“The nurse coach role adheres to professional nurse standards, scope, and competency,” says Dossey. Because of this, she stresses that it’s important to participate in a training program that is a few months long, so nurses can integrate their new skills into their current position.
Where do nurse coaches work?
Once you’re a certified nurse coach, you may be able to work at your current organization in a new role or for a variety of other places. Nurse coaches can work in any kind of health care setting. Some see patients in hospitals or clinics, while others may be nurse educators working in faculty development, and others may work in the corporate world helping executives or employees to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Many nurse coaches enter the field to become entrepreneurs. As a nurse coach, you can see individual clients and help them to accomplish their goals, such as losing weight, managing stress, or incorporating more fitness into their lifestyle. Some nurse coaches have their own websites, blogs, newsletters, or are interviewed in the media sharing their healthy lifestyle tips.
Benefits of nurse coaching
The nursing profession experiences a higher level of burnout (being physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from work) than many others. Becoming a nurse coach allows nurses to explore other opportunities outside of the bedside practice and move into other areas or industries, while still utilizing their health care knowledge and expertise.
Nurse coaches also learn and explore alternative treatments that may not be used in the hospital setting, like aromatherapy, guided imagery, or massage.
“Our whole health care model is changing because we’re shifting to a health and well-being model. Nurses need new skills to work in this setting, which are the same skills nurse coaches learn and practice every day,” says Dossey.
Best of all, nurse coaches can work with clients over a longer period of time than they may see patients in the hospital setting. As a nurse coach, you’ll be invested in their well-being and self-improvement and can witness those positive changes over time.
Co-Founder, Director of International Communications | + posts
Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, HWNC-BC, is an internationally recognized integrative, holistic nursing pioneer, a nurse theorist (Theory of Integral Nursing; co-author, Theory of Integrative Nurse Coaching), and Florence Nightingale Scholar. She is Co-Director, International Nurse Coach Association (INCA) and Core Faculty, Integrative Nurse Coach™ Certificate Program (INCCP), Miami, Florida; International Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH); and Director of Holistic Nursing Consultants (HNC), Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has authored or co-authored 25 books including Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice (7th ed., 2016); Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing (2015); The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching: The Provider’s Guide for Coaching Scope and Competencies (2013); Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer (2010, Commemorative Edition). She is a founding member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and Holistic Nurse of the Year. She is an 11-time recipient of the prestigious American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award, and has received many other awards. Barbara is also on the ANA’s Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation™ Grand Challenge Advisory Board.