Nursing Students' Perceptions of a Holistic Nursing Conference: Empowerment, Self-Care, and Application to Practice

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to describe nursing students' perceptions of their experiences at the 2007 annual conference of the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), and identify benefits of professional conference attendance as an educational strategy for undergraduate nursing students.

Method

Sixteen nursing students attended the 2007 AHNA annual conference and made daily journal entries about their perceptions of the conference. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, researchers analyzed their journal entries for recurring themes.

Findings

Themes suggested that nursing students gained knowledge about holistic nursing and felt empowered through personal interactions with national holistic nursing leaders. They felt motivated to incorporate holistic nursing principles into practice and self-care. In addition, they expressed an appreciation for the importance of lifelong learning and maintaining clinical competency through attendance at a professional conference.

Implications for Education

Nursing students' attendance at a holistic nursing professional conference is a useful educational strategy that has many benefits.

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