Burnout has long been a pervasive problem among nurses. Even before COVID-19, exhaustion and feelings of being unable to face the demands of the job have plagued nurses in all sectors of the American healthcare system. The pandemic took burnout syndrome to the next level and has left countless nurses struggling to keep their heads above water.
If you are one of the countless nurses who is suffering from severe burnout, it may be time to think about shifting your career. That does not mean that you need to hang up your modern scrubs in favor of a different uniform, though.
As someone who has a passion for helping people but is tired of 12-hour shifts and the strain of working in a high-pressure environment, becoming a nurse coach could be a great option. Nurse coaching gives you a greater degree of freedom while still helping patients take control of their well-being and live healthy lives. Keep reading to learn more and discover a few reasons to become a nurse coach.
What Is a Nurse Coach?
According to the American Holistic Nurses Association, a nurse coach is someone who works directly with individuals and their families to help them meet their health goals. They provide information and tools to help people make healthy choices, and they provide motivation as they work toward optimal wellness.
As a nurse coach, it would be up to you to access and educate patients and work with them to facilitate healing. Nurse coaching is a rewarding career path that offers numerous benefits.
1. Making a Difference in the Healthcare System
Nurses in most traditional healthcare settings have to single-handedly care for several patients simultaneously. Nurse coaches, on the other hand, work one-on-one with each patient. This means that if you decide to enter the field of nurse coaching, you’ll be able to build genuine relations and connections with your patients.
You’ll get to know the people you care for on a deep, personal level and have the opportunity to help them find solutions for improving their health that fit their lifestyle. In doing so, you’ll be making a difference in your patients’ lives and improving the healthcare system.
2. Ability to Work on Your Own Terms
Nurse coaching offers a greater degree of freedom and flexibility than most other nursing jobs. You could even have your own practice and be your own boss. You will get to decide how you interact with clients and intuitively create individualized healing environments for the individuals in your care. Since you can set your own hours and choose which days you would like to work, being a nurse coach is a great option for parents, too.
3. Freedom to Offer Alternative Treatments
Modern western medicine has saved millions of lives. That does not mean, though, that its principles are the only effective ways of treating patients. There are many other systems of care and alternative treatments that can improve health and wellness, too. But when you work in a traditional healthcare setting, things like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), reiki, and herbal medicine are often off-limits.
As a nurse coach, you have the freedom to incorporate alternative treatments into your practice. For the growing number of patients who are interested in holistic medicine, this means having access to the treatments and therapies in which they are interested and receiving them under the guidance of a skilled nurse. And, for you, it means being able to help people using your entire skill set and breadth of knowledge.
5. Plentiful Job Opportunities
Though nurse coaching has been around for more than 30 years, healthcare providers have only recently started recognizing the benefits of one-on-one coaching for patients. Studies show that patients typically have better outcomes when they are actively participating in healthcare decisions and their voices are being heard, and this makes nurse coaches extremely important.
With patient-centered care becoming a greater priority, the demand for nurse coaches is high. Whether you choose to work with an established healthcare provider or start your own practice, you will have no trouble finding work as a nurse coach. You could even work as an independent contractor and enjoy the freedom of being your own boss without the costs and challenges of starting your own business.
6. Rediscovering the Joy of Nursing
You probably decided to become a nurse because you’re passionate about helping others. Somewhere between the countless hours stuck staring at computer screens, pushing prescription medications, and watching patient after patient fail to meet their healthcare goals, though, you’ve probably lost some of that passion.
As a nurse coach, you’ll escape from the bureaucracy of the healthcare industry and rediscover the joy of nursing. You’ll get to make a real difference in patients’ lives and help them overcome their feelings of disempowerment. By giving them the tools to help them take charge of their lives, you will help them reach optimal health and wellness. Knowing that you are playing such an integral role in people’s lives is incredibly rewarding and will certainly reignite your passion for nursing.
7. Opportunity to Beat Burnout
For many nurses who have transitioned from bedside care to coaching, the ability to beat burnout once and for all is one of the biggest benefits. As a nurse coach, you can put the days of spending 12 to 16 hours on your feet behind you. Nurse coaches are also taught to prioritize self-care in their daily practice. You’ll learn to hold space for yourself and your patients, and you will have the freedom to celebrate your greatest joys and honor your deepest losses. Respecting your humanness is encouraged in nurse coaching, and it’s an excellent way of avoiding burnout.
As someone whose work uniforms include scrub jackets for women and nursing shoes, you know a thing or two about putting other peoples’ needs above your own. When you transition from bedside care to nurse coaching, though, you can maintain your status of being a caregiver without needing to sacrifice so much of yourself. If you think nurse coaching could be right for you, now is an excellent time to learn more and embark on your new career path.