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Alternative Online Nursing Programs


December 4, 2009

The health industry has witnessed a transformation from traditional medicine to the more “new age” health reform that has slowly crept into the mainstream culture.  As health care continues to skyrocket, different forms of medicine have become more integrated in the United States health industry, opening up new forums for students to consider.  Alternative medicine is any healing practice that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine, and typically encompasses therapies with a historical or cultural, rather than a scientific basis.

Known as CAM, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine offers students the opportunity to participate in online courses about many different types of alternative medicine programs.  Registration is free for these courses and offers health care professionals to receive continuing education about the health field, particularly stressing the importance to doctors and nurses.   To receive the credit for this type of online nursing program, students must pass with a 70 percent accuracy rate.  Nurses can additional earn twelve hours throughout the program, thereby earning a certification of completion. 

Energy medicine is one of the domains of complementary and alternative medicine as identified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the U.S.  Therapists in this field focus on theorized forms of “energy”, the imbalance of which is said to result in illness.  Donna Eden has become a major force within the energy medicine community, and her Eden Energy Medicine Certification Program offers two years of training to become a practitioner through online classes.  Three different programs are available for health care professionals, offering basic, intermediate, and advanced training in energy medicine, and teaching students how to heal patients in an unconventional way.

While many of these alternative medicine forums are not recognized by many in the health industry, the business has become quite lucrative as more and more patients flock to these centers.  The United States has additionally always been a melting pot of different cultures, and has thus welcomed this type of alternative healing from different backgrounds.  As an alternative to many traditional online nursing programs, many alternative online nursing programs cater exclusively to herbalism, homeopathy, and acupuncture, as well as other spiritual approaches to the health industry.  While these programs are not for every nursing student, they offer a glimpse into a different type of health community which also prides itself on helping its patients.  Since most of these programs are online, students are offered the flexibility to learn at their leisure while still retaining the ability to continue other online nursing programs.