About Integrative Nursing

Integrative nursing has been documented to be beneficial for both patients and staff alike. Integrative nursing involves focusing on individuals as a whole: mind, body, spirit. Nurses must consider this when caring for themselves and others; when nurses care for themselves, they are better prepared to care for others.

As stated in the Massachusetts Nurse Advisory Ruling for Complementary Integrative therapies, “… integrative nursing interventions including, but not limited to, practices which provide increased comfort, relief of pain, relaxation, improved coping mechanisms, reduction of stress, an increased sense of well-being comprehensive health promotion and health risk reduction.

The Integrative Nursing Council’s purpose is to identify, establish and support evidence based integrative nursing practice within the Boston Medical Center Nursing Department, including education of the nursing staff regarding integrative practices for patient and self care.  Nurses who are attuned to recognizing and meeting their own self care needs optimize their ability to care for others. We created this website with you in mind.

Message of the Month

Sleep Better

By: Christine Naoum-Heffernan MS, RN, CPNP, Pediatric Pain Nurse Educator

A good night’s sleep puts everything into perspective. More often than not, we don’t place enough value on it. We assume we can “get by” or it’s “good enough” Being a healthcare provider, our schedules often flip so a routine can be challenging. So, how much sleep do you really need? Here’s where you get to experiment. How do you feel with 6, 7 or 8 hours a night? How do you feel when you only get 4? We can all get by every now and then but sleep deprivation leads to irritability, loss of motivation, poor productivity, suppressed immune system (more likely to catch a cold).

Here are some suggestions to get a better sleep tonight.

Caffeine: For some of us, a cup of coffee in the morning will keep us up all night. Others find a cup of tea can wake you or help you settle for bed. Many experts say no caffeine after 2pm. Everyone is different so experiment here and find what is true for your body.
Food/drink/alcohol: Easy on liquids 2 hours before bed. The last meal before bed ideally is 3 hours before sleep. Alcohol interferes with good sleep so use in moderation. Maybe you can keep a sleep journal to see if any patterns emerge. What happens to your sleep when you indulge? 
Bed time routines: Yes, it is actually important. These simple routine behaviors tell the body it’s time for bed. Do you like to shower or take a bath before bed? Put your pajamas on.  Go to the bathroom and void so a full bladder doesn’t wake you in two hours. Brush your teeth and any other routines you have like brush your hair or put lotion on. Consider a spritz of lavender oil on the bed sheets or diffuse in the air. 
Room temperature: cool room temps are actually most conducive for good sleep. Ensure your blankets are not too bulky or too thin as to cause you to be uncomfortable. 
Environment: Pull the room darkening shades. Turn off the television. Are you aware the blue light from the television and your phone actually impacts the melatonin levels in the brain? It makes the melatonin levels fall and stimulates the brain to think its time to wake up.  If you need noise, consider white noise of fans or soothing sound makers of rain. The darker the room the better. This includes the light from the cable box, clock or brightness from your phone. Consider a sock or light towel to block the light.

In next months message, you'll learn about "Enjoyable Exercise".

Featured Articles


Spike Lavender

Lavandula latifolia is in the same family of plants as the common “English Lavender” or Angustifolia used for calming and balancing. However,  Spike Lavender boast anti viral and antibacterial properties, a powerful mucolytic and expectorant which is a great remedy for chesty and throat infections common at this time of year. Spike lavender has a surprising light, floral scent.  Deep inhalation with use of personal nasal inhalant, A 2% essential oil with jojoba oil as a massage on  upper chest, or a steam inhalation treatment are great ways to access the benefits of this oil.  Remember, inhalation is the most effect way of reaping the benefits of essential oils.


Slow Cooker Curried Carrot Apple Soup

"My post-holiday soup kick continues with slow cooker curried carrot soup. Creamy, colorful and flavorful, this slow cooker curried carrot soup is comfort in a bowl. A great example of how easy and delicious it can be to slim down with soup!" (Source: Simple Nourished Living)