Title: The future of nursing-impact on humanity’s health and wellbeing
More than 117 million Americans live with at least one chronic disease (CDC, 2016). Besides poor health habits, US healthcare systems lack effective ways to address the root causes of disease or to provide care that truly promotes health, wellbeing, and a high level of quality care. Currently, Canada is in an economic crisis, and health promotion and cost-effective behavioral change strategies are needed. There is an urgent need to develop initiatives to help shift the focus of healthcare by empowering individuals to take control of their own health and wellbeing.
Major causes identified are as follows:
- Lack of continuity and coordination of care (Jowsey et al., 2016).
- Lack of engagement and disempowered healthcare consumers have been a reported issue for many years (Petri, Atanasova, & Kamin, 2018; WHO 2009).
The growing emphasis on health promotion is essential in an age of healthcare reform. One of the future drivers for change is nurse coaching. The purpose of coaching is to empower and facilitate people in reaching their goals in order to improve the patients’ health and wellbeing. With the growing aging population, mental health crisis and the increase in non-communicable disease, these challenges require a more holistic and person-centered approach that is reflect in the philosophy and practice of nursing. The WHO High Level Commission on Non Communicable Disease stated, “Within a multidisciplinary health workforce, nurses have especially crucial roles to play in health promotion and health literacy and in the prevention and management of NCDs…nurses are uniquely placed to act as effective practitioners, health coaches, spokespersons and knowledge suppliers for patient and families throughout the life course.“ (Mechcatie, 2009).
Indeed, there is a growing body of literature that documents a connection between happiness and health and the use of meditation and energy work to heal and tune up, as well as other integrative approaches to health promotion. Nursing is the profession that plays an integral role in providing health promotion services, but we often fail to teach integrative approaches in nursing education and in healthcare organization. This must change.
Nurse coach is a registered nurse who integrates coaching competencies into any setting to facilitate a process of change or development that assists individuals or groups to realize their potential. The process of change evolves from within before it can be manifested and maintained externally. It is time to recognize that changing health behaviors is difficult and requires a long-term commitment and coaching. It is important to help nurses to fully actualize this potential role for the future health and wellbeing of humanity.