Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, CHT, AHN‐BC of Nashville, Tennessee was honored with the 2017 Holistic Nurse of the Year award at the 37th Annual American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) Conference in Rancho Mirage, California, June 5 – June 10th, 2017. The Holistic Nurse of the Year (HNY) award is intended to recognize AHNA members with outstanding innovation and/or a change in the field of holistic nursing. It highlights nurses who have been working in holistic nursing for several years and have demonstrated a commitment towards the Holistic Nursing’s core values.
Debra Rose Wilson PhD, RN, AHN‐BC, CHT, of Nashville, Tennessee has been a member of AHNA since 2000, and has been providing guided imagery certification to thousands of nurses for over 20 years. Debra is no stranger to AHNA awards. In 2016 she was the recipient of the AHNA Service Award and early in her career, she twice received the Charlotte McGuire Scholarship Award. Outside of AHNA, Debra has been recognized locally and nationally including the 2016 Faculty Engaged Scholar Award from Tennessee State University and a Commendation from the United States Army for providing workshops and training for the Department of the Army, 4203rd USA Hospital Medical Unit in Conference.
Debra’s specialties in nursing include self‐care, stress management, connections between mind and illness, trauma, and inflammatory connections between mind and body. Currently, she is working towards her second PhD in quantum physics, in an effort to discover how to better empirically describe quantum energy and its influence on health. On top of her own education, Debra is also a nurse educator herself. She has been teaching PNI to psych students for over 12 years and has developed a free online learning program called Psych Pharm, a stressless method of learning psychotropic drugs and is working on turning it into a free app for nursing students. It currently boasts 90,000 users. Debra teaches her students from a holistic paradigm and is the driving force behind the development of programs such as the MSN in Holistic Nursing, and Pain Management Training with Hypnosis for the Trigeminal Pain Association.
Debra is a regular speaker, locally, nationally, and internationally, has been a keynote speaker several times, and has over 100 publications and many more presentations. Her publications and presentations include Caring for Patients with Mental Health Issues: Strategies for all Nurses, 2nd Edition, a peer reviewed book she co‐authored and authored a chapter on ENERGY in the Holistic Nursing: Handbook for Practice, 7th Edition.
Debra is very active not only in her career and publications, but also in her local, national, and international communities. The contributions to her local community include the Nashville Sexual Abuse Center; SHARE, a grief support group for those families who have lost a baby; and Breast Feeding Support. Internationally, she was invited to be a visiting scholar for the Botswana ‘I am Proud to be a Nurse’ Pin Project, where she spoke about holistic nursing, stress management and self‐care for nurses.
Nationally with AHNA, Debra was the Nurse Planner for the 2015 AHNA Annual Conference in Branson, MO, was a member on the 2016 Conference Committee, is a member of the current 2017 Conference Committee, and will be the Nurse Planner for the 2018 Conference Committee. She has also been a member of two branches of the AHNA’s Education Committee for several years: the Education Approval Committee since 2000 and the Program Approval Committee since 2007.
At its founding in 1981, the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) adopted as its primary mission the advancement of holistic healthcare by increasing awareness and promoting education as well as personal community‐building among nurses, other healthcare professionals and the public. This professional specialty nursing membership organization is becoming the definitive voice for holistic nursing for registered nurses and other holistic healthcare professionals around the world. Holistic nursing focuses on integrating traditional, complementary and integrative treatment opportunities to improve the physical, mental, emotional and relational health of the whole person.
AHNA delivers valuable resources, improves educational tools, and offers superior networking opportunities to a vibrant and expanding universe of healthcare professionals. AHNA currently services approximately 4,500 members through 130 local chapters/networks in the U.S. and abroad.
Holistic nursing is recognized by the American Nurses Association as an official nursing specialty with both a defined scope and standards of practice.
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