Holistic Nurse and Photography- A Perfect Match

Florence Nightingale, who believed in care that focused on unity, wellness, and the interrelationship of human beings and their environment, is considered to be one of the first holistic nurses.

In the early 1990s, and I was Mom to a 7 year old, worked full time, and took classes for my Master’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  I was given an assignment to give a talk about hope as it relates to health care.  A talk about hope and healthcare seemed like a mountain.  With the Vegas winds blowing my hair into my eyes, I made my way to Lied Library to begin the endeavor.  I meandered around and then, I found volumes of Journal of Holistic Nursing which is the official journal of American Holistic Nurses Association.  The mother-ship had called me home.  I couldn’t get enough!  I have been a member of American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) since then.  Holistic nursing is defined as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal” (American Holistic Nurses’ Association, 1998, Description of Holistic Nursing). 

Photo by Carmen Buck- St. Petersburg Beach, FL

Photo by Carmen Buck- St. Petersburg Beach, FL

Holistic nursing is an attitude, a philosophy and a way of being.  It’s not specifically WHAT we do.  It’s HOW we are.  Holistic nursing honors the total person including the body, mind, emotion, spirit, social/cultural, relationship, context and environment.  Holistic Nursing is a specialty practice.  I became certified in Holistic Nursing in 1999.  It just seems to make sense that I would take 37 years of caring, lift the beauty that resides in the pain and document that in words and images.   This is the genesis of Love Still Lives Here.  

 Love Still Lives Here is a project/book about families living with Dementia.  It's a culmination of 8-12 stories of families and the love that they have for one another.   

I'm Still a Holistic Nurse!

  • One of my images is on the cover of the latest Beginnings Magazine this month!  Beginnings is a publication of AHNA.  I’m so excited about this!  I'm a certified holistic nurse practitioner, author, speaker and photographer.  I strive to capture at least one image of nature's beauty every day, and I'm rarely without my camera.  I took this image in my backyard early this Spring.  How exciting to see my image on the cover!  

Would you believe that qualities of a good photographer are also qualities of a holistic nurse?  We see with our eyes, listen with our hearts and are guided by intuition.  We pay attention to the moments between the moments.  Photography can be healing for the subject and in my case, the photographer as well.  I have always loved photography but if I hadn’t been pulled to write and photograph Love Still Lives Here,  I wouldn’t have considered a photography career.  Yet, what I experience from behind the camera is more fulfilling than most of my days as a nurse or a nurse practitioner.  

The cover of the magazine is a flower (a weed really) and while I'm a portrait/lifestyle photographer, I love photographing nature.   I photograph the life around me, because even weeds are beautiful and I don't want to miss anything!  Holistic nurses see life with body, mind and spirit and know there is beauty everywhere!  

Just a few months ago and at the age of 57, I started a career in photography, writing and speaking.   Years of hard work and practice prepared me for this.  It’s been magical.

Some entrepreneurs know early on exactly what they want to do.  I did not.  I knew what fulfilled me, and I patiently waited and listened for some guidance. The most wonderful things in my life were those that seemed to land in my lap when I was ready.   God’s plan is more wonderful than any I ever imagined for myself.  Learning to know how and when to surrender should be lesson #1 in 'how to books' for entrepreneurs.   See, I'm still a holistic nurse! 

I have always cared for others holistically (body, mind and spirit) and I continue to do so except I do so now from behind the camera and with my written words. 

Love Still Lives Here is about the many expressions of love and will certainly entertain, inspire and open your heart.


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