A Message from the Nursing Program Director

Carey Clark, Holistic Nursing Program Director

By: Dr. Carey S. Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, RYT, FAAN
Published: May 7, 2020

Dear Nursing Students and Alumni,

Welcome to our first Pacific College of Health and Science Newsletter! Our goal with these newsletters is to help current students and alumni stay connected to each other and the college, as well as continue to focus on the growth of holistic nursing. Here you will learn about current nursing students and alumni’s holistic nursing practices, “the good news”, faculty and student research, and current trends in holistic nursing or tools you can add to your holistic nursing toolbox.

As we learn to manage during the current COVID19 pandemic crisis, holistic nursing approaches become even more important. While it may be nearly impossible to practice nursing holistically with heart-centered presence and intention when working with 4 or more ventilated ICU patients or caring for 12-16 medical surgical patients as has happened in New York City during this crisis, we do know that healing from trauma after such events is key to having a sustainable healing-caring-holistic nursing practice. All the modalities taught and learned at Pacific College can be applied to support post-trauma recovery and growth.

As holistic nurses, even though we know about self-care and healing modalities, we can still feel challenged during this crisis to enact all of the concepts we have learned about, and all of the positive health behaviors we may have had in place previously may now seem challenging to undertake. Our sleep, diet, exercise, and self-care routines might be altered. We might be challenged to get back into healthy routines. But every day, even with every breath, we have a new opportunity to settle in, to be present to ours and others’ suffering, to acknowledge all that we simply don’t know, and to be present with the here and now.

My own interest in truly transformative self-care and healing started when I was a doctoral student, and I had the opportunity to take a week-long seminar with Dr. Jean Watson in Boulder, Colorado. We spent a week sitting in sacred circle, practicing holistic modalities, and sharing our stories. While Jean only gave us a one-hour lecture on her theory, we thrived from truly living the transpersonal space of human caring. This experience helped form my dissertation work, which looked closely at her theory and lead me to the conclusion that in order to enact the Theory of Human Caring, nurses must be on their own caring-healing journey. I can always return to this knowledge, a touchstone for when I am struggling, as all human beings do. I am hopeful that Pacific College can also be a touchstone for you in times of need. We are in this together.

Wherever you are, we would love to hear from you. Whether you are alumni or a current student, please send any good news, workplace, or research updates to our administrative assistant Lydia Miles (lmiles at pacificcollege.edu).

In Peace and Light,

Carey S. Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, RYT, FAAN
Professor, Director of Nursing and Chair of the Medical Cannabis Program