“No amount of medical knowledge will lessen the accountability for nurses to do what nurses do; that is, manage the environment to promote positive life processes” – Florence Nightingale, 1860
As Integrative Nurse Coaches, we recognize the current crisis in healthcare and we view these challenges as opportunities for nurses to take action as informed, inspired, and effective leaders within an emerging healthcare model that focuses on prevention and wellness promotion. Integrative Nurse Coaches offer new skills and expand the nurse role toward achieving these important goals for the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.
“Integrative Nurse Coaches speak both the language of medicine and of healing”
We see Integrative Nurse Coaching as a vehicle for moving our vision of an integrative health care paradigm forward.
Research shows that the therapeutic presence and interaction between a nurse and patient can be a healing moment, providing comfort, support, and lowering the stress response. An Integrative Nurse Coach promotes wellness and resiliency by guiding clients/patients to deepen connection to their inner healing resources and their capacity to make meaningful choices and to help establish goals and strategies for healthier lifestyle behaviors.
Today, there are approximately 3.1 million nurses in the U.S. and over 17 million globally working in all sectors of healthcare. With years of experience, skills, and knowledge, nurses are seeking new directions and meaningful employment options. Many nurses are leaving the current medical model disenchanted with the modern technological focus, and seek to reconnect to their roots in the healing arts and carative tradition. Integrative Nurse Coaches are finding this new work role can be integrated into diverse health care settings to provide skilled preventive health strategies, healing modalities, and substantive coaching skills in a person-centered model.
Our Integrative Nurse Coach Programs offer exciting and creative career opportunities and inspire new meaning and purpose in our personal and professional lives. Our vision is to position nurses to be in the forefront of a new paradigm that includes health and wellness promotion through a coaching model. As Integrative Nurse Coach leaders and educators, we recognize the economic, nutritional, environmental, social, and cultural challenges impacting individuals, families, and the communities we serve.
Florence Nightingale’s Vision
In the future, which I shall not see, for I am old, may a better way be opened! May the methods by which every infant, every human being will have the best chance at health — the methods by which every sick person will have the best chance at recovery, be learned and practiced. Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization, never intended, at all events, to take in the whole sick population…
May we hope that, when we are all dead and gone, leaders will arise who have been personally experienced in the hard, practical work, the difficulties, and the joys of organizing nursing reforms, and who will lead far beyond anything we have done! May we hope that every nurse will be an atom in the hierarchy of ministers of the Highest! But she [or he] must be in her [or his] place in the hierarchy, not alone, not an atom in the indistinguishable mass of thousands of nurses. High hopes, which shall not be deceived!”
— Florence Nightingale, 1893
History is one of the most important aspects of any profession. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the philosophical founder of modern nursing, was a mystic, visionary, healer, scientist, practitioner, politician, environmentalist, and reformer. Her achievements are astounding when considered against the backdrop of the Victorian era. Her contributions to nursing theory, research, statistics, public health, and healthcare reform even today are foundational and inspirational. As a bold and brave risk-taker, Nightingale had vision, dedication, and commitment.
Nightingale’s vision empowers our Nurse Coach mission. At the forefront, nurses are now engaged as change agents to improve the health of the nation, to focus on increasing the ‘health span’ of individuals rather than focusing on ‘life span.’ In the 1880s, Nightingale began to write that it would take 100–150 years before educated and experienced nurses would arrive to change the healthcare system.
We are that generation of 21st century Nightingales, who have arrived to transform healthcare and carry forth her vision of social action and sacred activism, to create a healthy world. She is a model for us in accomplishing our own work in today’s world.
For more information on Florence Nightingale:
- Biography: Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer
- Why Florence Nightingale?
- Nightingale Prayer
- Nightingale Moment — Annual Collective Remembrance
- Hear the historical recording conducted by Thomas Edison’s assistant in London, Col. George Gouraud, at Nightingale’s home on 30 July, 1890. Listen on YouTube.
- Download NIGH’s Why Nightingale? PowerPoint. Permission to use with full attribution to NIGH, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.