What’s Nurse Coaching

Nurse coaches provide guidance and resources to the client who is the expert on their own needs and choices. Examples of nurse coaching services include helping: Hospitals to improve nursing staff retention. Individuals to improve their overall health and well-being.

What is Nurse Coaching?

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. (Dossey, Hess, et. al, 2013) 

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.The nurse coaching process involves six simultaneously occurring steps:

  1. Establish the relationship and assess client’s readiness for change
  2. Identify client opportunities and issues
  3. Assist client in establishing goals
  4. Structure the coaching interaction
  5. Empower clients to reach their goals
  6. Assist clients in determining the extent to which their goals were achieved

(Adapted from Hess, D., Dossey, B., Southard, M. Luck, S. Schaub, B., & Bark, L. (2013). The art and science of nurse coaching).

Nurse coaches work with the whole person using principles and modalities that integrate body-mind-emotion-spirit-environment to promote health, wellness, and wellbeing while they facilitate their client’s growth and healing. Nurse coaches are supportive and encouraging, building on the client’s strengths rather than attempting to correct weaknesses. Nurse coaches provide guidance and resources to the client who is the expert on their own needs and choices. 

Examples of nurse coaching services include helping:

  • Hospitals to improve nursing staff retention
  • Individuals to improve their overall health and well-being
  • Insurance companies to reduce the cost of disease management

Some nurse coaches work in private practice; some collaborate with other health professionals in a group practice, and others are employees. According to surveys, nurse coaches can earn similar or more income than they do working in hospitals.

See the educational programs that offer Nurse Coach training and are endorsed by AHNA