1. Helming, Mary A.

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If a registered nurse decides to pursue nurse coaching (NC) education, he or she may have a diploma or associate degree with substantial practice hours or a BSN degree. An advanced practice nursing degree is not required, although many nurse coaches do have advanced degrees. Several NC programs in the United States provide certificates upon completion. A master's degree in holistic nursing at Pacific College of Health and Science includes a nurse coach track, the first of its kind in the United States. Most NC programs are primarily online for theoretical work, although they may require in-person supervised clinical work for certification.

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When nurses complete the NC training and receive their certificates, there is the further option of board certification. The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation provides board certification for nurse coaches: The Holistic Nurse Coach Board Certification or Health and Wellness Nurse Coach Board Certification (for those who are also certified holistic nurses). Attaining board certification requires a higher level of knowledge and implies competency in the practice of NC. Several NC programs are mentioned here; this list is not comprehensive.


Two original NC programs are the Integrative Nurse Coach Academy (INCA) and the Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. Likely the largest NC educational organization, INCA partners with many other organizations. The Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate Program consists of two courses that can be taken independently or sequentially. Part 1 is Integrative Nurse Coach Foundations, a 36-hour course endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association that can be completed online in 12 weeks. Part 2 is the Integrative Nurse Coach Practicum, a 60-hour course with supervised coaching practice. After completing Part 2, the NC student is eligible to sit for the board certification in holistic nursing or NC. The directors and faculty of INCA include some of the original nurse coaches. A new Integrative Nurse Coach e-book is available for free on this site and there are several other courses also offered, including Mindfulness Meditation, Functional Medicine for Nurses, and End-of-Life Coaching.


Linda Bark founded the Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy and has practiced NC for many years. She is a master-certified coach with the International Coach Federation and is certified by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation as well. Dr. Bark authored The Wisdom of the Whole: Coaching for Joy, Health and Success. There are four courses in this 90-hour holistic coaching mastery course.


Other programs offer NC certification (see Box: Selected Resources for Nurse Coaching). In 2014, nurse practitioner Lyn McCright founded Advancing Nurse Coaching. Nurse coach Teresa Walding is co-leader for this organization, which offers a four-course certificate program, Healing the Whole Person. These courses are self-paced and online for certification preparation for holistic nursing and/or NC with completion of 60 hours of holistic nursing and/or 60 hours of NC. Coaching supervision required for the NC certification may be arranged separately. The Nurse Coach Collective offers a transformative NC certificate program of 120 CNE consisting of online modules and supervised support calls. The Huntington Meditation and Imagery Center offers a 60-credit online course combining the Scope and Competencies of the Art and Science of Nurse Coaching with a clinical meditation and imagery certificate program. Nurses will find selected content in some NC programs that differs from a biblical worldview, for example energy therapies. However, those interested in becoming a nurse coach have a variety of options available to explore.



Integrative Nurse Coach Academy


Wisdom of the Whole


Advancing Nurse Coaching


Huntington Meditation and Imagery


Pacific College of Health and Science


The Nurse Coach Collective