Id 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 masters degree or is certification required? I am desperate to do something different than the work I do.
Dear Donna replies:
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, youll 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 doesnt mean it is required to practice. Contact both the American Holistic Nurses Association (www.ahna.org) and the International Coach Federation (www.coachfederation.org) 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 (www.nnba.net) if youre interested in self-employment.