Although you still love nursing, youre stressed, frustrated, confused, and you know you want something more, though you cant quite put your finger on what that might be or how to achieve it. An RN-specific life coach may be just the remedy to help you clarify and transform your personal and professional goals, figure out exactly where you want to go next, and how to get there.
Unlike mentors, who train and influence a fledgling based on their own experiences, a life coach functions as a sounding board, a signpost. The relationship between coach and client is based on mutual respect, trust, and honest communication.
Life coaching is neither clinical therapy nor continuing education.
If youre receptive and ready to take responsibility for your future, however, you could be guided through self-awareness into reaching your full potential.
Coaching triggers in clients the desire to explore where they are now, determine where they want to be within a given time frame, and then create pathways to get there, says Brenda Ward, RN, PhD, founder of Bren-Barr Associates, Inc., Professional and Personal Education and Training Consultants, in Wantagh, N.Y.
Phyllis S. Quinlan, RNC, MS, founder of MFW Consultants to Professionals in Flushing, says, It is a true departure from the stereotypical image of nurses eating their young.
Coaching is designed to facilitate the process of regaining perspective and a sense of personal control. Quinlan understands what an uncomfortable concept this can be for nurses, who traditionally view themselves as caregivers, relegating their own needs to the back of the bus.Coaching triggers in clients the desire to explore where they are now, determine where they want to be within a given time frame, and then create pathways to get there, says Brenda Ward, RN
I think nurses can take a lesson from a common recommendation given by the airline industry, which is put your own oxygen on first, and then you will be prepared to help others, Quinlan says.
Although there is little difference between a generic life coach and an RN life coach, there is an advantage to establishing a relationship with someone who understands the unique stressors of nursing; someone who has worked on the unit.
Ward believes coaches can encourage RNs to explore progressive options to achieve self-actualization within the profession while simultaneously contributing to the advancement of nursing practice on another level. RN life coaches have had a significant impact upon nurse recruitment and retention, she says.
Some nurse clients who were experiencing burnout have found the services of life coaches to be an invaluable boost that encouraged them to find their niche and remain in the profession.
Coaching consultations can be conducted by phone, in the coachs office, or in any private environment. Ward finds that scheduling the frequency and duration of sessions fosters commitment and happy anticipation of experiencing me time with the coach. Frequency and duration can be adjusted to the clients preference and style, says Quinlan, with sessions usually running 30 to 60 minutes.
Both Quinlan and Ward became certified life coaches through The Professional Woman Coaching Institute in Kentucky (prowoman.net), though a variety of training programs are available. Course length and requirements vary by provider.
Ward describes life coaching to be a refreshing and stimulating alternative for RNs at every level because it offers the opportunity to pursue a new, relevant, and necessary scope of service that supports fellow professionals and often deters RNs from defecting to other industries.
Quinlan believes the benefits of working with an RN life coach include feeling more comfortable in your own skin; expanding focus, confidence, and self-esteem; increasing effectiveness and productivity; working through perceived obstacles and limitations; and enjoying a greater sense of balance and harmony. If youre ready for all that and more, call an RN life coach stat.