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Healthcare Reform and the Role of the Integrative Nurse Coach

As Integrative Nurse Coaches we must consider the recent Health Care Reform Act and decision by the Supreme Court as an opportunity to create models of care that  include nurse coaching to support health and wellness initiatives. In the process of this new law, there will be incentives in healthcare to keep people healthy, manage their disease, and to avoid re-hospitalization, setting the stage for Integrative Nurse Coaches to be in the center of this new direction as it unfolds.

In a recent statement by the American Nurses Association (ANA), the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the “minimum coverage provision,” is viewed as a victory for all patients and their families.

ANA praises the law’s consumer protections and the opportunity it opens for RNs to assume an even greater role in providing high-quality, cost-effective care.

They see that the law enhances opportunities for nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to provide primary care, and for RNs to lead or participate in innovative, team-based care delivery models and expand nurse-managed health centers. ANA also views the decision as a win for all consumers due to the law’s protections against certain insurance industry practices, such as denying coverage because of pre-existing health conditions and imposing annual or lifetime coverage caps. In addition, the ANA believes that this action will help reduce healthcare expenses by lowering the incidence of costly complications due to lack of care and by increasing early recognition of illnesses.

As an RN, what are your thoughts about these upcoming changes and the roles we can fill to bring better health to our nation?

Posted by:

Susan Luck
Susan Luck I am a holistic nurse educator and integrative nurse coach, medical anthropologist, and clinical nutritionist, and have been practicing in an integrative healthcare model both in the U.S. and abroad for over 35 years. I serve as the Clinical Nutritionist for Special Immunology Services at Mercy Hospital, Miami, Florida, and maintain a private practice in Miami as an Integrative Nurse Coach and Clinical Nutritionist. Currently, I am Co-__ Director, International Coach Association (INCA), and Core Faculty, Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate Program (INCCP). I am also the Founder and Program Director, Earthrose Institute (ERI), a not for profit organization dedicated to women and childrenÍs environmental health education with a focus on ñEco Nutritionî for health practitioners and community organizations nationally. I serve on the executive committee for the University of MiamiÍs Integrative Medicine Conference, and am Program Coordinator for the University of MiamiÍs Clinical Nutrition Program, and visiting faculty in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. I serve as a consultant for the annual Integrative Health Symposium in New York City. As a national speaker, writer, and a consultant for organizations that are pioneering the emerging integrative healthcare paradigm, I have written extensively on the role of Integrative Nurse Coaches in healthcare today. My most recent publications are Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing (2014); The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching (2013); ñNutritional Healingî and ñEnvironmental Healthî in Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice, (2013), and an editor for Lippincott nursing textbooks on nutrition and herbal medicine. In 1985 I produced the award winning video At the Heart of Healing: Experiencing Holistic Nursing. In 1987 the American Holistic Nurses Association presented me with the prestigious Holistic Nurse of the Year award. For my own self-__care, I enjoy yoga and sunset walks on the beach near my home.


  • Annie 07/19/2012, 7:38 am Reply

    In Massachusetts, we have been living many of the ideas which will be unfolding nationally. I have appreciated the ability to direct pateints who come to the clinic without insurance toward a means of obtaining coverage. Though, not perfect, I am very gratifiied that the Supreme Court upheld the ACA. I’m optimistic that this will lead to more efforts being placed on preventative care. The role of the Nurse Coacn will be needed in helping patients to avoid hospitalizations and improve their Quality of life.

  • Darrell King, RN 07/29/2012, 11:10 am Reply

    I am doing my thesis on the nurse’s role in behavioral change coaching, which directly related to lifestyle challenges. I have already seen the potential for nurses to jump into this fray.