Holistic Nursing Program Student Hightlight – Lisa McMillan

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By: Pacific College
Published: May 7, 2020

My name is Lisa McMillan and I am currently enrolled in the RN-BSN program at Pacific College of Health and Science. I was thrilled to find an RN-BSN program which focused on holistic nursing which is becoming so prevalent in healthcare today. After submitting my interest form online, I was contacted the next day by Michael, a member of the admissions team. His enthusiasm was contagious, and he was there for me every step of the way during the admissions process. I knew I had found the right program from the very beginning.

The Holistic Approach of Pacific College’s RN-BSN Program

Pacific College’s curriculum is challenging, yet manageable due in large part to their interactive classroom setting via Zoom. My fellow classmates are from around the country and that keeps our classes interesting and collaborative. I learn best from being in an “interactive classroom setting” and Pacific College provides just that. Teachers and classmates are engaged in thoughtful discussions via Zoom instead of simply completing and turning in assigned homework and projects like many other programs. Pacific College also offers a 3-day retreat during which I met my classmates and teachers in person. It was a time of self-reflection, self-care, meditations, hiking, classes, beautiful ceremonies, and presentation of our term-long projects. This was the highlight of my time at Pacific College and I enjoy seeing my classmates online who I was able to meet at the retreat. My class formed a Facebook group for members of our retreat, and it has been wonderful to keep up with my classmates who became life-long friends from our time spent together at the retreat.

Embracing Holistic Self-Care in Nursing Education

The RN-BSN program not only provides you with tools for holistic nursing care, it ensures from the beginning you take part in holistic self-care. As nurses, we have an innate compassion and willingness to help others, yet oftentimes overlook ourselves. Pacific College does an excellent job from the beginning of the program to ensure you start holistic care with yourself. Only then are you able to holistically help others. This program introduced me to the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) and the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), both of which I am currently an active member.

Discovering a Passion for Herbalism and Medical Cannabis

In my Nurse as a Facilitator of Healing class, we had a semester long project in choosing a module for self-care. Our instructor wanted us to choose a module in which we had a great interest yet never pursued. I chose herbalism since I have always had an interest in plant medicine, originating from my undergraduate degree in Biology and Ecology. Fast forward to 18 months later and I have become a Community Herbalist, joined our local Herbal Society, brought my knowledge into my workplace, and started my own Herbal-based business! All while continuing my education at Pacific College and working as an oncology nurse. I owe this all the Pacific College and every single classmate and instructor’s positive attitude and support. My classmates have become my family and I have never been surrounded by so much love and support. We all lift each other up to become better nurses and better people!

Transforming Education into a Successful Holistic Practice

Last year, Pacific College began offering courses in Medical Cannabis and I dove headfirst into the subject. Our textbooks have become my reference still today and I am so grateful for learning more about cannabis, the biology behind the plant, and the role it plays in our patient populations. Being an oncology nurse, more patients are asking about cannabis and CBD and I am happy to offer my knowledge. Being the only “trained” cannabis professional in my office has led me to become the go-to person for my patients and staff.

I am so grateful to Pacific College for giving me the courage to believe I can be leader in nursing and providing me with the tools necessary to ensure my success. I now own a successful herbal skincare business which offers medicinal salves, lotions, and CBD infused beauty products and this is all credited to the semester long project we had in my first nursing class at Pacific College. I have been a guest on several podcasts and spoken to several groups regarding holistic care, herbalism, and CBD and I owe this all to Pacific College.

You can find me on Facebook, on Instagram @prema.beauty and shop my Etsy store.

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