Assessing the Readiness of Nursing Sectors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries to Adopt Holistic Practice: Rwanda as Exemplar

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Abstract

Over the past several years, holistic nursing education has become more readily available to nurses working in high-income nations, and holistic practice has become better defined and promoted through countless organizational and governmental initiatives. However, global nursing community members, particularly those serving in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) within resource-constrained health care systems, may not find holistic nursing easily accessible or applicable to practice. The purpose of this article is to assess the readiness of nursing sectors within these resource-constrained settings to access, understand, and apply holistic nursing principles and practices within the context of cultural norms, diverse definitions of the nursing role, and the current status of health care in these countries. The history, current status, and projected national goals of professional nursing in Rwanda is used as an exemplar to forward the discussion regarding the readiness of nurses to adopt holistic education into practice in LMICs. A background of holistic nursing practice in the United States is provided to illustrate the multifaceted aspects of support necessary in order that such a specialty continues to evolve and thrive within health care arenas and the communities it cares for.

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