Developing Personal Leadership in Nursing and Nurse Coaching

Let us value our training not as much as it makes us cleverer or superior to others, but inasmuch as it enables us to be more useful & helpful to our fellow creatures, the sick who most want our help. Let it be our ambition to be thorough good women and (men), my emphasis, – and never let us be ashamed of the name of “nurse.” Let us each & all, realizing the importance of our influences on others-stand shoulder to shoulder & not alone, in the good cause.

– Florence Nightingale, 1881


Remember when you were beginning your education to become a nurse?

I recently reflected on how my early days of hands-on nursing clinicals impacted my future desires, dreams, and fears. One incident that stood out to me was the first time I had to give a patient an injection. My instructor was standing over me, I had the injector in my hand, the patient was prepped and waiting, only I couldn’t get my hand to move forward. In desperation and bewilderment, my instructor assisted my arm to the patient. Over the course of almost 40 years in my nursing career, I still have moments where I am frozen when giving an injection, but I have also done some work to create a better outcome now.

Nurse Leadership Begins

What I didn’t expect during my initial education as a nurse and then as a nurse coach was how much I would embrace a more proactive role as a leader, developing myself both personally and professionally to embrace leadership roles and be active in creating policy, research, and curriculum. After I completed my initial education, I went on to obtain my RN to MSN and specialize in pediatrics, becoming a primary care pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

During my graduate studies, I developed a love for nursing theory, initially the work of Dr. Margaret Newman’s Health as Expanding Consciousness, later adding Dr. Babara Dossey’s Theory of Integrative Nurse Coaching during my Nurse Coach certificate program. This interest opened my mind to the possibilities and opportunities in leadership roles therefore beginning to develop myself as a Nurse leader. Over the past several years, I had the opportunity to meet, listen to, and engage with both these Nurse Theorists.

Nurses and Nurse Theorists in Leadership

Dr. Newman was a mentor, and I enjoyed many years of correspondence with her until her death in 2018. I began my own interests as a Nurse Researcher using her theory with adolescents struggling with substance abuse where I worked at the time. Since I have such fond memories of my time working with her, I continue to ask questions, formulate ideas on how to use Nurse Coaching in research and encourage Nurse Coach colleagues to publish and develop research dreams.

Currently, all Nurse Coach students enrolled in the Integrative Nurse Coach® Certificate Program can participate in a current nursing research project being done. The Integrative Health and Wellness Assessment (IHWA) has been validated and updated. This nurse coaching health assessment tool is often used in private Nurse Coaching practices, institutions, and in further research is available for all Integrative Nurse Coaching Academy’s alumni to use for free. I love this benefit and I use the IHWA with most of my clients to find areas of their health and wellness they may be interested in discussing with me.

The American Holistic Nurses Association is one of our professional organizations providing resources and knowledge about holistic care. One leadership area is the scope and practice of holistic nurses. Since becoming faculty with the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy a few years ago, I have developed a desire to serve more “globally”, as Dr. Barbie Dossey would share, so I applied and was accepted to be a practice committee member. I have enjoyed this position for a couple of years, learning more about policy, and finding avenues to expand both holistic nursing and Nurse Coaching in the healthcare culture.

I find I am always educating myself, opening myself to new ways of being and learning, and developing myself just as Core Value 2 of our Scope and Standards describes in the Art & Science of Nurse Coaching2nd ed. textbook.

If you are interested in developing yourself professionally and personally, reflect on some of the following questions. What are some of your interests? How might you engage more deeply with your Nurse Coaching journey? What skills and knowledge do you want to add to your toolkit? Perhaps you are considering developing yourself more personally with better skills, such as communication, self-care, or body, mind, spirit such as yoga?

Nurses Becoming Leaders

Carpe Diem! Now is the time! The Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy and Association is holding their first in person Integrative Nurse Coach® Symposium since the global pandemic! Join us in April 2024. You can network, learn, and grow as a Nurse Coach leader! If you are considering becoming a Nurse Coach, this is the place to connect and learn more while also broadening your Nursing skills and knowledge.

This is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of Nurse Coaching and learn more about Functional Medicine, Cannabis Nursing, hypnosis, trauma informed healing, and so much more! I encourage you to grow as a leader, be open to the next step, and commit to being a leader.

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Holly Kapusinski is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Integrative Nurse Coach® with a passion for nurturing children and families. With a background in healthcare and a focus on nutrition and alternative healing, she established Life Cycle Balance LLC to promote holistic wellness. Her expertise extends to stress management, brain health, and non-violent communication. Holly's dedication to community extends to volunteering and leading wellness seminars. She dreams of creating a wellness center and authoring a book on healing from trauma as a Nurse Coach. Her interests include languages, cycling, hiking, and exploring new horizons.

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