Supportive Care

Nurse Coaching: Providing Holistic Care to Patients With Cancer

Ellen Dermody

nurse coach, nurse–patient communication, nurse competencies, distress
CJON 2021, 25(3), 237-239. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.237-239

Patients with cancer face many challenges from the time of diagnosis to the end of life. It is important for nurses to explore new approaches that may enhance care for patients. Nurse coaching is a practice that has the potential to significantly influence care of patients with cancer. This article describes how nurse coaching practices provide holistic support to patients in a way that may help to relieve cancer-related distress and assist patients in achieving their goals. Based on the nurse coaching scope of practice and competencies, this article reviews tools and strategies to assist patients in reaching their individual goals and presents a case study demonstrating how a patient, with guidance, came to realize his own needs.


  • Nurse coaching provides skills that can improve the care of patients with cancer, such as by offering holistic support.
  • The nurse coaching scope of practice and competencies place the patient at the center of focus.
  • Using nurse coaching skills can help patients become more aware of their needs, treatment goals, and quality of life, as well as help to relieve cancer-related distress.
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