From the day I received notice that I was a Board Certified Nurse Coach, I set out to find an environment where I could use the skill set that I came to love and worked hard at developing through the INCA program.
I remember as I was trying to decide if it made sense to commit to the program, I asked Susan Luck the question, “What is the career path for a nurse coach?” she replied, “There is not a straightforward path yet, but if you join us and come on the journey, I have confidence that you will find your way. We are pioneers”. That was on a frigid winter February day in Connecticut in 2012. Fast forward to November, 2015.
As the first full time nurse at Aware Recovery Care in Madison, CT, www.awarerecoverycare.com , I found the environment I was looking for. Today, I have the privilege of working with men and women who have decided that they are ready to free themselves from their addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. We are a new model of treatment where we provide support in the home setting for a full year, helping people develop the daily habits and skills of sober, clean living.
What a perfect job for a Nurse Coach! As the only full time nurse in this start-up company, I have the opportunity to design the role of the nurse. My coaching experience and skill set is a valued training by the founders of this company. I repeatedly hear, “We have a Board Certified Nurse Coach on our team”.
I work with clients who need to “find themselves” again, after years of using drugs and alcohol to escape. The coaching session that INCA prepares us for is a perfect fit for this population. I use the IHWA (Integrative Health and Wellness Assessment) form to help the client look at what they would like to work on. A centering meditation always helps me, as the Nurse Coach, and the client to get started. The powerful questions we are taught to ask are the key to opening the dialogue. Then…. The client just starts talking and. …….. I listen. It is that simple.
I continue to be amazed at how much people just need to know someone is listening. The process of recognizing strengths and arousing past success experiences is the key to this work. This is the core and power of the relationship between Nurse Coach and client. We offer a sacred space where clients feel safe to talk, and we listen. People heal. It is that simple.
My path has been on a positive trajectory after my initial conversation with Susan on that cold winter day. I have never looked back and continue to look forward at where Nurse Coaching can fit.