Why Re-Certification in Nurse Coaching is Important to Practice

Yesterday I achieved my second American Holistic Nurses Credentialing (AHNCC) Nurse Coach board re-certification, and I continue to be proud of my steadfastness in taking the time, investing the hours, and the money to keep this incredibly important certification.

And, I’m so incredibly proud of all of my fellow board certified Integrative Nurse Coaches out there!

Continuing to obtain board certification in Nurse Coaching every five years has brought me more credibility, professionalism and commitment to the work of Nurse Coaching in general.  Plus, who doesn’t love adding credentials after your name?  Go NC-BC’s and HWNC-BC’s out there!

Credibility With Re-Certification

I was originally certified as a Nurse Coach in 2013 after completing the (then called) International Nurse Coach Association Nurse Coach (INCA) certificate program. I’m a proud graduate of Cohort #4!

This amazing certificate program is now hosted by the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy (INCA) and is called the Integrative Nurse Coach® Certificate Program.

So, once I completed the Nurse Coach certificate program, I had to make the personal and professional decision to pursue the process of board certification.

Obtaining Re-Certification and Certification is Voluntary

Obtaining certification and re-certification is a voluntary process and is different than gaining a Nursing license.  Certification grants recognition from a non-governmental organization that a Nurse Coach meets certain criteria and competencies based on predetermined standards and professional practice.

The AHNCC website also shares the following points regarding some of the benefits of achieving certification.

Benefits of Nurse Coach Board Certification

  • Demonstrates a commitment to providing the best possible care for your clients
  • Facilitates a shift in the global healthcare paradigm from one of illness and disease to health, wellness and well-being
  • Shows that you hold yourself accountable to a higher standard
  • Validates competence and expertise in the holistic nursing specialty
  • Assures the public that competency standards and eligibility requirements have been met to earn a credential
  • Receives institutional and collegial recognition
  • Connects like-minded colleagues
  • Supports career advancement
  • Enhances credibility with consumers, employers, and other stakeholders
  • Facilitates lifelong learning for personal and professional growth

In 2013 I had to decide…is Nurse Coach Board Certification worth it?

At the time of my initial certification in 2013, there were not many Nurse Coaches who were becoming certified, since Nurse Coaching was a new space for Nurses to thrive, so, I had to decide…

  1. Do I want to study hard to be prepared enough to sit for the board’s examination?
  2. Do I want to pay the fee for certification and credential verification?
  3. Do I want to fill out the lengthy application process?
  4. How will I feel if I don’t pass the exam? Am I prepared enough to pass?
  5. Do I really need this certification to practice as an Integrative Nurse Coach?
  6. Do I want this certification?

In the end I decided YES to all the questions, and I found myself sitting outside the AHNCC’s Nurse Coach board certification test site, awaiting them to call me in, feeling extremely nervous.  It was a cool spring morning in Denver, CO.

All the Thoughts Skittered in My Head

All the thoughts skittered around in my head.  Did I study hard enough?  What was the name of that Nursing theorist?  What is step 3 of the Nurse Coaching process?  What if I fail? What if I pass?  What’s the difference between appreciative inquiry and motivational interviewing… UGH!!!!!

And then, I took a breath, which caused me to pause all the chatter in my brain for a moment.  I gazed at my surroundings, trying to ground myself in this vulnerable time.  In the center of a very concrete building was a beautiful plant-filled garden.

Pinks, oranges, white and blue flowers filled this earthly space, and I took another purposeful breath in and out.  I recognized tiny, white butterflies hovering over each flower.  They spent a few moments at each bloom with a gentleness, an ease, a calm that took me far away from the anxiety of waiting for them to call me in to take the exam.

Butterflies I Saw While Awaiting Re-Certification Exam

I watched them float as peace, calm, focus, breath, quiet and wisdom flowed into my body, my mind and my spirit. What a gift!

Only a few months ago, I would never have given myself permission to slow with a softness and peacefulness, as I had so many things to do as a very successful critical care Nurse and wife.

And yet here, in this one moment, because of the self-reflection, self-nurturing and self-love I had learned in the Nurse Coach certificate program, I allowed myself to unravel some of the energy of anxiety and found a moment of clarity to reinforce the learnings I had dedicated the last 8 months of learning to.

They called me into the examination room, and I took the test with a clear mind and heart, and I passed!

Me Taking The Board Re-Certification Exam In Zen-Mode

Preparing for the AHNCC’s Nurse Coach examination is a personal and professional choice.

A choice I highly recommend you do as you journey into the Integrative Nurse Coach® world.  You will not regret your choices. You are destined to be successful and thrive in your Nursing career.

What do you think about certification and re-certification as an Integrative Nurse Coach?  Is it worth it to you?  What benefits have you received because of it?

Leave us a comment, we’d LOVE to hear from you!

xo Nurse Coach Nicole


download the integrative Nurse Coach ebook here!

After two decades as an Intensive Care Nurse caring for the sickest of patients, Nicole left the one-size fits all healthcare industry, and created Blue Monarch Health, where she is; Active Aging Specialist, Health Protection Expert and Head Motivator! Instead of waiting for you to get sick, she meets you where you live, work and play, to enhance your health and vitality.
Nicole listens deeply, and takes you by the hand to co-create a health and vitality plan with you, so you can really do it in your life. She is an authentic, heart-centered stick of dynamite, who focuses your energies, builds up your strengths, and leverages your unique gifts!
Nicole Vienneau achieved a Master’s in Nursing Science from the University of Arizona, a board certification in Integrative Nurse Coaching from the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation, and is Senior Faculty with the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy. She is a Functional Aging Specialist, personal trainer, yoga teacher, and group fitness instructor and a retired Reebok-sponsored Fitness Athlete.  When she’s not coaching clients or writing blogs, or hosting the Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! Podcast, you can find her teaching active older adult fitness classes, volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association, lounging in the sun with her cat babies, or on a hike with her awesome husband.
Email Nicole

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