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How To Become A Nurse Coach
If you're interested in helping people with their health and wellbeing, consider becoming a nurse health coach.
Nurse coaches are educated and qualified individuals, but their daily duties differ considerably from those of other registered nurses.
What is Nurse Coaching?
Nurse health coaches work to empower and educate their patients. They are health coaches with a registered nurse (RN) license and so they're able to provide a high level of care and assistance.
Where Does a Nurse Coach Work?
As a nurse coach, you could be employed by a major corporation, healthcare facility, or as a self-employed coach.
For instance, you could find employment with an insurance company, helping them to reduce the cost of disease management. You may also find employment in a private practice or even in hospitals, where you can help with staff retention.
What are the Steps to Becoming a Nurse Coach?
Considering a job in nurse coaching? If you're fresh out of high school, you can get there in 4 years. There is a lot of work and several challenges on the way, though.
Follow these steps to qualify as a nurse health coach.
Step One: Get a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nurse (BSN)
There are over 2,600 nursing schools in the United States and your first step is to find the most suitable one for you.
Nursing schools have a few prerequisites you'll need to consider before signing up. All nursing schools insist on a high school diploma and above-average grades, but the exact specifications will vary from school to school.
A BSN will teach you the basics of nurse health coaching, giving you the skills that you need to advance.
Step Two: Qualify as a Registered Nurse
After completing an undergraduate program, apply for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Upon completion, you'll receive a registered nursing license.
The RN exam takes several hours to complete and there are two optional breaks. It's an adaptive exam, so the exact length of time and the number of questions will depend on your performance.
The better you do, the sooner you will finish.
It costs $200 to sit this exam (there may be other charges and requirements depending on your state) and you'll get your RN license upon completion.
Step Three: Get Some Work Experience
Most nursing professions require you to get work experience before you sit a certification exam or apply for an advanced degree. Nurse coaching is no exception.
Look for employment in a healthcare facility. You'll learn some vital practical skills and can put your nursing knowledge to the test. You should only need a year or two of experience, but the skills and knowledge you acquire will help you throughout your career.
You'll also make some cash and will have something to put on your resume.
Step Four: Become Certified
You don't always need to be certified to start offering nurse coaching services, but it helps to get you noticed by employers.
There are two certification credentials offered to nurse health coaches:
Holistic Nurse Coach Certification
The Holistic Nurse Board Certified (HN-DC) certification is administered by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC). You can apply if you have an RN license, a year of experience, and 40-hours of nursing education in the field of holistic nursing.
Holistic nurse coaches are educated on practices such as aromatherapy and yoga, which deal with overall health and wellbeing.
Integrative Nurse Coach Certification Program
The Integrative Nurse Coach Certification Program is offered by the International Nurse Coach Association (INCA).
To qualify, you must have a BSN, an RN license, and at least two years of experience as an RN. You'll also need 60 contact hours and 60 hours of coaching experience.
Step Five: Start Working as a Nurse Health Coach!
The final step is where you put all of your education to the test and seek employment as a nurse health coach!
You have the experience and skillset to provide holistic healing services and, at this point, you'll also have the degree, licensure, and certification that employers look for.
FAQs About Nurse Coaching
If you still have some questions about being a nurse coach, check out the following FAQs.
What Exactly Is A Nurse Coach?
Still struggling to understand what a nurse coach is and what kind of work they do? Just think of them as lifestyle/health coaches with a nursing education. They offer research-based advice and assist holistically.
Where Did Nurse Coaching Come From?
Nurse coaching is a relatively new profession, and it's one that's still growing.
It kicked off in 2013 with the publication of The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching by the American Nurses Association. The book referenced a type of qualified and licensed nurse who is able to use their skills and experience, in combination with traditional lifestyle coaching methods, to help patients holistically.
These days, there are nurse coaching positions available across the country and RNs can qualify as a certified nurse coach through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC).
How Is Nurse Coaching Different From Other Nursing Jobs?
Nurse coaches provide a more individualized service than registered nurses working in a typical clinical setting. They also work closely with patients to meet all of their health and wellness goals, as opposed to dealing with a specific illness, symptom, or syndrome.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse Health Coach?
On average, it will take four years to become a nurse coach as this is how long it takes to complete a BSN program. However, this doesn't include any work experience that you acquire along the way.
Do I Need to Be Qualified to Become a Health Coach?
You don't need a bachelor's degree or associate's degree to become a health coach (not the same as a nurse health coach). However, a nursing degree can give you an advantage in what is a very competitive field.
How Much Do Nurse Health Coaches Make?
Nurse health coaches make anywhere from $40,000 to $90,000 a year. It's a huge range and that's because there are many variables to consider.
Where you work, who you work for, and how much experience you have will dictate your earning potential as a nurse health coach.
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