What a nurse coach does and how to become one

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In Georgia, there are about 100 geriatricians, according to the American Geriatrics Society.The Alzheimer’s Association predicts there will need to be nearly 400 more by 2050 to meet the demand of the state’s aging population.Geriatricians must figure out what’s part of normal aging, what problems could be related to disease and what might be a drug interaction.By 2040, about 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older, up from 1 in 8 in 2000, according to the Urban Institute.Nationally, 30,000 geriatricians will be needed by 2030 to care for about 21 million older Americans, according to the latest figures by the American Geriatric Society

Get in on the ground floor of this growing practice

Have you ever wondered if a patient followed your instructions? Or how they were doing after leaving the hospital? If you’ve often wanted to be more involved with a patient’s recovery, you might want to consider becoming a nurse coach.

Professional nurse coaching, according to an article in the journal National Center for Biotechnology Information, is a “skilled, purposeful, results-oriented, and structured relationship-centered interaction with clients provided by registered nurses for the purpose of promoting achievement of client goals, first establishing a co-creative partnership with the client where the client is the expert and then by identifying the client’s priorities and areas for change to accomplish achievement of client goals. Goals originate from clarifying and identifying the client’s agenda.”

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Basically, nurse coaches work with clients to provide support and resources that help the patient reach their goals.

The American Holistic Nurses Association states the nurse coaching process involves six simultaneously occurring steps:

  1. Establish the relationship and assess client’s readiness for change
  2. Identify client opportunities and issues
  3. Assist client in establishing goals
  4. Structure the coaching interaction
  5. Empower clients to reach their goals
  6. Assist clients in determining the extent to which their goals were achieved

According to Nurse.org, the American Holistic Nursing Credentialing Corp. offers two certifications for nurse coaching: nurse coach board certified (NC-BC), and health and wellness nurse coach board certified (HWNC-BC).

Nurse coach and holistic nurse certifications are required to apply and qualify for the HWNC-BC credential.

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Sitting for the certification exam requires approval by the AHNCC and, among other criteria, a minimum of 60 continuing nurse education credits over the past three years (relevant to nurse coach core values and nurse coach competencies); a grade of C or better in all academic classes; and being mentored and/or supervised by a certified nurse coach supervisor for 60 hours and having a validation letter from a certified nurse coach.

Although nurse coaching recently got its own current procedural terminology category code, issued by the American Medical Association. Its Category III code is a temporary code, however, which means it’s not yet reimbursable by insurance.

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