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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?


  • Annie 07/19/2012, 7:38 am

    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

    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.


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