Goal and Learning Outcomes

The goal of this continuing education module is to increase nurses’ understanding of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Describe CAM and the differences that exist between it and Western medicine
  • Identify the four broad categories of CAM
  • Discuss CAM practices, including the indications and safety considerations and contraindications of commonly used CAM therapies, and CAM practitioners, including their training and licensing
  • Explain how the evidence-based practice model is applied to CAM practice
  • Describe ways to assess a patient’s use of CAM modalities
  • Discuss an example of how one Mexican-American family uses CAM
  • Discuss how CAM therapies may be used in pain management at the end of life
  • Describe how CAM therapies may be used to help people manage stress and anxiety
  • Discuss the indications for and the safety and efficacy of common alternative diets and dietary supplements for weight loss
  • Discuss CAM therapies used to treat depressive symptoms, including their safety and efficacy
  • Describe how to conduct an assessment of a community-based population for CAM use
  • Describe how to integrate traditional medicine and CAM in community-based healthcare
Developed by CAM Education Program for Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, Ill. This project was supported by Grant Number R25 AT000559 from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCCIH or the NIH.
© 2013 Rush University Medical Center. All Rights Reserved.

Course Authors

Accreditation Information


In support of improving patient care, OnCourse Learning (a Relias LLC company) is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. Relias LLC guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.

For Florida professionals:

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