Sometimes, when I tell people that I'm a coach who coaches nurses, they ask me why nurses need coaching in the first place. I tell them that nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry, and that healthy, happy nurses are the key to successful outcomes and happy patients! Nurses are key to the delivery of care, so it serves to maintain a healthy nursing workforce that can withstand the stress of nursing and the demands of the profession.
Coaching nurses is my joy, and offering nurses important and effective tools for burnout prevention, burnout recovery, self-care and career satisfaction is my way of contributing to the future health of the nursing profession in particular--and the healthcare industry as a whole.
As the so-called "Silver Tsunami" of retiring and aging Baby Boomers continues to expand and crash upon the shores of our healthcare system, someone has to keep their pulse on the wellness of our healthcare workforce to make sure we're up to the task of serving an aging population in need of care. On a certain level, coaches are able to do that, and so much more.
The adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs), new social media tools for educating laypeople, and the continuing development of appropriate healthcare technologies are very important. However, if we make the mistake of ignoring the human side of healthcare--both patients and workers--our system is doomed to failure and dysfunction.
From horizontal violence to workplace stress and compassion fatigue, nurses face a plethora of challenges as they navigate their careers. Meanwhile, the nursing workforce itself is aging as seasoned nurses choose to temporarily delay retirement due to the weak economy as new nurses search desperately for jobs that seem harder and harder to find.
I predict that, as healthcare reform kicks into gear in 2014 and the economy recovers, the job market for nurses will rebound and our profession will enter a new "golden age" of nursing like nothing we've ever seen before. But with that growth will come more challenges, including the usual and understandable stressors that make nursing so demanding, no matter the economic climate.
Coaching nurses is what I love to do. I offer nurses the opportunity to explore what they love about their work, what serves them well, and what does not serve them and simply needs to change.
Whether it's self care, burnout prevention, or new ways to invigorate a nursing career, coaching can be a means to a healthy, vibrant and satisfying professional life.
Nursing is not going away, and neither are the challenges of our profession. And as healthcare becomes more and more complex, nurses need somewhere to turn for extra support amidst the changes and challenges.
Coaching is one tool in a vast and important toolbox of self care and self-actualization for nurses, and I am happy to offer my services to those who want to benefit from the insights and strength that coaching can deliver.