Why should I get Board Certified?

Become a leader in the healthcare transformation movement by facilitating lifestyle change.

Facilitates a shift in the global healthcare paradigm from one of illness and disease to health, wellness and well-being.

Becoming a certified holistic nurse or nurse coach shows that you hold yourself accountable to a higher standard.
Certification supports career advancement and opens the door to more opportunities and increased compensation.
Assures the public that competency standards and eligibility requirements have been met to earn a credential. Certification further enhances credibility with consumers, employers, and other stakeholders.

Nurse Coach - Board Certification

Eligibility Requirements

  • Unrestricted, current RN License

    International candidates who are not planning on working in the US may submit an RN license from their country.

  • Active full-time practice as an RN for 2 years

    Or 4,000 hours over the past 5 years

  • A minimum of a BS, BA, or BSN degree in Nursing

    International candidates must have their Baccalaureate Nursing degree evaluated to determine that their program is equivalent to a US Baccalaureate Nursing degree program.

  • 60 contact hours, accrued over the past 3 years

    Contact hours must include content consistent with the Nurse Coach Core Values & Competencies.

  • 60 hours coaching experience

    that has been supervised by a Certified Nurse Coach Supervisor who will provide a letter of validation to submit with your certification application

Nurse Coach Board Certified

  • Requires all of the above

Health and Wellness Nurse Coach – Board Certified

Holistic Nurse - Board Certification

Eligibility Requirements

  • Unrestricted, current RN License

    All US and international candidates with an RN license are eligible to sit for the Holistic Nurse Board Certification

  • 1 year full-time holistic nursing practice within last 5 years*

    Or 1,000 hours within the last 5 years

  • 48 contact hours in Holistic Nursing Theory, Research, or Practice

    International candidates must have their Baccalaureate Nursing degree evaluated to determine that their program is equivalent to a US BSN degree program.

  • Credentials upon passing exam vary based on education and/or licensure

    See below

“Holistic nursing is not setting dependent but rather is based on the nurse’s philosophy which guides their practice. If the nurse facilitates health, wellness, and well-being and plans care and interventions that integrate the client’s mind-body-spirit then she/he/they is/are practicing Holistic Nursing.

In summary, holistic nursing is not using healing or integrative therapies such as aromatherapy or energy work BUT how you show up as a nurse when working with people. Many holistic nurses use healing therapies but that is not what defines them as holistic nurses. It is their way of thinking and being not doing that demonstrates holistic nursing practice. Holistic nurses work in all settings and with all populations. If this is how you think about people and nursing and have met the hours required then you meet the practice requirement.”

Holistic Nurse Board Certified

  • Requires an active, unrestricted RN license

Holistic Nurse Baccalaureate Board Certified

  • Requires an active, unrestricted RN license AND
  • A minimum of a BA, BS, or BSN in nursing.

*International candidates must have their Baccalaureate Nursing degree evaluated to determine that their program is equivalent to a US Baccalaureate Nursing degree program.

Advanced Holistic Nurse Board Certified

  • Requires an active, unrestricted RN license AND
  • Graduate/Masters degree in Nursing 

Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse Board Certified

  • Requires an Active, Unrestricted APRN license AND
  • Masters degree in Nursing (MSN, MA, MS).

Board Certification FAQ

Board certification examinations are offered through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC).

After completion of our Integrative Nurse Coach™ Certificate Program (96 contact hours) (Part 1: Integrative Nurse Coach™ Foundations (36 contact hours) and Part 2: Integrative Nurse Coach™ Practicum (60 contact hours)) all nurses who meet licensing, practice and educational requirements will qualify to take the Nurse Coach Certification Exam AND the Holistic Nurse Certification Exam.

Both Holistic Nursing and Nurse Coaching’s philosophy of practice is to care for the person as a integrated, holistic human being, inseparable and integral with the environment. Holistic Nursing provides the holistic philosophy of practice whereas, Integrative Nurse Coaching™ provides an operational framework model. Nurse coaching provides a skilled, purposeful, results-oriented, and structured relationship-based communication method. Nurse Coaching is the functional role for Holistic Nursing.  Both Holistic Nursing and Integrative Nurse Coaching™ is universal in nature and may be practiced with any population in any clinical setting, community, private practice, hospital, educational institution, or research foundation.

While a BSN is required to sit for Nurse Coach-Board Certification, it is not a requirement to sit for Holistic Nursing Board Certification. Also, note that board certification is not required to practice as a nurse coach!

As of February 1, 2021, INCA is proud to say that our graduates’ exam pass rate is 100%!

The AHNCC charges a fee to take both exams, as well as to recertify every 3 years. See

The priority of all coaches is to facilitate behavioral change that corresponds to a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing.

A main difference between Integrative Nurse Coaches and Wellness Coaches is that nurses bring a different level of education, training, and experience to the relationship. Nurse Coaches are not only capable of working with clients to establish an optimal level of living but facilitate clients to overcome barriers that lead to establishing improved long-term health outcomes. Integrative Nurse Coaches use complementary and reflective modalities in their sessions with clients and establish individualized health plans.   

Some examples of the dimensions that Integrative Nurse Coaches work in:

  • Life Balance and Satisfaction- lifestyle changes for wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Spiritual
  • Mental and Emotional – stress management
  • Physical – exercise and weight management
  • Healthy nutrition choices
  • Environmental awareness
  • Health Responsibility – managing chronic conditions
  • Lifestyle change for habitual habits

For over three years the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) followed the development of the health and wellness movement and the increased interest in the nurse coach role as reported in the literature and conceptualized by a cohort of holistic nurse leaders who were practicing in various healthcare arenas, including Barbara Dossey and Susan Luck.

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After lengthy discussions, extensive reading, and consideration of the implications for nursing, the topic was added to the AHNCC Board Meeting Agenda in February 2010. The AHNCC Board of Directors concluded that the role of Nurse Coaching, conceptualized within the precepts of holistic nursing, was important to the Profession of Nursing and AHNCC. That is, the AHNCC Board of Directors determined that Nursing should hold its space to ensure inclusion in the national consortium of healthcare providers who support delivery of care based on a coaching model, and that AHNCC was an appropriate organization to do the necessary follow-up to determine interest on the part of nurses.

AHNCC struck a collaborative relationship with the cohort of pioneering nurse coach leaders (including INCA Co-Founders Barbara Dossey and Susan Luck). The cohort of nurses drafted the first edition of the Art and Science of Nurse Coaching: Scope and Competencies (ANA, 2013) and AHNCC performed a needs assessment, and developed a program for certification.

To begin the extensive examination development process AHNCC drew the competencies from the literature, including the The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching and other relevant literature. Once the competencies were compiled, they were reviewed and revised multiple times. Upon completion there was agreement with the experts that the competencies identified were appropriate for the current practice of nurse coaches. AHNCC then completed a Role Delineation Study.

Participants were asked to identify which competencies they practiced and evaluate how important the competency is to the practice of nurse coaching. Finally, data analyses were performed to determine which competencies were used and which were important for nurse coaching. These competencies were then used to provide a foundation for the examination which was first offered in January 2013.

Integrative Nurse Coach™ Certificate Program

Start your Nurse Coach and/or Holistic Nurse Board Certification journey with the leading Nurse Coach training program.

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