Listening with HEART in Nurse Coaching

There is a 5-Step Process Integrative Nurse Coaches flow through when partnering with patients, clients, and communities. It isn’t a linear, step by step process, it’s more circular and interchangeable as a session and partnership evolves.

This 5-step process is also intertwined with the deep knowledge, professionalism and unique art of the Nurse, combined with the science of Nursing.

The Nurse Coach 5-Step Process is:

  1. Connecting to story
  2. Deep listening and skillful questioning
  3. Inviting opportunities, potentials and change
  4. Integrating, practicing, and embodying change
  5. Guiding and supporting the transforming self

Listening with HEART

Plus, we weave in Listening with HEART throughout a coaching session as we support the client’s whole being through their journey which is what this blog is about… Listening with HEART.

We purposefully flow through the Nurse Coach 5-Steps to support a client’s current self, as they morph towards their transforming self while combining Listening with HEART. Shifting towards new behaviors, actions or patterns is challenging, which is where Listening with HEART comes into play.

Red Heart Listening With Red Headphones, Listening With HeartIn Integrative Nurse Coaching, the acronym HEART stands for:






I’ll define a little more about HEART from my perspective as a board-certified Integrative Nurse Coach® for the past ten years. I find it fascinating that we not only use Listening with HEART with our patients, clients, and Communities, we also use it with ourselves.

HEART defined

H: Healing. I love the definition of healing found in Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches to Health and Wellbeing (2015). Dr. Barbara Dossey defines healing on p. 85 as, “The emergent process of the whole system bringing together aspect’s of oneself and the body-mind-spirit-culture-environment at deeper levels of inner knowing, leading to integration and balance, with each aspect having equal importance and value.”

Recognizing you, as a Nurse and human are in an ever-evolving state of healing. Your healing is a lifelong journey, allowing you to connect deeply with yourself and your unique ways of being. This realization also allows you to connect deeply with your clients, as you see and value your shared humanness. Hierarchical relationships no longer exist, which is freeing as you practice Healing.

E: Energy. Defined on p. 327 of Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches to Health and Wellbeing, Energy is, “life force; a sense of being stimulated to act”. Nurse Coaches have an unending supply of energy and a willingness to be involved, while shaping their lives through a state of hope, ease, and gratitude. You have connected to your life force, and use it to enhance your own life, and those you encounter.

A: Awareness. I looked at many interesting definitions of awareness and came across one that resonated with me in respect to how Nurse Coaches might use the intention of the word. Awareness is defined as, “the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns” (Gafoor, 2012). If there is anyone on the planet who can intuitively perceive, feel, and sense what is going on around them (and in them), it is a Nurse Coach.

The skill of mindfully sensing what is being said, and also unsaid, is critical to developing trusting relationships with self, and also with clients, patients and communities. Nurse Coaches are continuously growing their skills in awareness, by choosing to stay mindful, grounded, open and aware of possibilities.

R: Resiliency. Oxford Languages defines resilience as, “the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. Nurse Coaches are constantly being pulled and pushed in many directions and have the resilience to return to a sense of balance and awareness to be a grounded source of strength, calm and focus, for themselves and their clients, patients and communities.

Nurse Coaches also recognize flexibility and the capability to cope, adapt and adjust in their coaching relationships, and all other relationships too.

T: Transformation. The Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing textbook defines transformational change as, “a marked or radical change for the better, whether personal, group or organizational” (p.327).

When a Nurse Coach partners with a client, the client shares their story and creates a picture of their current self, and as the partnership extends and deepens, the client’s current self-transitions towards their transforming self.

Interestingly, over my decade as a board-certified Integrative Nurse Coach, I have personally experienced many versions of self-transformation through the continued use of Nurse Coaching skills, and staying connected to the beautiful souls of the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy Community.

I have shared countless inspiring conversations with new and experienced Nurse Coaches witnessing this same sense of transformation in themselves, and I know (and have hope) to hear and see more encouraging transformative change. It is through the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy’s Integrative Nurse Coach® Certificate Program, that many Nurses have found a deeper sense of self and wellbeing in their personal and professional lives.

Nurse Coaching and all it’s skills, tools, theories, and concepts have helped me evolve as a Nurse, Nurse Coach and human and I highly recommend the Integrative Nurse Coach® Certificate Program to you, your colleagues and anyone seeking HEART in their lives.

xo Nurse Coach Nicole


Nicole Vienneau

Nicole Vienneau MSN, RN, NC-BC is a recovering burned-out ICU Nurse.  Through Integrative Nurse Coaching and holistic modalities, she’s on the daily voyage to well-becoming.

Nicole is founder Restoration Room  and Blue Monarch Health, an author, podcast host of the Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION!, holds a board certification in Integrative Nurse Coaching and combines 20+ years of Nursing with 30+ years of fitness, health coaching and energy work to partner with mid-life women and healthcare workers who want to THRIVE!

She loves her husband, her two crazy cats and enjoys being in nature and having fun.

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