Master of Science in Nursing

Holistic Nursing

The MSN program Holistic Concentration provides an opportunity to complete your degree on-line.  The MSN Program with Holistic Concentration at Tennessee State University (TSU) focuses on holistic philosophy, ancient healing traditions, complementary and alternative interventions, self-care, and self-healing as part of the Program's focus. This is not a Nurse Practitioner program, and graduates will not be able to sit for Nurse Practitioner certification nor prescribe medications. There are several trajectories that a graduate could pursue, including aromatherapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage therapy, parish nursing, pastoral counseling, nurse coach, and therapist. Graduates of the program will enhance and advance their practice in their chosen settings and be leaders in holistic approaches to nursing care throughout the life span.

Our program is designed for the working Registered Nurse; you may wish to be a part-time or full-time student.  A part-time student in graduate school enrolls for 6 credits each semester and a full-time student enrolls for 9 credits. Full-time hours are 9-12 credits per semester (fall & spring). Part-time hours are less than 9 credits per semester (fall & spring). The maximum load for the summer semester is 6 credits. In order to qualify for financial aid or graduate assistantships you may need to be full-time. Graduation required 45 credits and 500 clinical hours.  

Why Holistic Nursing?

  • Holistic Nurses emphasize the care of the whole human, not only the care of disease.
  • Holistic Nursing understands the human is an interactive system of physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, environmental and other factors.
  • A Holistic model of nursing focuses on patterns and causes of illness not symptoms.
  • Holistic Nursing views disease and suffering as opportunities for healing and growth.
  • Holistic Nurses emphasize health promotion, prevention, self-awareness, self-exploration, self-care and self responsibility.

Why TSU?

  • Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  • Online classes and course work to accommodate the distance working RN.
  • Clinical hours lead toward certifications in hypnosis, Chinese Medicine, Reiki, Healing Touch, aromatherapy, herbology, guided imagery, acupressure, or other healing modalities that interests the student.
  • Complete your clinical requirements in your own community.
  • Clinical opportunities with established healers and researchers.
  • Investigate research on healing modalities, complementary medicine, and holistic approaches.

What will I be studying?

  • Role of the advanced practice nurse
  • Holistic nursing theories
  • Evidence-based nursing practice
  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
  • Stress management
  • Guided imagery and hypnosis in health care
  • Pharmacology
  • Herbology
  • Advanced holistic assessment
  • Complementary healing modalities
  • Ancient healing practices
  • Integrative medicine combining western medicine with other healing approaches


Sample Program of Study

Some Courses are offered sequentially once a year. A nurse working part-time and attending graduate school full-time may complete the program in five semesters: four 15-week semesters and one 10-week summer semester. A nurse working full-time and attending graduate school part-time may complete the program in eight semesters: six 15-week semesters and two 10-week summer semesters.  Other part-time options are available. All courses are offered in the online format.


NURS 5000 Nursing Theory 3
NURS 5020 Advanced Research 3
NURS 5040 Role Development 3
NURS 5070 Health Policy 3
NURS 5210 Advanced Pathophysiology (falll offering) 3
NURS 5280 Pharmacotherapeutics (spring offering) 3
NURS 5100 Advanced Health Assessment (summer offering) 3
NURS 5111 Advanced Health Assessment Clinical (summer offering) 1


NURS 5080 Holistic Nursing 3 credit hours
NURS 5170 Holistic Interventions (spring offering) 3 credit hours (100 clinical hours)
NURS 5180 Advanced Holistic Nursing Practicum I (fall offering) 4 credit hours (200 clinical hours)
NURS 5190 Advanced Holistic Nursing Practicum II (spring offering) 4 credit hours (200 clinical hours)


Elective - Three hours of elective course work is required for the Holistic concentration. Students may select graduate courses they determine will meet their educational goals and complement the required course offerings. Approval by the nursing advisor is required.


NURS 5200 Thesis Writing 3/3
NURS 5220 Project Writing 3/3

Total program semester hours = 45 credit hours

Upon program completion the student will have 500 clinical hours. This is only a sample program of study and does not imply a contract for degree completion. Required courses may change. Please consult your academic advisor for additional information.


Nurses who hold a Master of Science in Nursing degree from a nationally accredited program and are interested in continuing study for Holistic Nursing may be eligible to enter post graduate studies. The three pre-requisite courses required for advanced practice nursing – Advanced Assessment Didactic and Clinical (4 hours), Advanced Pathophysiology (3 hours), and Advanced Pharmacology (3 hours) will need to have been completed within five years before beginning courses. If the MSN program from which the applicant graduated did not include any of these courses, they must be taken through TSU before admission to the post graduate certificate program in Holistic Nursing. Graduation with a post-graduate certificate will require successful completion of 14 didactic hours (Nursing 5080, 5170, 5180, and 5190) in the Holistic Concentration and 500 clinical hours. 

For more information contact:

Tennessee State University-School of Nursing
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Box 9590
Nashville, TN 37209-1561
(615) 963-5252
FAX: (615) 963-7614

E-mail: Dr. Donna Kenerson at

webpage contact:
School of Nursing