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Christine Gilchrist, MSN MPH RN NC-BC

As a community health nurse, I greatly value looking at the bigger picture when considering the health of an individual. With that in mind, I wanted to share how grateful I am to an inspiring community that has supported my growth as a person and as a professional.

Community Sharing Stories

From the very first day I attended the Integrative Nurse Coach (INC) certification program, I realized that INCs are incredible and inspiring nurses with rich and diverse backgrounds. The INC faculty certainly was and I expected that since being familiar with, as well as a fan of, their work is what got me to register for the course. The first day a room of strangers bonded and began developing friendships. I found out that they shared similar feelings of wanting more from our professional work. Several of my classmates were already trained and certified in many different integrative modalities.

I remember listening to stories of what other nurses were facing in their practices – some in incredibly toxic work environments – and how they rose to the challenge. Many had several decades of nursing experience…and the stories they shared were rich and powerful. Their courageous stories of standing up for what was right were truly inspiring.

Community Sharing Support

During the course and in the years that have followed, struggles have come up. Some being personal difficulties (illnesses, the death of a loved one) which have given me the opportunity to observe that when a member shares their struggle with the group, members respond in a strong and powerful way.

Hollychristine
Holly Miller & Christine Gilchrist
INCA Associate Faculty

Sometimes challenges are things that we’ve chosen to take on. As we gathered for the Advanced Integrative Nurse Coach (AINCP) course in October 2013, I was in the final stages of preparing for running my first marathon. Part of the preparation was fundraising and women, including several who had just met me that weekend, graciously donated financially to the charity making my marathon entry possible. Two attendees shared that they had run marathons and were confident I could do it.

Several of the AINCs offered me energy work that weekend and I know that it was being sent at other times as well. During the marathon, I got texts and other messages that I was being cheered on by several group members. I can’t explain how much that meant to me.

Sharing Successes

As my fellow INCs succeeded in resigning from unfit work environments, authoring a book, even birthing a beautiful daughter – their brilliance has added to our community and been celebrated by other members of the group. So when I got the very exciting news that I’d be presenting at the 2014 Integrative Healthcare Symposium, members of the group celebrated that success.

Several AINCs sent me messages that although they couldn’t be there, they would be thinking of me. Their encouraging words stayed with me. The day of the presentation, along with my notes, I had one of the AINC mementos we were given during our time together, so that their message and presence was honored. When I was presenting, the kindness and warmth emanating from the faces in the audience of the INC faculty and my AINC colleagues was priceless.

Only after I finished writing this did I notice that I wrote “sharing” as the first word of each of the subtitles. I guess that word really sums up my interactions with the INC community so far…an incredibly generous group of nurses who look to nurture one another as we do this work. To my fellow INCs, I’m grateful to be a member of our community. Thank you for being such an incredibly inspiring group of colleagues.

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6 Responses

  1. I am inspried by nurses such as yourself who have committed themselves to health, wellness, and preventative illnesses. I have been a registered nurse for over 16 years an have become frustrated with the current coarse of conventional medicine, as well as the lack of appreciation for the unique and vast potential for nurses to greatly facilitate positive change in the health and wellness of the masses. For this reason, I have determined myself to explore a more expansive role within my role as a nurse to that of prevention. I believe that becomming a nuse coach for health and healing will allow me the platform to do that. Thank you for sharing some of your story.

  2. I have come across articles on nurse coaching and integrative nurse coaching.
    I have been a nurse for 32 years – I am 57 and would like the next 8-10 years to be more fulfilling than what it is right now. I am certified in telephonic triage as well as a certfied diabetes educator. I am currently working as a triage nurse for 3 primary care clinics. I was wondering if I could email you for advise? Thanks so much

    1. Hi, Cindy. I’m happy to share more about my experience with INCA and have just sent you an e-mail. Look forward to talking with you.

      Best,
      Christine

  3. Thank you for Share-ing your experience….it is very supportive and inspiring for all of us to continue this journey and vision for the INCA Community!!

  4. Christine,
    Your inspirational, honest and loving approach helps us continue to share within our community. Thanks for being you!

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