Accredited AHNA programs Partner for Pilot Studies


American Holistic Nurses Association & Bark Coaching Institute & NIWH

AHNA Endorsed Programs Collaborate to Provide Whole Health Education® with Health Coaching Competencies

Dedicated to continuing education in nursing, the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) endorses certificate programs that offer holistic education to nurses. Certificate programs are only endorsed by AHNA after a rigorous peer-review process and approval of the AHNA Leadership Council. These programs offer content based on a well-developed body of knowledge consistent with the philosophy, mission, and purpose of AHNA and the AHNA Scope and Standards of Holistic Nursing Practice.

Two long standing AHNA endorsed programs, Bark Coaching Institute, formerly AsOne Coaching, and the National Institute of Whole Health (NIWH), are working together to provide a comprehensive program which includes both whole health patient education and health coaching competencies for nurses. Nurse health coaches are becoming an important component in addressing the urgent need for reducing chronic conditions, heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and stroke. An innate part of nursing skills and knowledge is providing patient education and behavioral change facilitation.

As the definitive voice for holistic nursing, AHNA recognizes the importance of nurse health coaches and the role they play in providing whole health, person-centered care. “We are happy to see our endorsed programs working together,” says Jeanne Crawford, AHNA Executive Director, “This type of collaboration has potential to open new doors for multidisciplinary education within the nursing profession.”

What Whole Health Education with combined Health Coaching Competencies program adds to the nurse’s tool box is two fold. The Whole Health Education component provides an evidence-based, demystified body of health knowledge and information that goes beyond the linear, symptoms-oriented, treatment-oriented education nurses receive during training. By having a clear, integrated and scientific understanding of how and why disease manifests in the body due to chronic lifestyle choices, nurses can provide their patients with the information they need to take greater control of their health. In addition, nurse professionals can use this new whole person health information to take better care of their own health.

The Health Coaching Competencies taught under the guidance of Linda Bark, RN, PhD, MCC, gives nurses new tools and modalities with which to facilitate their patient’s organic choices of how they would like to get well, stay well and take control of their health and the quality of their life. The combination of these two evidence-based, hospital tested disciplines are not only important skills for today’s nurse, but this patient education model of disease prevention with health coaching, is a billable and reimbursable health insurance service when provided in a medical practice or by a nurse practitioner. The combined program meets the published guidelines that Medicare, Medicaid, the Institutes of Medicine and the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO) published in 2005 for the practice of health care in all settings.

These guidelines include: “patients at the center of their healthcare decision making; care for the whole person; and evidenced-based patient health education” as key guidelines. In addition, contact hours earned through this AHNA-Endorsed Program can be applied to the contact hour requirements for holistic nurse certification and re-certification through the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation.

Dr. Bark is the founder and director of Bark Coaching Institute, formerly AsOne Coaching. She will be providing coaching competency training for NIWH as part of the Whole Health Education practicum and externship portion of the program. Her career in coaching began almost 20 years ago when she trained with early founders of the coaching movement. Her coaching training program is an International Coaching Federation accredited, distance education program in Coaching Skills and Competencies for all levels of the coaching profession.

NIWH, establish in 1977, has for over three decades, provided evidence-based, integrative whole health programs, delivered through relationship-centered, whole person health focused programs for health care and medical professionals who desire to provide more than symptom oriented patient care. This approach integrates the most current medical research with a natural outlook on healing and the wisdom of various spiritual teachings, all of which are grounded in integrity and compassion.

Beginning this fall, NIWH and Bark Coaching will begin working on five small pilot studies examining how Whole Health Education training with Health Coaching competencies can improve and enhance patient compliance, increase patient satisfaction, enhance staff productivity and work satisfaction, as well as reduce medical error. The pilots will be conducted at medical practices in the New England area. The Winter 2011 issue of AHNA’s Beginnings magazine will focus on health and wellness coaching in nursing and will feature an article by Dr. Bark (510-864-2006) and NIWH (888-354-4325,

To learn more about program endorsement through AHNA, or to view a list of certificate programs currently endorsed by AHNA, please visit Founded in 1981, AHNA is a non-profit membership association for nurses and other holistic healthcare professionals. AHNA is the definitive voice for holistic nursing, and promotes the education of nurses, other healthcare professionals, and the public in all aspects of holistic caring and healing. The Mission of AHNA is to foster a vital community that advances holistic health and nursing. Holistic nursing is recognized by the American Nurses Association as an official nursing specialty with defined scope and standards of practice.

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