Taruna offers a Diploma in Holistic Health to enable students to advance their learning in multi-dimensional healing.  Taruna has welcomed students from many different parts of the world into these well-respected programmes.

Holistic health is an approach that takes the broadest possible view of illness and disease, identifying both internal and external causes, and then offering multi-dimensional healing as opposed to specific cures. It is as concerned with one’s propensity towards disease as it is with its transmission. Why does one person get colds or infections more easily than another, or at different times? Can we render ourselves more hardy and disease-resistant before medical intervention is necessary, and more resilient when illness does occur?


Taking into account one’s body, mind, emotions, and spiritual life, holistic health combines the best of modern scientific diagnosis and monitoring techniques with both ancient and innovative health promotion methods. These include natural diet and herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, exercise, relaxation, counseling, meditation, breathing exercises, and other self-regulatory practices. It addresses not only symptoms, but the entire person, and his or her current life predicament, including family, job, and spiritual life. It emphasizes prevention, health maintenance, high-level wellness and longevity. It views the client as an active participant in the healing process, rather than simply a passive recipient of “health care.” At once personal, ecological, and transcultural, holism has become the new health paradigm for the 21st century.

Taruna – Holistic Health

Overview of Programme

The anthroposophic nurse works out of her scope of nursing practice as a therapeutic advocate assisting in the restoration of wholeness, balance and health. The education programme for the anthroposophic nurse is personally challenging and confronting, awakening intuitive skills and enthusiasm that gives the individual the capacity to find a true relationship to the vocation of nursing.

Based on a century of development in Europe, anthroposophic nursing is blossoming in New Zealand as nurses seek a fuller renewed way of meeting their nursing work.

At the completion of this programme the student will be able to:

  • Extend registered practice with anthroposophic nursing maintaining currency and expertise in competencies;
  • Assess and interpret health and pathology in relation to an anthroposophic model of the human being;
  • Develop the capacity to work as a member of a therapeutic team within the anthroposophic model;
  • Apply knowledge of healing plants and substances in nursing practice;
  • Pursue further research into anthroposophic nursing;
  • Demonstrate therapeutic reflective practice;
  • Participate in a preceptor programme towards registration as an anthroposophic nurse with ANANZ.Plan, implement and assess anthroposophic nursing care through demonstrated expertise in the provision of external therapies including Rhythmical Body Oiling and specific organ massage;

The programmes are delivered at the Homestead campus of Taruna in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay.

The Diploma in Holistic Healthcare has been written and delivered to NZQA Level 7 standard. It is recognized and endorsed by the International Forum for Anthroposophic Nursing (IFAN), Switzerland.

As a guide to the number of hours in studying, there are a notional 10 hours allocated to each credit, with 40 credits totalling 400 hours of study per year. Depending on your prior knowledge, skills and learning style, this may vary. The total hours include the time spent on-campus at seminars, so the suggested home-based study hours to meet the theory and clinical-based requirements associated with the programme are about 7 hours per week.

Taruna is unable to gain NZQA accreditation for this programme due to current restraints related to nursing education providers. Taruna continues to work toward possible pathways for gaining accreditation of the Diploma in the future. Participants are unable to receive Student Loans, but some sponsorship may be available upon request. Please contact the Programme Director for more information.

Programme Topics

Overview of the themes covered during the programme:

Anthroposophic Perspective – Health and Illness

• Illness as destiny and karma• The 12 senses• Encounter / conscious meeting• Phenomenological observation towards reflective practice
• Thresholds of birth and death• Embryology and human development• The gesture and quality of the therapeutic relationship• Nursing support and intervention through the lifespan
• Fundamental physiology• Evolution of consciousness• Nursing archetype• Creating therapeutic space
• The four bodies of the human being• Seven year phases• ‘Self’ as therapeutic tool
Anthroposophic Nursing Practice
• Establishing therapeutic community
• The 4 elements / temperaments• 0 to 21 years – physical developmentHealing Substances:• Practice management across health settings
• Pathology of the four fold• 21 to 42 years – soul development• Medicinal plant families• Planning and implementation
• The three fold processes of the human beings• 42 tp old age – spiritual development
Anthroposophic Nursing Context
• Qualities of healing plants• Multi-disciplinary collaboration
• Soul activity – thinking/feeling/willing• Life journey – past, present and the future• Oil formation processes• Advocacy and education
• Pathology of the three fold in polarity• Awakening to ‘Self’• Pharmaceutical warmth processesClinical Treatments:
• The 7 life processes• Healing streams• Metals / minerals• Substance compresses, inhalations, footbaths
• Soul types• Approaches to health and illness• Mistletoe therapy• Rhythmical body oiling
• Organs as archetypes• Healing through rhythm• Nutrition• Hydrotherapy
• Pathology of organs• The inner path and the Nurses’ MeditationClinical Practice:• Organ massage and pentagram therapy

All tuition blocks at Taruna include daily artistic activities such as singing, painting, speech, eurythmy/movement and active self-reflective processes.

Record of Studies

At the end of the programme you will be issued with an Academic Record listing the seminars and your personal performance.

The Programme Director will keep attendance records and along with the Faculty Carrying Group will give verbal feedback and make written reports. You are also expected to give evaluative feedback at the end of each seminar, as well as at the end of each programme. Credits for the Academic Record require 100% attendance at seminars, active personal participation and satisfactory completion of assignments.

This Certificate is registered with NZQA as a unique ‘local course’; credits are not unit standards and will not appear on the NQF Record of learning.

Programme Structure

Two Years, Part-Time

Pre-requisite: Certificate in Holistic Healthcare

This programme reconnects nursing to its rich history of insightful perception within a creative practicality. The academic journey to the Diploma evolves through an exploration of the arts, the natural world, human development and an individual journey of transformation. Along the way, participants form a community with one another as they increase their confidence in assessing, planning, delivering and evaluating outcomes informed from a study of spiritual science within the framework of holistic healthcare.

A range of external treatments are incorporated into the clinical programme developed out of a discerning understanding of healing substances and their effects.

In this course, nurses develop a comprehensive knowledge of the physical, soul and spiritual context of health and illness that is relevant and applicable in any work setting.

This more holistic understanding of the human being provides the opportunity for greater support of positive health outcomes in the current healthcare environment.


Dates for our 2016 intake are yet to be confirmed. For further information please contact the Taruna office.


Fee information is available on enquiry.

These fees cover course readings and handouts, study texts (through the programme’s library) and therapy and art/craft supplies used on-site during the seminars.

We ask all participants to make a koha donation of $5 per day for which Taruna will provide morning and afternoon tea while studying on site.

Programme participants are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in attending the seminars.

Financial Assistance

Crystal Bridge may be approached for loans; contact ketrimvin@xtra.co.nz

Entry Requirements

The Certificate in Holistic Healthcare is a pre-requisite to the Diploma in Holistic Healthcare.

Applicants for the Diploma in Holistic Healthcare have to be New Zealand registered nurses, or an international equivalent. See the Nursing Council website: www.nursingcouncil.org.nz

All applicants to Taruna College are required to provide a biographical outline, two appropriately qualified confidential references and to make declarations regarding their health and any criminal convictions.

All those applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results card and have achieved an overall band score of not less than 6.0. Where IELTS is not available, an equivalent test of English must be provided. For further clarification of this please contact Taruna.

Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

Applicants are also encouraged to develop familiarity in the underlying principles of anthroposophy. Workshops and study groups are held in most main centres in New Zealand.