Healing the Healer: The Benefits of Nurse Coaching for Nurses and Healthcare Facilities

In a 2021 survey, nurses reported high-stress levels: 81% reported feeling exhausted, 71% reported feeling overwhelmed, and 65% reported being anxious or unable to relax. Unfortunately, these emotions are familiar to most nurses at some point in their careers.

As the healthcare industry rapidly evolves, it confronts new challenges and opportunities daily. One pressing area of focus is nurse coaching, an innovative approach designed to support and empower nurses in their personal growth and professional development. Nurse coaches, operate in various settings, work with diverse clients, not just nurses, to help them achieve lasting change and become their best selves. This article delves into the urgent need for nurse coaching in modern healthcare, exploring its benefits for individual nurses and healthcare facilities.

What is Nurse Coaching?

Nurse coaching is a proactive, holistic, theory-based approach that fosters a supportive partnership between coaches and nurses to enhance personal well-being and career satisfaction. This method utilizes the nursing process centered on the client’s current and future goals. Additionally, it can explore the past to identify and address unhealthy patterns that may hinder progress and change.

With their unique and valuable attributes, nurse coaches are exceptionally well-suited to work with their colleagues. Their deep understanding of the clinical environment allows them to relate to their peers’ daily challenges and complexities. This intimate knowledge of clinical settings is complemented by their clinical insight and extensive experience, enabling them to provide relevant and practical guidance.

The holistic approach of nurse coaches addresses physical, emotional, and mental health, ensuring that nurses prioritize their well-being and deliver top-quality patient care. This dual focus on nurse and patient well-being is a testament to the far-reaching benefits of nurse coaching.

Nurse coaches have developed specialized coaching skills. Their coaching expertise allows them to facilitate meaningful conversations, set achievable goals, and develop strategies for overcoming obstacles.

Furthermore, nurse coaches are passionate advocates for nurses and the well-being of the patients they care for. Their advocacy is rooted in a profound commitment to improving healthcare outcomes and ensuring that nurses receive the support they need to thrive in their roles.

Benefits for Individual Nurses

Nursing is a high-stress profession with extended hours and emotionally demanding situations.

Nurse coaches provide:

● A safe, confidential space for nurses to be seen and heard.

● Tools and strategies to create a balanced life.

● Help in building resilience and avoiding burnout.

● Promote self-care.

● Personalized guidance and mentorship for career growth.

● Assist in setting boundaries.

● Emotional Support.

● Enhance communication and conflict resolution skills.

Common areas explored, but are not limited to, during coaching sessions include:

● Time management

● Restorative sleep

● Effective communication

● Setting boundaries

● Healthy nutrition

● Purposeful movement

● Stress management

● Social connections/activities

Coaching helps nurses reconnect with their passion for healthcare and create a healthier lifestyle, fostering a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their roles within and outside the workplace.

Benefits for Healthcare Facilities

High turnover rates and burnout among nursing staff are significant concerns for healthcare facilities. Nurse burnout is associated with worsening safety and quality of care, decrease patient satisfaction, and reduced organizational commitment and productivity. Nurse coaching addresses these issues by getting to the root cause and providing nurses with techniques, resources, and support to manage stress effectively and build resilience. One study found that “the average cost of turnover for a bedside RN is $56,300. Each percent change in RN turnover will cost/save the average hospital an additional $262,500/yr”. When nurses feel valued and supported, they are more likely to remain with their current employers.

Nurse coaches are uniquely equipped to lead or participate in wellness teams supporting the largest employee population’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. They can lead stress reduction, mindfulness, and resilience-building workshops, helping employees manage stress and improve their mental health. Additionally, they can identify early signs of mental health issues and provide appropriate referrals to mental health professionals.

Nurse coaches are not just wellness leaders; they are advocates for policies and practices that promote health, such as flexible work schedules, healthy food options, and on-site fitness facilities. Their expertise ensures that wellness programs align strategically with the organization’s goals and culture. This advocacy role fosters a sense of security and trust in the healthcare facility administrators and policymakers, knowing that the well-being of their staff and patients is being championed.

The Need for Change

We do not need research to understand the challenges in our profession. Still, research substantiates what we witness daily within the healthcare system and underscores the need for change to retain and support nurses.

The nurses I have personally coached often come to me feeling  stressed, lacking a healthy work-life balance, and unsure if they want to continue working as nurses. However, after working with me, they find they enjoy their jobs again because they receive the much-needed support in a safe, confidential environment. This relief from their burdens is a testament to the power of nurse coaching.

Ultimately, every healthcare facility aims to provide patients with the best care possible. Investing in nurse coaching ensures that the nursing staff is not only highly skilled and motivated but also capable of delivering exceptional care. This commitment to nurse coaching instills confidence in healthcare professionals and administrators, who know they are providing the best possible care to their patients.

Tana Steiner BSN, RN, NC-BC

Holistic Nurse Coach


1. https://www.nursingworld.org/news/news-releases/2021/american-nurses-foundation-releases-comprehensive-survey-about-nurses/

2. Impact of stress and burnout on nursing

3. https://www.nsinursingsolutions.com/Documents/Library/NSI_National_Health_Care_Retention_Report.pdf

4. Nurse coaching and wellness