New Zealand may be small, but we are mighty. We’re proud to have hosted the International Nurse Coach Association’s first ever accredited nurse coach program outside of the USA.

Having both studied at the International Nurse Coach Association, Heather Leong and I decided to bring their compassionate teachings to this small slice of paradise we call home.

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Together, we created and facilitated a self-care and theory-based workshop that provides New Zealand nurses and health professionals with a safe space to learn and connect with others.

We turned our vision into a reality

In 2013, I knew intuitively that by participating in the Integrative Nurse Coach Program, I could bring it to New Zealand and alter our perceptions on how healthcare can be delivered.

Heather and I wanted our workshop to encourage a new approach to healthcare, one that is integrative, collaborative and mindful, with values-based leadership woven throughout.

We provided a platform for our participants to learn in experiential ways that were nurturing, genuine and uplifting. Our honest workshops gave everyone the opportunity to be vulnerable and experience a positive shift in consciousness.

Two different locations, two different experiences

Our workshop locations were carefully selected spaces that would nurture nurses – particularly post covid (in NZ) – and highlight the importance of self-care.

Te Kopua Marae, Waikato

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We chose Te Kopua Marae (communal and sacred Maori meeting house) for our North Island location because we wanted to bring a Maori lens into the integrative nurse coaching learnings.

Visitors are welcomed onto the marae by way of a powhiri (Maori welcoming ceremony), and our welcome was especially magical. The early morning was so misty that we couldn’t see far ahead of us. As our nurses arrived, all dressed in black as per marae protocol, the air was thick with anticipation and spirituality.

The karanga (first call) sung by the kuia (elderly, wise woman) welcomed us, as unknown visitors, onto the marae. After the powhiri, the mist lifted, the sun came out and the tui (native New Zealand bird) began to sing. It truly felt as though the land itself was welcoming us to its home.

The Welder, Christchurch

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The Welder is a coworking space filled with creative business people and entrepreneurs. This innovative community embodies the resilient city’s strength, adaptability and inclusivity.

During one particular exercise, our participants were asked to choose an iris, either white or blue. Then we asked them to describe their chosen flower – the feel, the scent, the smell, the colour, the individual petals – in their own personal way.

The purpose of this reflective practice was for everyone to understand why it’s important to become aware of our surroundings and live in the moment. When we focus intently on something, we see more than the first initial impression. We see everything as it was, is and could yet be.

Thank you to everyone who was involved

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  • To Caroline, thank you for keeping us fed and nourished with your mindful food and beautiful, quiet presence.
  • To Heather, thank you for being a fellow nurse coach, for sharing your passion in plant-based nutrition and speaking to your philosophy of health.
  • To Louise, thank you for becoming the third Integrative Nurse Coach in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
  • To all of our participants, thank you for joining our workshops and sharing your time, wisdom, vulnerability and openness with us.
  • To the International Nurse Coach Association, thank you for allowing us to bring your inspirational and compassionate teachings to New Zealand.

We are so excited to continue on this journey with you all.