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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
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8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Nature And Healing - The Power Of Connection

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the effects of nature on health and well-being and how to use elements of nature to heal.
$19.96
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Walking barefoot on the grass, listening to the ocean or the rush of a river, hearing the sounds of baby birds chirping in the spring, smelling the desert after a summer thunderstorm, or watching the silence of a winter snowfall. These sensory experiences can help us feel peaceful, awestruck, humbled, exhilarated, and connected to the grander world beyond ourselves. The use of natural elements to heal or to support well-being is as old as human history, but it fell out of favor in the healthcare profession for many decades. Now, the realization of the power of nature to heal is undergoing a tremendous resurgence and is providing additional therapies and tools for healthcare providers to help support the well-being and healing among patients, clients, staff, and community members.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the benefits of interacting with nature.
  • Discuss the more common models and philosophies that have influenced healing environmental design, including Feng Shui, anthroposophic medicine, sacred geometry, horticulture therapy, the Planetree model, Snoezelen therapy, and the green movement.
  • Examine the impact of gardens on health and well-being.
  • Describe elements of healing gardens.
  • Compare and contrast the characteristics of medicinal gardens, sensory gardens, memorial gardens, and edible gardens.

Natural elements, time spent in connection with nature, views of nature, and natural lighting can have a powerful effect on the healing process. Nature is a source of solace, renewal, and insights. Interacting with nature can be as simple as gardening on a small patio with potted plants, tending to a bird feeder, taking walks along the ocean, or exploring the “wide open spaces” of a nature preserve or national park. Anywhere individuals can be inspired by natural elements, “recharge their batteries,” get their hands dirty in a garden, or engage in partnership with the elements, the beauty and power of nature fills them with awe, gratitude, peace, and a sense of well-being.

In wild, natural places, people also often experience the sacred. This is why many native cultures and global healing traditions (such as Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurvedic medicine) are intimately connected with natural elements and natural experiences. Being in wild nature engenders a sense of mystery and awe about the world, a sense of wonder about the earth or a particular wild place, a sense of connectedness or oneness with the natural world, a profound feeling of transcendence and belief in something greater than one’s self, and a simple appreciation for the sheer beauty in nature. Feelings of hope, peace, empowerment, physical and emotional well-being, and joy are sparked (Shaw, 2003). Abrahamson (2014) states that nature can cause us to feel a vast and unexpected experience, make us feel small and humbled when compared with the larger world or universe, and forces us to revise our mental model of what is possible in the world. Awe is a fleeting and rare experience that can change the course of life in profound and permanent ways. Often, nature and natural encounters are the cause of awesome experiences.

Yet the sad reality is that most people actually spend very little time in nature. Many individuals suffer from “nature deficit disorder,” a term coined by Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder. According to Louv (2005), many children he interviewed spent little time outdoors and would rather play indoors “because that is where all the electrical outlets are” (p. 10). He expressed concern that our society teaches young people to avoid direct experiences with nature, and this broken bond with the natural world causes mental, physical, and spiritual distress and related health problems. Indeed, the average American child spends more time indoors than his or her parents did. On average, American children spend about 4 to 7 minutes a day outdoors and an average of 7 hours a day in front of electronic media and in excess of 32 hours a week in front of a television (TV). By the time most children have finished kindergarten, they have watched more than 5,000 hours of TV—enough time to earn a college degree. Recess was once a part of every child’s school day but that is not the case anymore (National Wildlife Federation, n.d.). While we often see ourselves as separate from nature, human beings are a part of the wildness of nature.

The feeling of separateness from nature is a relatively recent phenomenon. For most of history, human beings were intimately connected with their surroundings, and their very lives depended on knowledge about what plants to eat, when to sow crops, what plants could be used to heal, and the cycles and seasons of nature and the beings that inhabited the earth.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists
AOTA CEUs:

0.2

Practice Level:

Beginner/Introductory

Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

September 01, 2021

Instructor(s):
  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.

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