The Integrative Health and Healing specialty prepares graduates to work with individuals, families, communities, and health systems in developing integrative approaches to health promotion, disease prevention, and chronic disease management. An integrative approach includes engaging the patient as an informed and empowered partner, personalizing care, and using all appropriate, evidence-based therapeutic approaches.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the University of Minnesota is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) offers a certification exam which confers certification as American Holistic Nurse, Board Certified (AHN-BC). This is offered through the AHNCC.
The Advanced Practice Registered Nurse designation is not used for the Integrative Health and Healing DNP graduate. This designation is reserved for advanced practice nurses prepared as certified nurse specialists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, recognizing their ability to prescribe pharmaceuticals. This is not the focus of the integrative health DNP program.
The Integrative Health and Healing specialty of the DNP program is a three-year full-time program delivered online.
Students in this specialty are required to come to campus once each semester for a four-day session (Tuesday through Friday). In addition, students come to campus two to six days each semester for additional activities and coursework. Students also complete 1,000 hours at practicum sites arranged by the school. All other work is completed online.
Applicants who are not US citizens or Permanent Residents should understand that the University of Minnesota’s DNP program does not meet the requirements for eligibility needed to obtain the appropriate F-1 student visa or status because the DNP has limited (fewer than four) face-to-face on-site classes per DNP course. During the application process, we ask that international students use ECE or WES credential services for the evaluations.
As a nurse, Teri Verner saw the benefits of less invasive, more natural approaches to improving the health of patients, but after more than 20 years of providing care in long-term and home-care settings, it became clear to her that the medical system was focused on disease management rather than health care. “I understood the mind-body connection and the amazing ability the body has to maintain health if given the right tools,” said Verner. “I was interested in learning more about incorporating these tools into the health care system to work toward achieving optimal health.”
Verner looked to the University of Minnesota School of Nursing for that education because it was the only doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program to have an integrative health and healing specialty area. She applied to the program because she felt that in order to change the health care system she needed to learn more about research and evidence-based practice, as well how to implement change in a way that was meaningful and sustainable.
The course work developed her skills in statistics, research, program development and evaluation, leadership and innovation, and policy. “The specialty course work taught me about self-awareness, engagement and the importance of mindfulness,” said Verner. “As a student, I was nurtured, challenged and stretched in ways I never have before in my academic career.”
A particularly meaningful learning experience occurred during a session in Hawaii where she studied Reiki, aromatherapy, acupressure, and indigenous Hawaiian healing in the surroundings of the big island of Hawaii. “This was an opportunity for much of our cohort to bond in a way that would not have been possible with traditional learning in the classroom or online,” said Verner.
After graduating in 2012, she accepted the position of program manager at Hennepin County Medical Center’s Alternative Medicine Clinic. In addition to managing the clinic, she is responsible for the strategic direction of the alternative medicine program within the Hennepin Health System. “I am excited to be involved in the transformation of the delivery of care and be a witness to the impacts this change is having on patients’ health and well-being,” said Verner.
She credited her education at the School of Nursing for giving her the skills needed to see everything within its system and recognize connections. “The DNP program in integrative health and healing created a space for significant personal growth and self-awareness and has opened my mind to a different way of thinking,” said Verner. “I feel as though I am more innovative and willing to try more creative approaches to solve problems and improve systems.”