To meet the growing demand of students interested in holistic health, the New York College of Health Professions expanded with two new Manhattan sites — The Riverside Church in Morningside Heights and the University Settlement Houston Street Center. The sites allow New York City area students interested in holistic health to benefit from the college’s comprehensive program without traveling to Long Island.
NYCHP offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in massage therapy, acupuncture and oriental medicine, and a continuing education certificate program in holistic nursing for RNs. Mary Beth Riley, RN, BPS, AAS, CNAT, is an instructor in the holistic nurse certificate program at the Syosset, N.Y.-based college.
An RN for more than 30 years, Riley believes more health practitioners are realizing holistic modalities bring more to the healthcare table than Western medicine alone. “Healthcare, in general is shifting,” she said. “When I started many years ago, Western medicine didn’t really embrace holistic care. Now there is less fragmentation and a better understanding that when a patient has access to complementary care and shares that info with their physician they have a greater level of healing.”
Riley is a certified AMMA therapy nurse, a certification she earned at the college. She entered holistic health more than 15 years ago after realizing there had to be more to healing and healthcare. “I worked in critical care and then in case management,” she said. “I felt something was missing. I heard about this program and it was exactly what I was looking for.”
The college’s holistic nursing program curriculum includes the principles of holistic nursing set forth in the American Holistic Nurses Association core curriculum. The program also includes a supervised, clinical experience conducted on-site at the schools’ teaching clinics or at one of the college’s affiliated hospitals.
The college provides a comprehensive program of healing modalities. “It’s based in the tradition of Chinese medicine, incorporating oriental anatomy and physiology, but with a combination of Eastern and Western medicine that includes nutrition and self-care,” Riley said. This collaboration provides the nurse with a complete body of healing knowledge upon graduation, she added. “I don’t think you get that in any other program.”
Student Noreen Thompson, RN, BA, BS, an independent pediatric home nurse, agreed. Enrolled in the holistic nursing certificate program, Thompson looked at one other program in New York City and a few out of state before choosing the college. “A common denominator [of the other programs] was they were all quite heavy on theory and less so on providing you the tools you need to practice,” said Thompson, on track to graduate in December. “This program is heavy on practical application and brings the theory to life, teaching you the actual way to deliver it and bring it to patients. From day one, we’re working on each other in the classroom, then working on patients.”
Thompson said the program has gone beyond what she expected. “I feel like my practice is already changing,” she said. “They teach us an Asian massage technique that moves the chi, or life-force energy, and distributes it evenly among the body and helps with muscle aches and pains. I work with some severely disabled children and I see the postural changes of these kids.”
For information, visit www.NYcollege.edu or call 800-922-7337.