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The Nurse Health Coach Conference

  • : Sydney NSW 2000

A raft of lifelong conditions require energy-intense efforts from both individuals and nurses for long-term wellness to be sustained. Traditional biomedical models tend to focus on advice giving and often fail to address the complex set of psychological factors that affect behaviour change. Attend this conference to discover how health coaching principles can support you, to enable people with chronic diseases to move from a point of illness to a state of wellness. Topics include:

  • An exploration of nurse health coaching
  • Converting goals and intentions into behaviour
  • Tips for dealing with setbacks and negativity
  • Why boundaries are essential AND how to make them stick
  • Practical strategies to overcome barriers to behaviour change
  • How to develop self-awareness around your own wellbeing and much, much more…

Book your place now and find out why your colleagues are saying this is “the best conference they’ve ever attended…”

Schedule Day One



Welcome and Introduction to Conference


Jo Gibbs

The Nurse as a Healer

While not used in the everyday language of a nurse, the term “nurse healer” is common in holistic nursing and health coaching. In fact, nurses who describe themselves as healers often tap into deep sources of resilience, strength, and purpose. Understanding what it means to be a healer and practicing self-care provides the foundation we require to compassionately care for others. This introductory session will look at how surviving and thriving in the energy intense profession of nursing relies on us looking after ourselves first. It includes:

  • What does it mean to be a “nurse healer”?
  • How can engaging in regular self-care activities help to position us as healers?
  • How can we develop self-awareness around our own wellbeing?
  • When may a nurse require personal health coaching?


Jo Gibbs

“I’m Here, I’m Available” – Mindfully Overcoming Obstacles

The ability to be available and free of distractions is what enables us to communicate and practice with compassionate intention. Every opportunity that we are with a patient is an opportunity to connect. Yet, this is only the case if we are actually present in the situation. Why is the practice of mindfulness beneficial to our patients but also ourselves? This session demonstrates how mindfulness can assist us to heal and restore health, even when time is at a premium. It includes a look at how mindfulness can:

  • Reduce stress when we are feeling fatigued
  • Bring us back to the present when we are feeling busy and overwhelmed
  • Remind us why we are here, our purpose, and what we value
  • Enable us to reconnect with our patients and profession again
  • Care and coach with compassion …



Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

The Nurse Health Coach

While coaching, sometimes known as supervision, is not new, health coaching is a relatively modern concept. There’s a natural fit between patients who want to improve their health and nurses who draw on their clinical expertise and ability to connect and communicate meaningfully with patients to help patients achieve their goals. Health coaching calls on core skills inherent in nursing and is very much aligned with a person-centred, holistic approach to care. This session introduces:

  • What is health coaching?
  • Why don’t nurse health coaches give advice (and aren’t counsellors!)?
  • How is mind-body-spirit at the heart of coaching?
  • How is health coaching rooted in the theory of human caring and core nursing values?
  • How can patients benefit from health coaching from a nurse?
  • Why is there a natural fit between coaching and chronic disease self-management?


Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Motivation – How to Make Magic Happen!

Motivation is a core driver of human behaviour. While it is crucial in triggering a person to move from a point of illness to a point of wellness, it’s not easy to switch on and is difficult to sustain. This key session considers two critical influences on one’s intention to change behaviour – motivation and self-efficacy. Importantly, it will reveal what this means for the alliance you are developing with a person and their quest to sustain behaviour change. It includes:

  • What influences motivation?
  • Is it possible to discover what drives a person?
  • What makes a person want to change their behaviour?
  • Patience is a virtue – how can you assess readiness (or lack thereof)?
  • Where does goal setting fit in?
  • Guiding and supporting change – how do you actually make it happen?



Ruth Oliver

Unconscious Bias – We’re All Guilty

We all have different life stories and different frames of reference on the world. As a nurse, recognising unconscious bias towards patients can influence the way health care is provided. This subtle and often unexplored part of ourselves can have enormous impact on how effectively we do our work. This session will help you understand:

  • What is unconscious bias?
  • What is the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace?
  • How do we recognise the degree of our unconscious bias?
  • How do we reduce your level of unconscious bias?



Ruth Oliver

Communicating with Compassion – The Heart of Health Coaching

At the core of the nursing identity is compassionate intention. We intend to communicate with genuine care, respect and empathy for others. Despite the best intentions time pressure and fragmented, task oriented, protocol driven care can often mean we lose sight of these core intentions. This session will give you practical skills and techniques that will enable you to proactively take care of your own well-being so that your capacity for compassion, empathy and respect for those in your care is at its fullest. This session considers:

  • Are you born with empathy and are there ways to develop it?
  • What is empathy and why is it often a better tool than sympathy?
  • How stress reduces our capacity to empathise
  • How can we boost our empathy to improve patient and nurse satisfaction and well-being?


Day Two



Welcome and Review


Geoff Ahern

What’s Happened to You? A Trauma-Informed Approach to Chronic Illness

At the core of many people’s struggle with chronic ill-health is trauma. This does not prevent good health from being achieved, but it needs to be understood if we, as nurse health coaches, are going to support a person to move from a point of illness to a point of wellness. This session promises to challenge the way you approach people with a chronic illness. It includes:

  • How do adverse childhood events increase the risk of long-term health complications?
  • Why is chronic stress linked to trauma?
  • What is a trauma-informed approach to care?
  • How can we incorporate a trauma-informed approach to the care of people with a chronic disease?


Geoff Ahern

The Art of Active Listening

Perhaps the greatest myth of communication is that speaking is more important than listening. Active listening is a core component of any communication with a patient, family member, colleague, or friend. Asking, rather than telling, is a vital aspect of coaching. Reflective listening can guide a person to reaching the outcome that they may be seeking. Like any other skill, active listening can be learnt. It includes tips for avoiding common barriers to active listening. Discover:

  • What makes active listening so powerful?
  • Why is it fundamental to the coaching process?
  • Why does active listening ooze: “I’m here, I’m available”?
  • How can you convey empathy while you’re listening?



Geoff Ahern

Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries! Nurse Health Coaches are Not Counsellors!

Boundaries are the invisible lines we must not cross. Poorly defined boundaries can sabotage your personal and professional wellbeing. In order for you to successfully apply health coaching principles to your nursing role, it is essential that healthy boundaries are established and maintained. Let’s consider how boundaries can help:

  • Avoid the tendency to “rescue” others
  • Ensure we provide guidance that’s within our scope of practice
  • Prevent us from taking on the worries of others
  • Stop work from creeping into our personal lives
  • Help families and carers
  • Create a safe environment for change


Leanne Boase

The Care in Care Plans

Chronic disease and mental health care plans provide an essential framework for clinicians involved in a person’s care. When a multidisciplinary approach is required, planning an integrated approach to treatment is clearly valuable. This session looks at the use of care plans and discusses their relative merits. It includes:

  • Care plans – are they effective?
  • How actively are patients involved in determining their treatment pathway?
  • Is there a way to prevent documentation interrupting an assessment?
  • How can we apply health coaching principles to promote patient participation in a care plan?



Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Rethinking Expectations, Frustration, and Setbacks

Do you feel like you’ve had to say the same thing over and over again? It can be frustrating if someone you are supporting fails to make changes. If we are to prevent feelings of compassion fatigue when working with people who have a chronic condition, it is essential we reframe our approach to expectations, frustration, and setbacks. This session highlights why you need to dig deeper and go to the root cause of the (perceived) inaction. It includes:

  • How does adaptation to a chronic illness occur?
  • What does recovery look like and why does this matter?
  • What do coping strategies sometimes look like?
  • How do defence mechanisms manifest?
  • Is escape, avoidance, and denial sometimes useful?
  • How can a trauma-Informed approach assist with setbacks?



Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Coaching to Overcome Barriers to Change

Think back on a change you have had to make to your own lifestyle, how challenging was it? We can appreciate how difficult it is for our patients to make significant changes to their health by recalling similar challenges for ourselves. There are common barriers that prevent anyone from changing behaviour. Understanding how these barriers can be overcome greatly assists nurse health coaches to guide and support transformation in others. This practical workshop will discuss:

  • Why people resist change
  • The most common barriers to change
  • Practical solutions to overcoming common barriers such as:
    • Time
    • Resources
    • Other people
    • Confidence
    • Fear


The Goal Need for Program

The total wellbeing of a patient can easily be forgotten in the urgency of functional care and technological practices. However, the importance of caring for the whole person cannot be underestimated in today’s fast and demanding health setting. The healing value of holism takes into account the mind-body-spirit within the context in which a person lives. Incorporating health coaching principles into modern health care enables nurses to support people with chronic diseases to move from a point of illness to state of wellness. As well, there is evidence that holistic care and health coaching have positive health and job satisfaction benefits for nurses. This event is timely to avert the rising rates of chronic disease and nurse burnout.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this program is to provide nurses with the insights and the practical applications of holistic health coaching principles, so as to support people with chronic diseases to move from a point of illness to a state of wellness.

Your learning outcomes:

Improve the nurse-patient alliance to enhance patient’s satisfaction with care and adherence to care plans

Apply holistic health coaching principles to enable people with chronic illnesses to be supported through change

Enhance personal health and wellbeing of the nurse to assist in the healing process of others

Encourage professional growth of the nurse through self-reflection


Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson is a Registered Nurse and has been a Credentialled Diabetes Educator since 2000. She has a demonstrated commitment ... Read More

Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician and educator who splits his time between working with people in a ... Read More

Leanne Boase

Leanne Boase

Leanne Boase is a Nurse Practitioner with a background in critical care and paediatrics. She currently practices across four GP ...Read More

Jo Gibbs

Jo Gibbs

Jo Gibbs has a lifelong career in healthcare. She is a hospital and university trained registered nurse with a background ... Read More

Ruth Oliver

Ruth Oliver

Because of the diverse training that Ruth Oliver has undertaken and the paths she has chosen in her life, she ... Read More


The Nurse Health Coach Conference
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11 Hours | 0 Mins
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11 Hours | 0 Mins
Sydney NSW 2000
Melbourne Oaks On Collins , 480 Collins St
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