Osage Nurse Coaching – Extraordinary Farm-Based Center for Health and Healing

Featured Nurse Coach: Carla Baumann, MSN, RN, NC-BC

As a nurse coach, I work with nurses, individuals, groups, and communities seeking experiences of healing and wholeness. My practice, Osage Nurse Coaching, provides a farm-based center for healing. Inspired by the work of Kentucky author and poet Wendell Berry related to culture and agriculture, I believe that being connected to the rhythms and seasons of the farm can inspire others on their journey to wholeness and well being. Farms and farming can teach us about health and healing.

Since completing the INCA program, I have been growing a nurse coaching practice that draws on the strengths and beauty of our farm. In addition to coaching individuals, my work includes, but is not limited to, hosting retreats for nursing students and faculty, as well as serving as a clinical site for MSN students’ public health experience – experiencing public health through the lens of a small family farm. I also provide coaching and leadership development to area non-profit organizations, faith communities, and civic groups.

Lazy Eight Stock Farm

Lazy Eight Stock Farm is a certified organic family farm in rural central Kentucky. We raise a variety of vegetables and fruits throughout the year, plus pastured chickens, turkeys, and cattle on approximately 400 acres. The farm, situated at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, has been in our family for over 100 years. We have a thriving community-supported agriculture (CSA) and participate in regional farmers markets. We provide fresh produce to area restaurants and groceries, as well as participate in farm to school and farm to work initiatives in the community.

Osage Nurse Coaching

Since May 2012, we have hosted a number of farm interns – young adults seeking a farm experience where they can learn by doing. Interns live on-site in a farm cottage, receiving a modest stipend and farm fresh food in exchange for helping us with planting and harvesting of crops, tending to animals, and preparing crops for market.

We have also piloted a public health clinical rotation for registered nurses completing the masters program in nursing administration and education. These students have become involved in local food initiatives that our farm supports. This includes the local community food assessment project and the farm to school initiative as well as other projects important to small family farms.

On May 6, 2013 I hosted a self-care workshop on the farm – “Experience the Healing Environment of the Farm – Intentional Use of Nature to Promote Health and Wellbeing Among Nursing Faculty and Graduate Nurses”. My intention for the retreat was to provide an opportunity for attendees to discover and reclaim the role of nature in healing and self-care during an afternoon of nourishment of mind, body, and spirit. The Osage Nurse Coaching workshop included a tasty meal of farm-fresh food, followed by self-care and community-building activities designed to enhance and restore health.

The objectives of the Osage Nurse Coaching workshop were to:

1. explore pathways for self-care with an emphasis on the healing power of nature.

2. reflect on the value of the natural healing environment by tapping into internal resources in a safe space that connects you with your deepest needs through authentic presence with each other, and

3. practice one new self-care behavior within 30 days of attending the farm workshop.

Following the retreat, I provided group coaching to this same class of nursing students via two one-hour webinars. The focus was on self-care as it relates to nursing leadership, quality improvement, and conflict resolution.

Farm-Inspired Nurse Coaching

All my life, the farm has been the center of my family life as well as the center for personal regeneration and renewal. From an early age, I realized that maintaining a connection to the land keeps me connected to my roots – the source of my physical, emotional, and spiritual life. As I have made a transition from public health nursing back to the farm and into nurse coaching, I enjoy the gardening, the animals, the rhythms of the seasons, and working with my family to nourish the farm and the myriad of relationships that grow from this adventure.

During this season of my life, I am excited to be pursuing my dream of providing nurse coaching in the healing environment of the farm – walking by streams, over the hills, and through the vegetable gardens.

To learn more about our farm, please sign up for our newsletter at www.lazyeightstockfarm.com.

Watch for future Osage Nurse Coaching happenings through the farm website.

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