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How can an RN become a wellness coach or CRNA?

Monday August 18, 2014
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Dear Donna,

How can an RN become a wellness coach or CRNA, and what financial aid is available if you are an RN with a BSN degree already?

Inquisitive mind

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Inquisitive mind,

Becoming a wellness coach and becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist are two very different career paths so I will address each separately.

A CRNA is a type of advanced practice nurse requiring a background in critical care nursing and then additional years of education. You can learn more about the specialty and the role through the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (www.aana.com). I highly recommend that you do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with other CRNAs before considering this route. Find other CRNAs through the national office and local chapter and by asking around.

To finance your CRNA education should you decide to go that route, there is lots of scholarship money available for nurses including from AANA. Read “Master the scholarship game” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Scholarship-Game).

As a licensed RN, you are already a wellness coach. Don't let the title throw you. Wellness is our business just as much as sickness is. And you don't need to become certified in something you're already licensed in. Nurses work as wellness coaches for insurance companies, for corporate wellness companies and in their own practices just to name a few. Check with the American Holistic Nurses Association (www.ahna.org) to meet others working in this specialty. You’ll also find other wellness coaches through networking online and in person. But in the meantime don’t hesitate to apply for positions with that title or make direct contact with companies offering this position.

You are qualified for many other specialties, too, right where you stand now without taking any additional coursework. Nurses often underestimate what they have to offer in the workplace. We possess a vast amount of knowledge and skills that are valuable and marketable.

Consider attending an upcoming Career Alternatives for Nurses seminar to fully explore your options, identify transferable skills and find out what is and isn’t needed to transition to another specialty, especially before you start spending money on anything (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/career-alternatives-for-nurses-tickets-8773924043?ref=ebapi).

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.