What Is A Nurse Health Coach?

What Is A Nurse Health Coach?

If the desire for flexibility and autonomy is inspiring you to look outside of the hospital setting for new opportunities, becoming a nurse health coach might be a career worth exploring.

In the hospital setting, burnout in the nursing profession is at an all-time high.   As a result, some are looking for alternative ways to work for themselves.

Have you ever wanted complete control over your work schedule while also helping patients make healthier life choices?  If the answer is yes, read on.

After all, nurses have many transferable skills that can be used in alternative ways.  Read on to learn more about nurse health coaching, and don’t forget to watch the video at the end!

Nurse Entrepreneur Business Ideas

Would you like to be your own nurse boss?

What is a nurse health coach?

Nurse health coaches have the ability to actualize their patient’s healthcare goals outside of the hospital setting by helping them develop the healthiest version of themselves.  And by teaching patients how to take great care of themselves, the nurse health coach empowers them for the rest of their lives.

Nurse health coaches work with patients to provide guidance and resources to assist their patients in living a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.  In terms of nursing experience, nurse health coaches generally have many years of direct patient care in the hospital setting. They have the desire to have a more direct and positive health impact on their patient’s lives.

Many nurse health coaches are entrepreneurs who work in private practice, although some hospitals and doctors offices hire nurse health coaches as well.  According to some surveys, nurse coaches can earn similar or even more income than they do working in hospitals.

What does a nurse health coach do?

Here are a few ways nurse health coaches can help patients: 
  • Understand patients unique healthcare dynamics
  • Assessing and inspiring your patient to make life-long healthy food and exercise habits
  • Identifying client opportunities and issues for improved health
  • Helping patients set achievable goals to have optimal health
  • Encouraging and empowering patients to reach their goals

Also, nurse health coaches can decrease healthcare spending by:

  • Helping insurance companies reduce the cost of patient care and disease management, and
  • Giving patients the tools to improve their overall health and well-being by reducing the incidence of chronic illness and the cost of healthcare

Some nurse coaches work in private practice; some collaborate with other health professionals in a group practice, and others are employees. According to surveys, nurse coaches can earn similar or more income than they do working in hospitals.

Additional benefits:

Nurse health coaches generally have more independence in this role then they do in other nursing careers.  For many nurses, this makes a great alternative to bedside nursing where you are constantly working under the eye of administrators.

Plus, while nurse health coaches must work very hard to be successful, the profession offers flexibility with setting one’s schedule, work atmosphere, and patient clientele.

Additional recommended reading:

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8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became A Nurse

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became A Nurse

There are so many things I wish I knew before I became a nurse.

I remember when I first decided to go to nursing school.  I was 31-years-old and struggling with the idea that I had spent nine years working in a career that I didn’t like.

In my former career life, I was a medical device salesperson.  I had spent nearly a decade selling medical equipment to hospital operating rooms, traveling up and down the west coast, schmoozing with doctors and hospital purchasing managers so they would buy my stuff.

But even though my heart wasn’t passionate about my professional at the time, I was excited about working hard and performing well.  So, each year, I met my professional goals and advanced in the profession.  Which, in turn, also made it harder for me to leave.

But then one day, it hit me.  I wanted to be an actual medical professional.  I remember thinking how bored I was sitting on the sidelines as a device rep, watching procedures, and thinking, “this is SO lame, please shoot me!”

From Medical Device Salesperson To Registered Nurse

There are so many things I wish I knew before I became a nurse.

So (a few mental breakdowns later) I finally did it.

I signed up for the seven prerequisite science classes that I needed to take before I was even able to apply to nursing school (as a prior journalism major, I hadn’t taken very many science classes at that point).

I took my classes in the evenings after work.  And I started studying to take the TEAS.  It all took me about a year to complete, and in 2010 I started my journey to become a nurse.

The road has been arduous at times, but I am so glad I went to nursing school when I did.  Yet it would have been nice to have a little more insight into what I was getting myself into.  Here are eight things I wish I knew before becoming a nurse.

Eight things I wish I knew before becoming a nurse:

#1.  Nursing school is crazy hard (and expensive)

Not only will you have daily classes, labs, weekly exams, and intense competition from classmates, but you will also be working hospital shifts as a student nurse.  Many nursing programs also advise against outside work during the program because they warm that you won’t be able to keep up with the work.  And in California (like many other states), hospitals will no longer hire nurses who don’t have a BSN.   As a result, many nurses are graduating from nursing school with 50-100K or more in student loan debt.

#2.  You will probably have to work night shifts, at least in the beginning

Nurses are needed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Since many nurses don’t want all night until 7:30 am, seniority is often the deciding factor when it comes to assigning nurses to the day shifts.  Some hospital units even have a rule that new nurses must work night shifts for at least the first few years of being there.  You will want to invest in a great set of blackout shades, at least one pair of blue blocker sunglasses, and a box of earplugs (so the guy mowing his lawn at 11 am doesn’t wake you up).

#3.  Working three days a week as a nurse isn’t as easy as it sounds.

I remember thinking how awesome it would be only to have to work three days a week.  I mean, come on, it’s only three days!  But that also means that the days you do work are incredibly long.  Nursing shifts at the hospital are usually 12 hours long. But they are more like 14-16 hours once you factor in oncoming nurse reports, overtime due to short-staffing, and your commute to and from work.

#4.  You will be afraid that you might kill someone.

This one is a real fear because, for example, if a nurse makes a medication error or forgets to check vitals or a patient’s neuro status per order, then you accidentally could kill someone.  But as you grow more tenured in your career, you develop a sixth sense for things that might go wrong, and you figure out how to triple check your work in the most time-crunched circumstances.  And you learn how to assess your patients quickly enough that if there are any vital sign or neuro status changes, that you can get the help you need before things go downhill.

#5.  You will learn to balance more information then you have ever had to before

There is no such thing as multitasking because our brains can’t focus on more than one thing at the same time.  But nurses developed the uncanny ability to juggle multiple ongoing tasks for numerous patients for up to 12 hours a day – such as medical orders, patient requests, vital signs, medications, allergies to medicines, lab values, care plans, etc.   We forget to eat and pee all day, but we remember the essential medical information we need to know for our patients.  Being a nurse stretches your brain further than you ever thought it could go.

#6.  Nurse abuse happens

Nurse against nurses is very common.  Nurses tolerate levels of abuse that would NEVER be acceptable in any other professional setting.  I have been cussed at a few times, in just about every colorful way you could imagine, for just doing my job.

Even worse, violence against nurses is prevalent (especially emergency room nurses), and it usually isn’t even routinely tracked.  I have been lucky not to find myself the victim of direct physical violence as a nurse as of yet.  Many nurses have not been so not fortunate.

#7.  Your whole body will hurt at the end of your shifts

There is alarming evidence now that even proper lifting techniques expose nurses’ spines to dangerous forces.

If that’s not bad enough, chronic back pain in the nursing population is a common ailment. An evidenced-based review at the Texas Women’s University reported that estimates of chronic low back pain among nurses range from 50%-80%.

You may not be able to escape some of the wear and tear from being a nurse at the bedside.  However, you can pick up healthy habits outside of the hospital like yoga, running, or weightlifting to help recuperate on your days off.

#8.  You will find that there are multiple types of job opportunities away from the bedside

One thing that I Iove about being a nurse is that there are so many job opportunities away from the bedside. So even if you decide that beside nursing isn’t for you anymore, there are other nurse occupations to look into. Here are a few examples:

  • aesthetics nursing
  • legal nurse consultant
  • nurse blogger/freelance writer
  • medical/pharmaceutical sales professional
  • nurse coach
  • nurse recruiter

Additional recommended reading:



How To Get Your First Nursing Job: 6 Steps

How To Get Your First Nursing Job: 6 Steps

You did it!  You finally graduated from nursing school. 

Now it is time to put all of your clinical and critical thinking skills to work so you can start helping patients. But first, you need to land your first nursing job.  

Unfortunately, though, even when you have all of the skills needed to be a great nurse, finding your first RN position doesn’t always come easily.  This may come as a shock to many new nurse graduates, especially since the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics states job openings in healthcare are supposed to increase by 14% from 2018-2028

The good news is that once you get your feet wet as a novice nurse, subsequent nurse jobs won’t be as challenging to find because you will already have the experience on your resume.

In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to land your first nursing job successfully. Good luck!

Research the different types of nursing specialties

Pediatric nursing is one of the many specialties that nurses can go into.

Focus your job search in specialties that interest you.

Do you want to be involved in a fast-paced hospital setting? Or, would you prefer working with older individuals in a senior center? Perhaps you have your heart set on working in pediatrics or on a postpartum unit? 

Alternatively, you may want to consider working in the ICU, emergency room, operating room, or on a med-surg floor unit.  There are so many directions that your nursing career can take.  

Some specialties require that you have additional certifications.  For example, you must have your PALS, ACLS, and EKG training to work in most emergency rooms.  It may be worth your time to invest in getting them before you interview for the position.  Achieving certifications beforehand show that the interviewer that you are both qualified for and serious about getting the job.

Do an internship through your nursing program (and consider it an interview for a job!)

All of your clinical experiences in the hospital as a student nurse are potential job opportunities after you graduate.

One of the best places to get more information on how to gain experience is through your school or nursing program. Often, they’ll have internships with area hospitals or clinics, where you can get hands-on experience working around other nurses.

Some schools even have programs that allow their nursing students to work there during nursing school.  It can give you a leg up if an opening for a new graduate becomes available.  

Additional recommended reading:   Why I Quit My Corporate Sales Career To Become A Nurse

Find a nurse graduate program that is hiring

Apply to the nurse graduate or nurse residency programs in your area

If you’re fresh out of nursing school, you might find it frustrating when every job post you see suggests that they require experience. After all, how are you supposed to gain experience if no one will hire you?

Many hospitals have nurse graduate programs or nurse residency programs that will hire a handful of new nurses once or twice a year.  These programs are tailored to the novice nurse who needs training about and beyond what a more experienced nurse would need.  These programs are anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months and are an excellent way for new nurses to get better experience and training then they would otherwise.

Brush up on your interviewing skills

Brush up on your interview skills so and impress the employer with what you have to say!

You need to shine during your interviews. Having a successful series of interviews is key to getting your first nursing job.

The University of Southern California suggests that employers need to use more psychological tools in their hiring process. They focus on things like revealing strengths, encouraging self-awareness, and cognitive ability tests.  It is essential to have a clear understanding of what employers are looking for in the interview process so you can show your strengths and skills with more clarity.   

Most importantly, practice as many interview questions as you possibly can before your interviews.  There are many books online that are full of potential interview questions for nurses.  Grab a nursing school friend and interview each other.  Practice answering the questions out loud. 

Let everyone know you are looking for a nursing job

Put yourself out there and let everyone know you are looking for a new nursing job

Nowadays, it’s not always enough to apply for a job online or in-person and expect a phone call in return the next day. Over 165,000 people graduate from nursing school each year, and they are all trying to land their first job that same way you are. 

Sometimes, it’s not what you do but who you know. Reach out to family and friends for any job leads. Contact your nursing school or alumni association to see if they know of any positions to hospitals that are hiring. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there wherever and whenever you can to talk about potential leads for your career. You never know who might have the right connections that can help you to get your foot in the door. 

Write a professional thank you note the day of your interview and then follow up with them a week later

After you crush your interview, don’t forget to follow up.

You must write a thank you note to the people you interviewed with after the interview.  Thank them for taking the time to speak with you and write a sentence or two reminding them about why you are the right person for the job.

It may take them a while to get back to you. The hiring process at many institutions can take several weeks or even months.  Many institutions interview hundreds or thousands of nurses every year, and the process can take a lot of time. 

One thing you can do to be more proactive is to write a follow-up email about a week after your interview.  Be professional, tell your interviewer that you are still really excited about the position, and ask when you might receive any follow up about the next steps in the hiring process.

In conclusion

Take pride in your career choice, and understand that the job hunt is not going to be easy. But if you can successfully make it through nursing school, then you can do just about anything! No matter where you end up working, you will find a unique opportunity to help people who need your help.

The right nursing job for you is out there.  Stay motivated and keep working hard.  Good luck!

Additional recommended reading:

Top Skills Needed For Effective Nurse Managers

Top Skills Needed For Effective Nurse Managers

Effective nurse manager skills are the glue that keeps the nursing unit operating smoothly, effectively, and as professionally as possible. 

A good nurse manager must have strong communication skills, and know-how to assemble a well-balanced and positive team of staff.   Managing a team of nurses can be a challenge.  Strong leadership skills are crucial.

What does a nurse manager do?

Some of the tasks that nurse managers have on a day to day basis include hiring new nurses, handling nurse retention, managing a unit budget, making sure the unit complies with optimum nursing standards and practices, stepping up to help nurses with stressful situations, and even talking to families of patients when needed.

Nurse manager positions are an in-demand position,on and with good reason – they are compensated well. It’s an industry that’s expected to bloom in the coming years.   This is one reason why nurse managers can look for work all over the country.

How much do nurse managers make?

A nurse manager’s salary can vary depending on their demographic location as well as what specialty they work in The average nurse manager salary in the United States is $94,500 per year or $45.43 per hour.

There will be room for more nurse managers within the next few years.  Health and medical service manager jobs are expected to grow by 17% from 2014- 2024

If you would like to know more about the nurse manager skills needed to be effective in the workplace, then take a look at the infographic below.

Infographic Design By: Bradley University Bradley University

Additional recommended reading:

Here’s Why You Should Consider A Career In Nursing

Here’s Why You Should Consider A Career In Nursing

Nurses are in demand more than ever.   So if you’re looking to change careers, here’s why you should consider a career in nursing.

Right now, there are over 4 million nurses in the US. However, due to the current healthcare environment and the fact that people are living longer lifespans, more nurses are still needed. The number of nurse jobs are expected to explode in the next decade, with some statistics showing that over 400,000 new nurses will be needed by 2024!

The dynamic growth of the nursing profession

One of the reasons for the nursing care demand is that both the general population and the nurse population are aging.  Therefore, we need a lot of newer nurses to care for patients.  Nurse Educators and Nurse Administrators are two of the most in-demand careers at this time.

More information about nursing education and salaries

At the moment (as you can see in the below infographic),  the cost of getting a master’s degree in nursing can range from $20,000 to over $60,000 depending on the school and the field chosen.   However, many nurses are making a great living with the salaries they earn after graduation. 

According to the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, these are average nurse salaries in the US.

  • RNs $69,110
  • Nurse Educators $73,150
  • Nurse Administrators $94,500

For more information on the dynamic growth of the nursing profession, take a look at the infographic below.

Infographic Design By Norwich University

What Is A Nurse Technician? (& How It Helped Me)

What Is A Nurse Technician? (& How It Helped Me)

A nurse technician is another name for a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) or a nurse’s aide.  Nurse technicians are healthcare professionals who provide hands-on healthcare to patients in medical settings under the supervision of a registered nurse.  Some of the activities that nurse technicians help patients with include bathing, dressing, and any other necessary activities of daily living.

According to the Serous Of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for nurse technicians was $28,540, or $13.72 an hour in May 2018.


Educational requirements to become a nurse tech include training programs, passing examinations, and receiving criminal background clearance. Individuals can get certified as young as age 16.

When becoming a nurse technician, individuals are required to have obtained a high school diploma or GED, plus nursing assistant training. You can find nurse technician programs these programs at community colleges, trade schools, and some medical facilities.  (Some university hospitals will even allow nursing students to work as nurse technicians as long as they have completed a specific portion of their nursing program).

Upon successful completion of nurse technician training, individuals will subsequently be required to pass a Certified Nursing Assistant certification examination.   There is a written exam, which usually consists of multiple-choice questions as well as a clinical review, which requires the student to complete clinical skills to demonstrate their competencies.

What is a nurse tech?

Additional recommended reading:  How To Get Your First Nurse Job (6 Steps)

Job duties of a nurse technician:

Roles and responsibilities can include the following:

  • Bathing patients
  • Turning or repositioning patients
  • Preparing rooms for admissions
  • Cleaning rooms and changing bed sheets
  • Taking patients’ vital signs
  • Following up when a patient uses the call button
  • Stocking supplies
  • Feeding patients, measuring and charting food and liquid intake
  • Combing hair, shaving, caring for nails, and brushing teeth

How being a nurse technician as a nursing student can help kickstart a nursing career:

Becoming a nurse technician or CNA can be very beneficial to nursing students who want to gain knowledge from other experienced nurses in the hospital setting.  You’ll get the chance to work alongside nurses in a variety of healthcare settings and learn invaluable experiences along the way.

I became a nurse technician while I was in nursing school, and it gave me an edge in many ways, such as:

  • I was able to earn a little extra money while I was going to school.  BSN programs are becoming more expensive every year, and working as a nurse technician offered me a way to help pay down my student loans before graduation.
  • Working with experienced RN’s gave me hands-on experience that helped me earn higher grades, especially in my skills training.
  • I confirmed my passion for nursing and the healthcare profession.  Helping people with primary care and completing everyday activities of daily living gave me a sense of pride that what I was doing was important work.
  • Most importantly, being a nurse technician helped me get my first post-nursing-school job as a neuroscience and stroke RN at a major teaching institution in Los Angeles.  The experience served as an on-the-job interview for me, and I was able to secure an RN position at the same hospital that I worked as a nurse tech.

Additional recommended reading: