Ep21: Heart Health Advocacy- Claire D’Andrea, RN, CHTP, NC-BC, CCRC

About Claire D'Andrea

Heart Health Educator


Claire D’Andrea, RN, CHTP, NC-BC, CCRC has over 43 years of nursing experience encompassing Integrative and Holistic Medicine, Intensive Care, Research, Maternal Child Health, Home Health and Women’s Heart Health.

She earned certifications as an Integrative Nurse Coach from The International Nurse Coach Association, Certified Healing Touch Practitioner from Healing Beyond Borders, and Clinical Research Coordinator from The Association of Clinical Research Professionals.  Read more about Claire here>>>



Ep21: Heart Health Advocacy- Claire D’Andrea, RN, CHTP, NC-BC, CCRC Highlights

“It’s so important for every individual to take a few moments each day and go inward, to connect with your heart, to get to know yourself again, no matter what age you are. And to open your heart so that you can look at others not with judgment, not with criticism, not with some preconceived idea, but just as another soul who’s on this path, learning and growing with you.”  ~Claire D’Andrea

Ah-ha Moments

  • Women’s heart health comprises not only caring for the heart muscle, but also your mind-body-spirit connection too!
  • Nurses continue to be blessed with the ability to ebb and flow with life changes by pairing it with new Nursing roles, jobs and opportunities
  • When you know you want and need to do something, your heart will beat faster, your soul will sing and your gut will speak… listen to the internal-knowing messages you receive
  • Nurse Coaching training can change your life, and the way you interact with others, and yourself
  • Try not to ignore caring for yourself as a top priority
  • Find a healthcare practitioner you respect and can relate to, for a symbiotic partnership leads to clearer plans of care for yourself and your family
  • There are many women’s heart health resources available to you (see the resources below to get started)
  • Love yourself and love your heart

Links and Resources

WomenHeart:  the leading voice for the millions of American women living with or at risk of heart disease

American Heart Association

Pacific Pearl La Jolla

Integrative Nurse Coach Academy Nurse Coach Programs

Ep21: Heart Health Advocacy- Claire D’Andrea, RN, CHTP, NC-BC, CCRC Transcript

Nicole Vienneau  00:00

Welcome, everyone, to Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! I am thrilled to invite our next guest all the way from Carlsbad, California. We have Claire D’Andrea. She is a certified Healing Touch Practitioner, and she is also a board-certified Integrative Nurse Coach. And she integrates both of these practices as a Nurse Coach and a Healing Touch Practitioner at Pacific Pearl in La Jolla. So, we welcome Claire.

Claire D’Andrea  00:35

Thanks, Nicole. It’s so wonderful to be here, and I’m looking forward to our conversation today.

Nicole Vienneau  00:40

Me too, because there are so many things I want to pick your brain about, because I know some of your greatest loves are related to women’s heart health. And it is February and of course, it’s Heart Health Month, so I know we’re going to touch on a lot of those topics.

But before we get there, we always have to take a dive back into history and ask you the question of what brought you to Nursing?

Claire D’Andrea  01:11

Wow, taking a deep breath on that one, because I have been a Nurse for almost 48 years, and so that’s a long dive back into history for me. You know, I was not one of those individuals that had a burning passion to become a Nurse, but I look back at it now and I see how it kind of evolved. And I have to start with it a little further back.

You know, my dad was an Irish immigrant, and he came to this country, and he worked really, really hard, but he also did not advocate for women to have an education. And I had to fight really hard to move myself ahead. I was the fifth child of six, with my oldest brother being about 20 years older than me, so there was a big age difference.

And I was really the first one to go on to school. But it started when I was in high school, and I was trying to find my path and purpose. And my father had already said that there was no money for college and for me to go on for a higher education, but I knew that there had to be something for me.

So, one of my friends suggested I join the Future Nurses Club of America in high school. And I did, and I got to connect with some amazing young ladies that really wanted to move forward in helping others, and that opened my heart into a different vision and possibility for myself.

They were all candy stripers, which I never got to do. But I did then decide to pursue my Nursing career and get into Nursing school. And I went to a three year program back then, and I had extensive clinical studies while I was in Nursing school.

I really fell in love with multiple aspects because we had 12 week rotations of Psych and maternal child health and cardiovascular and intensive care and all those different things that we all experience in all aspects of Nursing now, but my training was so intense. I loved maternal child health at the time, but I also loved dealing with the heart.

So, when I got out of Nursing school, I spent a year working in the intensive care unit, which I absolutely loved. But back then there was not a lot of support for Nurses, and we would have one Nurse for six patients in a critical care unit. And I started back then advocating for Nurses because I went to administration and there were times that I refused to take on that workload because I felt it was unsafe.

From there, I worked in a special procedures unit in radiology, learning to do heart CATs, and back then it was very interesting for me because we didn’t have the advanced cameras and things that we have now, but we had a cradle where patients would turn side to side.

We also did not have cardiac fellows in injected coronary arteries, so I got to do the injections of the coronary arteries, and I learned a lot about the internal anatomy of the heart. And I did that for about four or five years before I had my first child and then I went part-time.

And then I started doing research in an outpatient clinic and then after that, I started working in a birthing center where I wanted to then become a midwife, which that was my other love, having to help women be supported during their childbirth process. But before I got to get enrolled in the college that I wanted to do that for, we moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts.

And then I moved into home health Nursing. And in each of these roles, I found myself looking at Nursing in a different way. We were actually listening to patient stories and coaching them through processes of understanding their health and their wellness, but also accepting limitations and potentials of who they could be and how they could move forward in life.

As I moved into this home health, I also then became an IV infusion Nurse in home health and home health Nursing, and dealt a lot with hospice at that time. It seems that everything that I did, I kind of just fell into it, it wasn’t a planned process for me.

But they were all incredible opportunities and journeys, where I grew, and I grew with people– the patients, their families, getting to know who they were, and helping them in different ways.

As a young, high school student, I got drawn to learning about yoga and breathing and so I would use breath work with clients and patients back then before I really knew any research about it. So, helping them to become centered and grounding in what they were experiencing.

And then we lived in Massachusetts for about eight years, and then we had to move across the country, from Massachusetts to California. And there, I helped my kids get acclimated to the big move, but then I found a job in cardiac research.

So, that became a new love for me, and I got certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals in research in Nursing, or just research in general, but I was doing cardiac research and doing the clinical component of it, dealing with a lot of studies with heart medications.

When that job closed down, I moved into… I actually connected with a cardiologist who was my own cardiologist, and I connected with her and she offered me a job at Scripps Integrative Medicine that was talking with patients to enroll them into a lifestyle change program. Which brought me to where I am today, and I’ve been in integrative and holistic Nursing for the past 23 or 24 years. Long journey!

Nicole Vienneau  07:40

But such a wonderful journey, Claire! I think of you as a high school student in Future Nurses Club, and then your journey to today through Nursing school, advocacy, working with children, in research in heart health and heart research in the cath lab and ICU, home health, hospice, a birthing center. I mean, so many experiences within Nursing.

And then, of course, also your life with shifting locations, actually picking up and moving your family or moving your home to different places and how much wisdom there comes from doing all of this change and all of this knowledge gathering and just so much through your life, bringing you to today and how you found Nurse Coaching. I’d love to hear that story.

Claire D’Andrea  08:44

So, when I worked at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, we used to do holistic conferences, integrative health conferences, natural supplements conference. And then there were some partnerships with the American Holistic Medical Association, which later became the Academy for Integrative Health and Medicine.

In one of the conferences, Barbara Dossey was a speaker, and I was just enthralled with her talking about her role in Nursing, how she got involved in implementing a course, the Integrative Nurse Coaching Academy and what that meant to her, with Florence Nightingale and her vision. And I looked at that and I heard that and it was like a spark went off in my heart that made me realize this is where I need to be, this is who I am.

And despite, you know, there were blocks in my life that were not going to allow me to do it, I was like I’m doing this course. And it was fortunate for me that it happened to be held in La Jolla, California. So, I got to do the course, and it was so life-changing and transformative for me on a different level.

I was working as a Nurse manager at the time, and even after the first module was completed, and there was so much work that laid ahead of me to complete the program, I just came back a changed person.

And it was all about learning who I was, and that I didn’t have to fix everybody’s problems. But also looking at people in a different way and learning to communicate and learning to help people go inward to learn about who they were, how to ask particular questions, how to get them to be more reflective, and helping them to solve problems so I didn’t have to fix everything.

But it also impacted my family and my family dynamics because I didn’t have to fix the problems for everything that went wrong in the family. I was able to use the tools that I gained in the INCA program in my own personal life, and it just was a release of some pull and tug that was weighing me down and I felt a sense of freedom.

Nicole Vienneau  11:14

The more I speak with fellow Nurses who have taken the Integrative Nurse Coach Academy’s Nurse Coach certificate program, the more I really also connect to the vision of us no longer having to be the expert, and us releasing all of that responsibility, and how much that frees us as Nurses, as practitioners, to then help people realize that they have their own answers.

And we don’t– can’t be– we don’t have to be and we cannot be their expert for them because only the answers can come from within them. And then the other thing I love is that there’s so much focus in the program to help us as practitioners, as Nurses, as humans, to use the skills and tools for ourselves to improve our own lives. So, I love how you connected those dots.

Claire D’Andrea  12:13

Mm-hmm. It was just a life changing course for me. I have so much gratitude for Barbara and Susan and all of those who started the program and who fought to get recognition nationally for Nurse Coaches.

The tools and things that we learned within the Academy are essential for all Nurses, and I really would love to see these lessons being taught in all Nursing schools, not to make everybody a board-certified Nurse Coach, but to be able to know themselves on a deeper level, to become better human beings and better Nurses and providing better care for others.

Nicole Vienneau  12:55

Yeah, it’s not like we all need to become board-certified Nurse Coaches, but it’d be cool if we all did. It certainly increases the credibility of the work that we do.

Claire D’Andrea  13:08

Yes, it does.

Nicole Vienneau  13:09

However, all of the skills and tools can be applied to our life, and I agree, having gone through the Integrative Nurse Coach Academy Nurse Coach certificate program changed my life both personally and professionally. So, I really relate to you and how you’re expressing it and how you felt about it. I would love to know how you’re using Nurse Coaching in your professional life right now.

Claire D’Andrea  13:37

Well, I am really fortunate, and I look at the synchronistic things that happen in life– one was listening to Barbara Dossey, then the other was taking the INCA program and then it was getting the board certification. My own personal cardiologist, Dr. Mimi Guarneri, had said to me, you don’t need a certification to work with me. But I felt that the program helped me so much. So, when I finished the program and I left my full-time position as a manager at Integrative Center, she had asked me to come work with her as a Nurse Coach.

And the practice at Pacific Pearl La Jolla is a holistic practice; there are two cardiologists who are board-certified integrative holistic physicians, as well as naturopathic doctors that work there, an acupuncturist, myself as a healing touch practitioner as well as a Nurse Coach. And I was asked to be part of the comprehensive wellness assessment that they do there.

So, anybody can go there, and so patients come from all over the country, and actually all over the world, who want to see Dr. Guarneri. And some of them will come in and become members immediately, others will come in and do a comprehensive wellness assessment. And what that means is that they will meet two times for one and a half hours together with the cardiologist and the integrative naturopathic physician.

They will review their history, they’ll review their mental health, their physical being, any environmental factors that may impact their health, any social situations that may impact their health. And after that first meeting, I contact these patients and I tell them that included with these two assessments are two Nurse Coaching sessions with me.

And so, my role is to help them understand everything that was discussed at the center, but also to work with them on setting goals and helping them to uncover their own innate wisdom on how they can heal and move forward in their life, helping them to identify any strengths and weaknesses, helping them to identify things that block them from achieving their goals and living a vibrant life.

So, I follow up with them and then we schedule the two coaching sessions. Some people don’t want to do coaching, and I explain to them that it is not me doing what the doctor wants to be done, you know, setting a standard for the way they need to eat in a particular way, but helping them reach those goals that suits their lifestyle and with who they are and what they’re capable of doing.

But also, hearing them, and if I hear something that the doctors may not have heard, I go back and I share that with the physicians on a weekly basis. And we discuss patients that are members, but also discuss those that are new comp wellness assessment patients that come to the center.

And some of them will then come back and stay in the area for a couple of weeks, for a month or two months, to do an intensive program with us so we can work with them, collaboratively, to help them achieve a sense of wellness, health, vitality, and to manage their current illnesses or problems that they’re experiencing.

So, I’m really blessed. I feel like I fell into this position, but like I fell into all of my positions in Nursing. And so I try to look at them as there opportunities for my own personal growth, as well. So, every time I sit with a patient and hear their stories, or their struggles, it gives me an opportunity to reflect on myself, to reflect on family members, and I learn and grow with them, as well, in my own life. So, I look at it as a mutual collaboration with patients, and I really, really enjoy what I do. So, I’m very, very fortunate.

Nicole Vienneau  17:55

I can tell, just by listening to you, how filled with gratitude you are for the work that you are doing. I also heard you say that you’ve fallen into these positions, which makes me think that maybe falling isn’t the best choice of words.

Claire D’Andrea  18:17

You’re probably right.

Nicole Vienneau  18:18

Yeah, only because your history is so vast and your wisdom and all of the experiences that you’ve had throughout your Nursing journey led you to this, I feel like you were intended for these roles.

Claire D’Andrea  18:33

You know, that is so sweet, Nicole, and I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I think that points out one thing for me, and probably for a lot of women– we never think we’re worthy of something. And so you’re pointing out that my experiences are vast, and I do have incredible experience, and I tend to underplay that and not look at it as adding value. And I do add value. So, thank you.

Nicole Vienneau  19:02

Oh, my gosh, Claire, you have so much value. Oh, you have so much value. And this is why, you know, I wanted you to come on to our podcast to talk with us about all the value you bring, because it is so vast, and I’m so thankful that you are part of our community for those reasons, and for many, many more.

I did want to tap into your work specifically with heart health and women and your work doing that, because it seems like this is a real passion for you.

Claire D’Andrea  19:35

Yes, it’s a very big passion for me, and part of it is because it’s very personal for me. So, when I mentioned earlier that we had moved across the country, you know, when you move, we have to look at all the stress factors in our life. Pick up my one daughter who was going to be a senior in high school, which is a terrible time to move.

One daughter that had graduated and gotten into colleges on the east coast, and a son that was going into middle school– terrible, terrible time to move. Prior to that, we had lived apart for a year because my husband’s company had closed down on the east coast. So, I had to work more hours full-time, he got a job in California, and I lived back east for a year without him.

I actually sold the house, I packed up the house, I did all that, so stress was crazy. So, when I moved from the east coast to the west coast, I started having these symptoms. And as a Nurse, I thought, oh, my goodness, you know, I’m just so tired, I’m exhausted, I’m stressed, I’m depressed, and all of these things.

And the symptoms that I started having were, when I would walk, I would have indigestion. So, in my infinite wisdom, I said, we’ll stop drinking coffee and orange juice because it’s too acidic, and so I did that, but I still had that indigestion.

We got here in like the end of August of 1997, and I had to set up dentist appointments, doctor’s appointments, you know, establish all these things you have to do when you’re moving. We always put ourselves last, so I was kind of the last one to get an appointment set up for myself.

I was also not working at the time because I gave myself a few months to get acclimated, to get the kids situated, before I started looking for a job. And that’s when I started my research job. So, back to my symptoms, I decided, you know, I needed to get back in shape, and we’re living in California now and not dealing with the weather, so there was no excuse not to get out and walk and exercise and do all the things that I needed to do.

I want to back up and just say I did develop high blood pressure at the age of 42, so a couple of years before moving to California. But despite trying acupuncture and Chinese herbs and everything, I ended up on medication at the age of 42. When we were in California, I was on my medication trying to get back into shape and exercise and do all those things.

And one day when I was walking the dog, we live in a hilly area and I was coming up the hill, I had unbelievable excruciating pain between my shoulder blades, and I had to stop. I couldn’t catch my breath. I couldn’t move forward. And I waited for a few moments, and then when I finally could, I slowly walked up the hill and got home and I walked in the house with the dog and I sat down and said to my husband, “Gosh, I had this pain.” He goes, “Oh, you probably just have a stitch and it’s your muscles.” And I’m like, “Yeah, yeah.”

So, that was like in December of 1997, and in January, the end of January, I finally got an appointment with primary care and she said well, it’s probably nothing. She did an EKG, my EKG was normal. I was lucky. I found an integrative physician, a holistic physician within the Scripps system, and she did blood work. EKG was normal, but she wanted me to see a cardiologist and she gave me the name of a cardiologist.

So, I had just started the job in research and I had to fly to Boston to do an investigator meeting for the research protocol I was going to be working on, and I had not made the appointment for the cardiologist. I was running through the airport and I got this incredible pain again and I thought I was going to miss the plane.

So, I slowly walked, half ran, and still had the pain, got on the plane, went to Boston, did the meeting, came home, made the appointment at the doctor. I saw the doctor on a Friday and the doctor happened to be Mimi Guarneri.

I never met her, never knew anything about her, but I liked her, though, immediately. She was from the east coast, from New York, and I was originally from New Jersey. We hit it off really well. She was just not like any other doctor I’d ever been around, but maybe because I had always been around men who treated me differently.

That was a Friday, I saw her and she said can we do a stress test? And I said yes. And we did it and I could barely do three minutes on the treadmill, and they got me off, they gave me Nitro, they gave me aspirin. I knew that I was in trouble because I worked in the cath lab. And so, she said here’s the prescription for Nitro, here’s my phone number, don’t do anything this weekend, you have to go in for a cath lab on Monday.

I went home that Friday and I was, you know, crying. Didn’t tell my kids, didn’t tell any of them, told my husband, he came home from work. And I had this feeling I was gonna die and all I wanted to do was live to see my son graduate eighth grade. And now, as I’m telling you this, I’m starting to tear up. Wow. I set that as a goal, to live to see him graduate eighth grade.

Monday morning… well, Saturday, you know, she had said don’t do anything, don’t lift laundry, and I came home and as a woman, you know, we think we can do anything, we think, oh, it’s not me, there’s nothing wrong with me, and we always tend to put things on the back burner. Saturday, I didn’t do anything.

On Sunday, I was like, I’m fine. I’ve never smoked, I’m not a diabetic, I take my medication, I try to work out. My dad smoked, my mom smoked, you know, my dad drank. I didn’t do any of those things. I tried to eat healthy, which I thought was healthy at the time. So, I started doing laundry, scrubbing kitchen floors, cleaning out the jacuzzi. And, you know, my husband’s like, “You shouldn’t be doing that.”

Monday morning, I went into the cath lab, and having worked there and having learned all about the arteries, when they injected my coronary artery, I basically said, “Holy, you-know-what, I’m really lucky to be alive.”

Because my LAD artery was just a thread. I saw the doctor in the control room, and she had my husband in there, and I thought, I’ve never seen doctors bring a family member into the control room. And then she let him come in the cath lab to give me a hug and a kiss, and I knew that I was in the hands of remarkable cardiologists. And she put a stent in.

That began my heart journey, and not only my journey for my own healing, and understanding the emotions and my health and the brain body connection, also getting involved with advocacy for women and women getting diagnosed and running a support group and leading me to work with the doctor that I work with now.

And so I am truly, truly blessed to be alive. I’m happy to say that I lived to my son’s eighth grade graduation, his high school graduation, his college, his master’s, my kids getting married, and now I’m a grandma and life is really, really good.

But I do want to say that I had one other episode that was also stress related. In 2012, there was a lot of things going on where I worked, in administration. It was an extremely stressful time in my life. And in 2010, they discovered I had a bruit in my right carotid arteries, so we did carotid ultrasounds every three months, and we followed it for two years. It was 50% occluded, and within a two year time period, it went from 50% occluded to almost 100% occluded. So, I ended up having a carotid endarterectomy on my right carotid.

That was another eye-opening experience for me, and another way for me to take a deep dive into who I was and as a healer, not only looking at my heart, and my cardiovascular system, what my heart was energetically not expressing, and in my throat chakra, learning about communicating and speaking my truth in a loving, caring way.

So, 2012 I had my carotid endarterectomy, and this year, it’ll be 10 years, and I’m still here and still doing the good fight and advocating and supporting others like you and patients and family members, and just trying to stay within my heart and in my mind and coming from a good place to help.

Nicole Vienneau  28:16

Claire, thank you so much for sharing your story. I know that there are listeners who are connecting with you on such a deep level. And your experience personally helps so much with how you connect to the world on a personal level, but also professionally. And I’m curious to know how this experience affects the way in which you work with your clients and with people in general.

Claire D’Andrea  28:48

When I first started working in integrative medicine, my role was to get people enrolled into a lifestyle change program. There were a lot of people that would come in and say they don’t need it, they don’t need it. They know what to do. They know how to exercise, they know how to eat.

I was able to share my own experiences with them and become vulnerable with them, to get them to understand the importance of that mind body connection. And the moment they knew that I understood, you know, their heart attack or their bypass or whatever experience they had with their heart, it opened up this pathway of mutual respect and understanding and trust.

So, I think from the heart perspective, that allows me to really come from a sense of knowing not only the physical aspects of what health and wellness are, but the incredible importance of connecting the mind, body and spirit to our physical wellbeing in becoming a whole person and in healing.

So, I utilize, you know, my own experience, particularly when I’m dealing with people that have heart disease. But I also, in coaching, now get to utilize techniques such as guided imagery, breathing techniques, grounding techniques, to help people connect with themselves.

And I find that to be a very, very powerful tool because they know that I’ve experienced my own, and I don’t share it right away, I wait for opportunities, particularly if they’re negative and get reactive and you know, that they know everything and I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve never experienced this thing.

Then I use those opportunities as an introduction as to who I am and how I’ve experienced life myself, and give them tools that they can choose from, because I don’t know what’s going to work for someone else. I only know what worked for me, and what has helped me in growing and healing, so I can only offer them various tools.

I love sound healing, and I do crystal bowls, myself, and Tibetan bowls, and I go to healing events. Yoga has helped me, guided imagery, Heart Math apps that we have available now that are so free to get and easy to use to teach people all these different things that are available. It’s important for each soul to find what resonates with them, and how that will help them move forward. And usually, there’s something that will click in someone that then opens up a new door for them.

Nicole Vienneau  31:41

I love how you said, “Well, I don’t just tell everybody everything right from the start.” Right, you’ve already established a relationship, and then using, when you feel it’s right, to share what’s happened with you. But I also appreciated that, you know, yes, you’re just sharing the possibilities for them, the options that they have, because you never know what’s going to resonate with someone and until you show up for them and bring, you know, bring some potential tools to their awareness.

Claire D’Andrea  32:14

It’s a journey for each of us, right?

Nicole Vienneau  32:16

Oh, totally.

Claire D’Andrea  32:21

And actually, this journey of the pandemic has been another whole journey in people and learning and understanding themselves, right? We’ve learned the darkness of ourselves and the light within ourselves. It’s been a great opportunity for me with my support group, because I run a monthly support group for women with heart disease.

And now I’ve kind of moved it into anybody at risk with heart disease. I’ve done a support group since 2003, when Dr. Guarneri was seeing a lot of young women with heart disease, and she said, “What are you going to do about this?” And I’m like, “Oh, okay.”

So, coaching can be utilized in so many different avenues, and in group support, it’s a great way to hear their stories, to create a safe space for hearing those stories, to get each individual to contribute, because we don’t know someone else’s journey until we share, and it helps to open people up to new things in the group. I never thought it would really work on Zoom.

I typically try to set the intention with doing a grounding meditation, and I bring in colored lights and energy to connect us all to create a safe space, and I found that they all love doing that. And then I try to bring in guest speakers to discuss topics that they feel that they need.

So, coaching can be done in leadership, it can be done with one-on-one, in group support, mentoring future Nurses, mentoring Nurse Coaches. The tools and things that we learned through INCA have just carried through in everything that I’m doing.

Nicole Vienneau  34:05

It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to allow these tools, these different ways of being to sift into our lives and then we can exchange them out in whatever capacity it feels important to do. I really would love to learn a little bit more about your monthly support group. You know, you mentioned support, but you also mentioned coaching, and for our listeners, do you have a way that you see the difference between the two?

Claire D’Andrea  34:37

I look at the support as there, one-on-one, to help those that are just newly diagnosed with heart disease. And when they reach out to me privately, I will coach them individually on things that I did to help myself get through the fear, the anxiety, the stress, you know, when you recently or are newly diagnosed with any illness– cancer, heart disease, something– you always get this fear that you’re not going to be around. And so, helping people understand that’s a normal part of the process.

So, that’s the coaching that I do one-on-one, and I do see a difference, because the group is a safe place. And I allow the dynamics of them to support one another. It’s a place where they know that they’re not alone, they have the support of all of these women.

And the coaching comes in when I’m teaching them the tools and things that I do, as well as, you know, like the coaching techniques, or the things that I do for me for my own personal healing. So, I’m actually coaching myself, as well, on how to get through each day in life.

As the group, I’m there to facilitate their support of one another, and then I’m coaching them on tools and education and wisdom that they could use and getting them to talk to get them to understand what they’re capable of.

Nicole Vienneau  36:10

I see you creating, first of all, the opportunity to gather women who are seeking support, you know, you are creating this opportunity, creating this safe space for them to come, knowing that they will not be judged, that they are in an environment with other like people who they can contribute their own wisdom, to support others. And Nurse Coaching in general creates the understanding of how important it is to create a safe space for people to be able to share.

Claire D’Andrea  36:53

That’s so incredibly important.

Nicole Vienneau  36:55

Yeah, and I think of all of the conversations you have with friends, and you know, girlfriend chat, and, you know, sometimes you don’t feel like it’s a comfortable, safe space to really truly express from your heart. You know, you spoke earlier of connecting the mind and the heart, the spirit, all of that together, and your capacity for creating these monthly support groups is that.

Claire D’Andrea  37:23

I try to make it that way, for sure.

Nicole Vienneau  37:27

I’m sure every person who comes to it feels that way.

Claire D’Andrea  37:31

And actually, it’s a support for me, too. You know, it’s been my own journey, too. So, having them together and watching. Some of them have been with me since the beginning, and they come and they go, and those individuals are there now supporting others. And they support me, as well.

You know, I mean, they were so happy when I did the Integrative Nurse Coach Academy coaching program, and they didn’t think I needed it, but I had to explain to them that I needed it for me. And it was also part of me in moving forward with life and understanding things in a different way. And so I think I became a whole different person after I did the coaching program, which there’s always room for growth, right?

Nicole Vienneau  38:19

There is always room for growth. You know, having these conversations, I’m learning so much, too, from you, yes, but I’m also hearing myself as I’m talking, as we’re discussing in this safe space together and just supporting each other and feeling connected in a way that, you know, sometimes you don’t always have when you’re just going through it in your life. So, I really appreciate that.

Claire D’Andrea  38:44

Oh, I do too. It’s always a joy speaking with you, Nicole.

Nicole Vienneau  38:50

Thank you, always a mutual joy, Claire. So, in our last few minutes together, is there anything that you would really love to share from your heart to those listening with us today?

Claire D’Andrea  39:03

Yes, I would say that it’s so important for every individual to take a few moments each day and go inward, to connect with your heart, to get to know yourself again, no matter what age you are. And to open your heart so that you can look at others not with judgment, not with criticism, not with some preconceived idea, but just as another soul who’s on this path, learning and growing with you.

Because we all bring something to the table and we all learn and grow together. Every new person that comes into my life brings new meaning to my own. And if we can all look at life that way, maybe we can create a better planet together and better humanity and a caring environment.

And the other is that if you are a Nurse, and there are new, younger Nurses coming in that don’t embrace, you know, integrative approaches, still have an open heart. And let’s not beat our young because Nurses used to do that. We need to honor one another and help one another grow. And I see your podcast as doing that, not only for Nurse Coaches, but for all Nurses that are struggling to find out who they are.

There is so much you can do in Nursing and so much growth and potential for yourself, for your career, and in ways that you can help humanity. And I think we’re all being called to action now, to help heal our planet, and to help heal people on a different and new level that we’ve never had to do before. I think it’s a vision that Florence Nightingale had a long time ago, and we need to rise to the occasion.

Nicole Vienneau  41:01

Thank you for those words from your heart.

Claire D’Andrea  41:04

Thank you, Nicole.

Nicole Vienneau  41:06

I do have one more request, and that is maybe some resources for women who are wanting to seek more information about their own heart health.

Claire D’Andrea  41:19

Great question. So, I’m part of an organization called Women Heart. It’s a nonprofit that was started in 1999 by three women who were diagnosed with heart disease way back then and had no support. We do training every year, along with the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota. A science and leadership training to train women to go out and advocate, to run support groups, to be educators, to help others. So, womenheart.org is a great resource.

They also have a sister match program on there, which if you’re an individual and you want just one person, you don’t want to be in a group, you can reach out to Women Heart. There’s also webinars that are done and literature that you can get from there. And you can also get speakers, if you would like a speaker to come to your organization to talk about women and heart disease and heart disease in general, because we’re all trained in that.

The other would be there is a video I did with Dr. Guarneri on Pacific Pearl La Jolla website, and it has information about heart disease, so you can get information there. The American Heart Association is another opportunity. There’s many different forms of heart disease in women. So, there’s heart failure groups, there’s the SCAD group, which is spontaneous coronary artery dissection groups. So, Women Heart can connect you to all of them, and so that is a great resource for that.

And of course, if you’d like to reach out to me, you can reach out to me on Facebook or you can reach out to me on Instagram, it’s @cedandrea313, or at my Pacific Pearl email, which is cdandrea@pacificpearllajolla.com, or my personal email which is cedandrea313@gmail.com.

Nicole Vienneau  43:14

Thank you for all of those resources, we will be sure to include a link to everything that you’ve just shared with us. I want to personally thank you so much for spending some time with us here on Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! podcast. You are certainly in action, Claire.

Claire D’Andrea  43:32

Thank you so much, Nicole, and have a wonderful day and just love yourself and love your heart.

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