What is the Role of the Nurse Coach?
“The professional Nurse Coach is a registered nurse who integrates coaching competencies into any setting or specialty area of practice to facilitate a process of change or development that assists individuals or groups to realize their potential… The Nurse Coach works with the whole person, using principles and modalities that integrate body-mind-emotion-sprit-environment” (Hess et al., 2013, p. 1).
“I don’t want to work with all the red tape and bureaucracy in the hospital! Do you have any jobs for a holistic nurse?”
While many institutions support the concept of holistic nursing (as all nursing is fundamentally holistic), the defined staff role of a holistic nurse consultant or practitioner in a healthcare institution is still rare. With decreased insurance reimbursement, increased budgetary concerns, and diminishing grant money, the holistic nurse position is sometimes considered expendable and may be one of the first jobs cut when funds are depleted or leadership changes.
The role of Nurse Coach could open new doors for holistic nurses to practice to the fullest extent of their potential, while becoming an indispensable part of the interprofessional team.
As Co-Founder of the International Nurse Coach Association for over a decade, Susan has been teaching and developing coaching program and currently through the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy. She is Board Certified in Health and Wellness Coaching, Holistic Nursing, and Clinical Nutrition. Susan has authored several chapters on Nutrition and Environmental Health for Holistic Nursing, Integrative Nursing, and Nurse Leadership textbooks. She has co-authored Nurse Coaching and Self-Assessment chapters in; Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice, 7th edition (2015-2020) and is co-author of the award winning book (ANA Gold Seal, 2015) Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing (2015) and The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching, an ANA Publication (2013), that led the way to establishing the standards for practice in the emerging Nurse Coach role. For the past 20 years, she has been the Nurse Coach and Nutrition consultant for Special Immunology Services at Mercy Hospital in Miami and is currently the Director of Nurse Coaching at Rezilir Health in Hollywood, Florida. Susan continues to integrate lifestyle health and wellness education into diverse communities, bringing her expertise and passion as a nurse, clinical nutritionist, and medical anthropologist. She has developed and implemented integrative health initiatives for diverse community organizations including the Yellow Courtyard, Integrative Health Symposium, Urban Zen, New York Open Center, The Lower East Side Girls Club, Kripalu, Omega Institute, and the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University. As a concerned global citizen, Susan is the founder and education director of the Earthrose Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to environmental health education and advocacy. She maintains a private practice as an Integrative Nurse Coach® with a focus on nutrition and the environment.