Using Aromatherapy in the Clinical Setting

Making Sense of Scents

Juli Reynolds, BSN, RN; Betsy Parker, RN; Nancy Wells, DNSc, RN, FAAN; Elizabeth Card, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CPAN, CCRP


Am Nurs Today. 2018;13(6) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Aromatherapy is an age-old therapy designed to alter mood and physical symptoms. It has gained popularity as a safe and cost-effective complementary and alternative therapy. As the evidence of aromatherapy's effectiveness has grown, nurses have increased the use of essential oils to manage their own stress as well as their patients' stress and anxiety.

This article describes the basics of aromatherapy and two institutional review board–approved studies to build on the evidence of the positive benefits of essential oils for both nurses who work in clinical settings and their patients.