Nurse Coaching is for You
Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, HWNC-BC, Co-Founder of the International Nurse Coach Association (HNHN Champion), explains what a nurse coach does and how to become one.
How to become a nurse coach
To become a nurse coach, have an active RN license and enroll in our online Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate Program. Upon completion, you will be eligible to sit for board certification!
“The nurse coach role adheres to professional nurse standards, scope, and competency,” says Dossey. Because of this, she stresses that it’s important to participate in a training program that is a few months long, so nurses can integrate their new skills into their current position.
Where do nurse coaches work?
Once you’re a certified nurse coach, you may be able to work at your current organization in a new role or for a variety of other places. Nurse coaches can work in any kind of health care setting. Some see patients in hospitals or clinics, while others may be nurse educators working in faculty development, and others may work in the corporate world helping executives or employees to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Many nurse coaches enter the field to become entrepreneurs. As a nurse coach, you can see individual clients and help them to accomplish their goals, such as losing weight, managing stress, or incorporating more fitness into their lifestyle. Some nurse coaches have their own websites, blogs, newsletters, or are interviewed in the media sharing their healthy lifestyle tips.
Benefits of nurse coaching
The nursing profession experiences a higher level of burnout (being physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from work) than many others. Becoming a nurse coach allows nurses to explore other opportunities outside of the bedside practice and move into other areas or industries, while still utilizing their health care knowledge and expertise.
Nurse coaches also learn and explore alternative treatments that may not be used in the hospital setting, like aromatherapy, guided imagery, or massage.
“Our whole health care model is changing because we’re shifting to a health and well-being model. Nurses need new skills to work in this setting, which are the same skills nurse coaches learn and practice every day,” says Dossey.
Best of all, nurse coaches can work with clients over a longer period of time than they may see patients in the hospital setting. As a nurse coach, you’ll be invested in their well-being and self-improvement and can witness those positive changes over time.
Interested in learning more about nurse coaching? Dossey’s books, Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing and The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching: The Provider’s Guide to Coaching Scope and Competencies, have in-depth information about the field of nurse coaching.
12 Reasons to become an Integrative Nurse Coach with INCA
- Develop coaching skills for health and wellness.
- Deepen awareness practices and understanding of the imagery process.
- Expand nutritional and environmental skills and tools.
- Learn three core foundational components: Theory of Integral Nursing (TIN), Vulnerability Model (VM), and Integrative Functional Health Model (IFHM).
- Explore an integral and integrative perspective of care that connects with renewed meaning and purpose in your nursing practice.
- Use the Integrative Health and Wellness Assessment™(IHWA).
- Incorporate the Integrative Nurse Coach 5-Step Process.
- Practice integrative wellness and self-care for personal benefit to deepen and strengthen your work with others.
- Design personalized wellness plans that address the whole person and include the physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, cultural and environmental dimensions of the individual.
- Guide patients and clients to clarify and establish their health and wellness goals.
- Identify patient and client behaviors that block readiness for change.
- Develop creative new ways to practice nursing in all healthcare settings.
Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, HWNC-BC, is an internationally recognized integrative, holistic nursing pioneer, a nurse theorist (Theory of Integral Nursing; co-author, Theory of Integrative Nurse Coaching), and Florence Nightingale Scholar. She is Co-Director, International Nurse Coach Association (INCA) and Core Faculty, Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate Program (INCCP), Miami, Florida; International Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH); and Director of Holistic Nursing Consultants (HNC), Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has authored or co-authored 25 books including Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice (7th ed., 2016); Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing (2015); The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching: The Provider’s Guide for Coaching Scope and Competencies (2013); Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer (2010, Commemorative Edition). She is a founding member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and Holistic Nurse of the Year. She is an 11-time recipient of the prestigious American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award, and has received many other awards. Barbara is also on the ANA’s Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation™ Grand Challenge Advisory Board.