as a 5th role, sent to LACE, NCSBN, and the state Boards of Nursing can be downloaded by clicking here.

A copy of the proposal submitted describing the proposed role of the APHN-BC can be downloaded by clicking here.

We were advised that we need to clarify Advanced Holistic Nurses’ unique characteristics, and publish Educational Essentials for Holistic Nursing. This work is currently underway. Our goal is to ensure that you are up to date on the activities undertaken to hold the space for Advanced Holistic Nursing, to seek your input and help.

A set of slides that were presented at the meeting June 3 can be downloaded by clicking here. (CMTF PRESENTATION.ppt ) An outline for the presentation, containing several internet links to background documents sent to NCSBN and LACE in respect to Advanced Holistic Nursing’s inclusion in the Consensus Model, and several published documents that provide background information can be downloaded by clicking here.

If You Have Limited Time But Want to be Informed and Help,

We encourage you to download the White Paper: Graduate Holistic Nursing, read it, talk with colleagues, and let us know what you think and respond to the survey described below. Click here to download a copy of the White Paper.

At the minimum, you can click here to participate in a short survey that asks for your feedback. The survey will take 5-10″. Please leave your suggestions, supportive comments, and/or interest in participating in the spaces provided on the survey. Thank you for your interest and help with this important work designed to hold space for Advanced Holistic Nursing in healthcare.

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ANNOUNCMENT: AHNCC has recently been invited to join the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (known as IHPC). IHPC advocates for an integrative healthcare system with equal access to the full range of health-oriented, person-centered, regulated healthcare professionals. They envision a national healthcare system devoted to optimal health and well-being. AHNCC looks forward to working with IHPC to help transform the healthcare paradigm through partnerships, active dialogue, and support of policies that are focused on facilitating the redesign of today’s healthcare to one of health promotion, disease prevention, wellness, and wellbeing.