Colleen Delaney, an associate research professor in the School of Nursing, has been named the Holistic Nurse of the Year by the American Holistic Nurses Association. The national organization’s annual award recognizes a nurse who has “contributed to outstanding innovations or changes in the field.”
Delaney has dedicated her career to investigating interventions to help older adults with heart failure who are receiving care at home and older adults with depression, as well as spiritual interventions for older adults with cardiovascular disease who are living in senior communities.
“I am deeply honored to be awarded the 2020 Holistic Nurse of the Year from the American Holistic Nurses Association,” Delaney says. “I feel so fortunate to be able to teach holistic nursing at UConn and am very grateful for all the support I have received from the School of Nursing and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.”
Earning her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in nursing from UConn, Delaney holds national board certification in advanced holistic nursing and health and wellness coaching. In addition to her experience as a nurse educator, she has worked in clinical roles at the Visiting Nurse Association, Waterbury Hospital, and Hartford Hospital.
Just as its name suggests, holistic nursing is about caring for patients by examining their entire being, not just a specific condition or disease. It’s a discipline that cuts across all fields of nursing and complements other specialties.
The UConn School of Nursing has long embraced the concepts and principles of holistic nursing, but in 2016 began offering its Holistic Nursing Online Graduate Certificate program, of which Delaney is the founding director.
The certificate program consists of three, three-credit courses that can be completed within one year beginning in the fall semester. The program is designed for registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree or higher who are interested in integrating holistic principles into their practice.
Students learn about the state of the science in holistic care and the latest research on a variety of complementary and integrative health approaches. The program also prepares nurses to take the national board certification examination in Holistic Nursing.
As Renae Martin, a recent graduate of the certificate program, said: “Dr. Delaney, you are an exemplar of what we all aspire to be.”