Meet Health Coach Judith Beaulieu: Network of RN Health Coaches Empowers Women and Children

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

Judith Beaulieu
This month’s inside look at a health coach, the choices he or she has made on the road to success, and the challenges ahead.

Excerpted from the February 2012 Health Coach Huddle.

Judith Beaulieu, RN, BSN, MIS, Health Coach, President and CEO of FEMTIQUE Associates, Incorporated

HIN: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into health coaching?

Judith Beaulieu: When I graduated from Widener College in 1978 I had already been working as a nurse aide on an oncology unit in a city hospital. After passing my state boards and becoming a registered nurse, I continued to work as an oncology nurse. It was during this experience that I encountered coaching the family members of patients. Most of it was comprised of emotional support encompassing the spiritual realm of life (and death). Coaching patients to use relaxation techniques for their pain and anxiety was included in their care plans. These are only a few of the many ways nursing utilized coaching patients and their families.

Have you received any health coaching certifications? If so, please list these certifications.

February 2012 will be the completion of my 40-week webinar graduate level certification curriculum in health coaching from Health Coach Alliance. The standards of practice as well as the board certification are based upon the International Coaching Federation (ICF) of which I am a member.

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road?

The professional term “Health Coach” is only five years old in the United States. RNs have been health coaching when teaching patients, implementing care plans, hospital discharge instruction, grievance counseling, breastfeeding counseling, and so on for as long as the vocation of nursing has been in existence. When the health coach profession surfaced into existence as a separate entity, I jumped into searching the opportunities for RNs to become credentialed as Certified Nurse Health Coaches. I discovered that there were only a few programs out there specific to nurses and that most health coaches did not encompass the education nor experience to be able to best serve the consumer about health and wellness information. This was the ah ha moment that created FEMTIQUE Associates Incorporated.

In brief, describe your organization.

FEMTIQUE Associates, Incorporated is incorporated under the non-profit corporation law of 1988 as a ((501)(c)(3). We are a healthcare advocate and health coach organization providing health and wellness care information and resources for women and children. Our services are provided by professionals who have accrued knowledge and skills grounded in their professional education, clinical training, and experience with the aim of achieving and maintaining better health outcomes for those we serve.

What are two or three important concepts or rules that you follow in health coaching?

1: Our ability to hold attention on what is important for the client, and to leave responsibility with the client to take action.
2: To make plan adjustments as warranted by the coaching process and by changes in the situation.
3. Develop the client’s ability to make decisions, address key concerns, and develop himself/herself (to get feedback, to determine priorities and set the pace of learning, to reflect on and learn from experiences)

What is the single most successful thing that your company is doing now?

Providing financial aid to RNs that affords them an opportunity to become certified health coaches through Health Coach Alliance. Providing to the consumer the availability of qualified professionals that have an optimal level of health coach knowledge, experience and continuing education training is FEMTIQUE’s primary goal.

Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2012?

Health communication and health information technology is congruent with one of the Healthy People 2020 objectives and the one that FEMTIQUE is positioned to lock onto in 2012. The FEMTIQUE Web site, Healthcare De-Mystified blog and tweets are aimed at providing helpful health and wellness information ranging from the physical, psychological, spiritual, social, financial, environmental, professional/vocational and academic realms of life.

What is the most satisfying thing about being a health coach?

Using an appropriate amount of time to devote to the client’s needs. The client is the only entity to which a private practice RN health coach devotes time and energy. One client at a time and one goal for the health coach to help the client formulate and strategize within a 60-minute coaching session. Spending the time necessary to effectively help consumers achieve health and maintain wellness is not available in the medical care arena.

Where did you grow up?

I spent my elementary years growing up as an only child in a small suburban town in Southeastern Pennsylvania. My parents sent me to a Catholic boarding school for my high school education. I loved it. Living with other girls supplemented for the lack of siblings. We were very close to each other.

What college did you attend? Is there a moment from that time that stands out?

When I graduated from high school I wanted to become a nurse so I applied to about three or four nursing schools. My high school advisor helped me to apply to two diploma programs and two college programs but there were waiting lists only. I ended up getting into Widener College six years after high school graduation. What stands out for me during this time was what I fit into the six years of waiting. The first year I went to a community college for secretarial studies and ended up working as a secretary while continuing to take college business courses in night school. These courses transferred into the nursing curriculum at Widener. I applied the typing skills learned as a secretary into typing term papers for other students in order to make extra money. The college did not permit nursing students to work full-time while in the BSN program.

Are you married? Do you have children?

I am happily married to Russell J. Beaulieu for 19 years. No children.

What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life?

I love to garden. It has always been in my family starting with my late grandfather who came to America in the early 1900s, bought a plot of land and cultivated a huge garden. When my cousins and I were old enough, our grandfather would take us out to the garden and teach us how to pick ripe berries, fruit and vegetables. It cultivated a love of nature as well as a healthy diet. We were never overweight in our families. Today, I live within an Amish community where I share with other women within the Amish culture many healthy recipes made with vegetables that we all grow from our gardens.

Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend?

There are so many that I have enjoyed it is hard for me to say which one stands out. Biographies and autobiographies are my favorite types of literature. My heroes are people such as:
Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic
Mother Teresa by Kathryn Spink
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever by Judge Judy Sheindlin
The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirstin Downey
My favorite movie of all times is “The Miracle Worker” which is the story about Helen Keller. And recently I went to see “The Help” which I loved! I laughed and cried.

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2 Responses to “Meet Health Coach Judith Beaulieu: Network of RN Health Coaches Empowers Women and Children”

  1. Jenni Larson RN says:

    Hello Judith~

    Found your information inspiring. As an experience RN of 25 years, specializing in Labor and delivery.13 yrs ago I chose to take a break from acute care, and obtained a cosmetology license. It was the break I needed, and have have had a successful
    career, open up my own beauty studio, grew a loyal clientele now for the past 12 years. I have maintained my nursing license and volunteered at a christian young summer camp ~managing first aid and medications. I am interested in the possibilities of this area of nursing mentioned in your comments. I have been devoted to healthy living all my life, currently teaching arthritis aquatic program at ymca. I have been exploring areas of nursing that I could be involved in with out the demands of acute patient care, at this point in my life…. I think “Health Coach” could be a fit for me.
    I have a passion for treating the whole client, as I did in my salon, head to toe
    beautification. Any ideas…. suggestions, questions for me? thank you, Jenni

  2. Hi Jenni:

    This is an honor and a humbling experience to have you comment about my endeavors as a Health Coach. If you join the AHNA it will bring you so much fulfillment that words cannot express. I found since we spoke live that there are so many opportunities that I did not realize about this new profession.

    Thank you for all you do for the human race. It is a calling that provides so much for so little compensation. I would not trade it for any other career though. Our time will come when the world will turn toward CAM therapy and nurses to help get the human race on track for health and wellness!