Is there a market for RNs working as health coaches? Is an MSN or certification required to work in this field?

By | 2022-05-06T15:37:49-04:00 March 21st, 2014|26 Comments


Dear Donna,

I’d like to know what you think about nurses becoming health coaches. Is there a market for that? I have a BSN, but do I need a master’s degree or is certification required? I am desperate to do something different than the work I do.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Desperate,

Health coaching is a hot and growing specialty in nursing. It offers opportunities to be both employed and self-employed. With the health delivery system in the U.S. shifting from a sickness model to a wellness model and with so many people having a chronic illness that could benefit from the input of a health coach, you’ll be on the cutting edge.

Although you may not see it, as an RN you already are a wellness coach. No further degrees or certifications are necessary. Nurses have a tendency to undervalue what we already know and do, and we often think we need more training, education or certifications. Also understand that just because someone offers a certification program in something doesn’t mean it is required to practice. Contact both the American Holistic Nurses Association ( and the International Coach Federation ( for additional resources and to start networking with others doing something similar.

Insurance companies and corporate wellness companies hire nurses to do wellness coaching. Many nurses also do this on their own as a business. Check in with the National Nurses in Business Association ( if you’re interested in self-employment.

Best wishes,


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  1. Avatar
    Jocelyn January 26, 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Donna,

    To add on to the comments and questions above, do you know anymore for RN’s in Canada and Health Coaching?


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      Lucy November 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Jill,

      I am so excited to discover this field of nursing. Please contact me! I would love to talk with you about this.

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    Jill Guercio-Niebling April 3, 2016 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    I’ve been a critical care nurse for almost 30 years working in many different capacities. I never thought that I would ever find something as fulfilling as hat ….however several years ago I became a Certified Health Coach …and it has been one of the most fulfilling careers I’ve ever had. Teaching people Healthy Habits, watching them transform, giving them hope …many for the first time….it’s equally as fulfilling and exciting as being a nurse …..I am thrilled EVERYTIME a nurse reaches out to me and asks how they can get started on the path to Health Coaching. It’s an honor to link arms with fellow nurses.

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      Heather May 10, 2016 at 4:48 am - Reply

      Hi Jill,

      I’ve been a RN for 14 years now, I am very interested in becoming a health coach. I just don’t know how to get started. Any suggestions?

      Thanks, Heather

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      Emily August 25, 2016 at 9:45 am - Reply

      I am Interested in learning more about nurse health coaching. I’ve been a nurse for 13 years but have stayed home with our daughter for the last 3 years I’ve been working on my masters in nursing but just really feel a calling from a holistic approach. I’ve been researching my options regarding how to go about it but as I have learned when doing anything holistic you have to make your own niche. This sounds like something that I may have been looking for. Would you mind talking to me sometime about what you do, how you went about becoming certified and what career options are available. Did you go through the American Holistic Nurse Association for certification ? Sorry for the million in one questions.

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      ANGELA HITCHCOX December 7, 2017 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      I’m a registered nurse and have been since 1998. Certified Health Coach is on my list to start in January. I have had a passion for this for a long time. Wondering what program you used? I want to have an accredited program. Also, do you work as an independent or for a company?

      Thank you for your time and attention.. I look forward to hearing back from you.

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      Amber January 9, 2018 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      HI Jill! I’m interested in doing this my self! What program did you use to get certified!?

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      Crystal August 18, 2018 at 5:49 am - Reply

      Hi I would like to talk to you more about this field of nursing. Could you please email me

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      Wendy Davis August 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      I’m very interested! How can we get in contact?

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    Deb June 16, 2016 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Hi Jill; I need help regarding nurse health coaching. I started out as a critical care nurse, then self employed, then disabled long time. Getting better, and interested in nurse health coaching. Would you please advise me? Thank you

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    Abigail September 8, 2016 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Jill- do you have contact Info so I can reach out for guidance. This is my dream, I love health coaching. Please let me know.
    Thank you!

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      Jill Guercio-Niebling December 10, 2016 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      I’m so sorry that I haven’t reached out to those who responded to my health coach post. i never saw your requests. That being said I would love to talk to any nurse who is interested in health coaching !

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    Lynne February 15, 2017 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Is the market for RN healh coach thriving? I have a BSN, but do I need a master’s degree or is certification required? Twenty-seven years at the bedside and ready for a change!!

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      Laura Carr March 10, 2017 at 4:47 am - Reply

      I would like to know this also. I am an RN with a BS in Exercise and Sports Science. After 20 yrs of working in the clinic, I am ready to pursue my passion of wellness and health coaching. I’m not sure if I should get certified or do I need to get my masters in Wellness?
      Thank you! Laura

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    YVETTE March 18, 2017 at 2:08 am - Reply


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    Vicki Mitchell March 31, 2017 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    I too have interest in health coaching. I have been a Nurse all my life (40) years and have
    a vast and varied background. I would like to work as a health coach because I already do this every day. What is the best path to get certified, qualified or what ever you need to do to be considered real and employable. I like to idea of self employment, so what about marketing? I know this is a busy needed field because when I called my BCBS to schedule my required health coaching for my insurance, I could not even get the appointment for three weeks. What if I really needed info, should it not be more available. It seems that there is definitely a market but what is the best way to jump in.

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    Erica Wren May 25, 2017 at 6:36 pm - Reply


    I have two years ER experience as an RN and have my BSN. I also have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I would like to pursue a career in holistic nursing, more specifically nurse wellness coaching. There are many wellness programs/certifications advertised. I would more than appreciate any insight on credible programs and advice moving forward.

    Thank you!

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    Jackie L Cooper July 13, 2017 at 1:19 am - Reply

    I am an experienced RN (30 years with an acute trauma background) and want to toss in the towel regarding corporate and clinical nursing. Becoming a health/wellness coach sounds like something which I would definately like to persue as an independent contractor. What type of clients might I attract if I just put my name and number up on a community buletin board advertising this service? I understand that no special certification or advanced training is required. Do you know if medicaid or private insurance companies pay for the services of a wellness coach?

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    Megan July 21, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I am a RN with a BSN and have been working as a health coach for 2 years. I get to dress up, have my own office, a secretary…The company I work for insisted on the certification (which I recommend) because “anyone” can hang a shingle on their front door and claim to be a health coach.
    Consider this a niche arena-that you would be on the cutting edge of-at the current time. That said, I still work per diem to keep my clinical skills and am pursuing my ACNP as that position will always fill a need regardless of trends in healthcare.

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      Michelle Dudley July 28, 2017 at 11:35 pm - Reply

      I am very interested in pursuing certification. I have 20 years experience in nursing, a BSN and Masters in Health Education. What certification course do you recommend and how do I get started as an independent practitioner?
      Thanks in advance for your help.
      Michelle Dudley

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      Shell October 23, 2017 at 4:06 am - Reply

      What certification did you pursue? I noticed several different ones advertised. How did you go about finding a job in the field and what type of company do you work with now? what does a day in the life of Health coaching look like for you?
      Thank you for your response. I am so excited about this career option but I need more information. just beginning my seach.

      Thank you,

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      Lori Patrick November 15, 2017 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Megan. What certification or where did you take your Health coach training? I too, an RN with varied areas of experience in the past 18 years, am ready to take the training for health coach. Just not sure which one?
      Lori Patrick.

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    Jana November 30, 2017 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    I am very interested in health coaching!! sounds like my dream RN job! but I cannot find any jobs like that near me! any help at all is appreciated.

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    Cynthia Brown January 14, 2018 at 3:53 am - Reply

    Hello, i am an lpn, and several other registries in healthcare. I have been in nursing for over 20 yrs, and I have become very interested in wellness, one for myself, but i would like to become a wellness coach for others. What do i need to do before as far as qualifications to began. Thanks for your response. Cyndi..

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    Integrative Nurse Coach Academy June 9, 2021 at 1:05 pm - Reply

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