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What is Nurse Coaching?

The board certification for nurse coaching has only been around since 2012 so many people have never even heard of a nurse coach. 

As stated by Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, HWNC-BC and Darlene Hess, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, PMHNP-BC, ACC, HWNC-BC: 

"Nurse coaching is a skilled, purposeful, results-oriented and structured client interaction that is provided by Registered Nurses for the purpose of promoting achievement of client goals.

Nurse coaches promote and facilitate the growth, healing and wellbeing of the whole person by using coaching principles and healing modalities that integrate body-mind-emotion-spirit-environment. Nurse coaches are required to have several years of nursing education and experience as a foundation to developing their coaching skills.

Nurse coaches integrate coaching competencies into any setting and specialty area of nursing practice to facilitate a process of change or development that assists individuals and/or groups to actualize their potential."


My Journey to Nurse Coaching

I was on maternity leave with my second son and was feeling rather burnt out from working in a hospital for the past 11 years. It did not help that the two years leading up to my leave were the years of COVID. The outpatient department that I had been working in was closed down three different times so that we could be deployed into the main hospital to assist on the floors that had been overtaken with COVID patients. The pandemic certainly changed my view of nursing, and my view of how hospitals valued (or did not value) their nurses.

My first week into my leave, I had a few family members contact me with random health questions. I took the time to sit down with each of them separately and review and explain each of their questions and concerns. Each one of them expressed their gratitude and had told me that they had tried calling their doctors' offices with no return call or said something along the lines of "I wish my doctor would have explained it that way because now I understand." This was my "ah-ha" moment - this is what is missing in health care! 


I wanted my family members to understand their health. I wanted them to understand their medications and their illnesses and how the different disease processes worked. Education is such a huge portion of health and it had been completely left out from their care. This was when when my research into nurse coaching began and I never looked back!

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