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Career Coaching

If you feel stuck in a rut, unable to progress, or have circumstances that are impacting on your career, Career Coaching may be able to help.

The good thing about coaching is that it's not advice, and it doesn't tell you what to do, but is about working collaboratively with you to identify steps and aspirations.

This page will help you determine whether Career Coaching would benefit you.


What coaching is :

  • Reflecting on your current situation 
  • Helping you identify your values, strengths, talents, and priorities
  • Discussing steps or actions to take forward  
  • Exploring underlying reasons behind any decisions
  • Encouraging you to take ownership of your career

What coaching is not :

  • Telling you what job to do, path to take, or what's "best" for you
  • Recommending which courses or training you should take
  • Telling you which types of jobs would be suitable for your health
  • Giving you info you could find online, or doing research for you
  • Providing you with a list of all possible jobs/roles/pathways

Career Coaches cannot tell you which courses or qualifications to take, or provide you with a "list of possible courses," so Career Coaching would not be of any benefit to you if you're looking for information on this. There are lots of resources online that can help you however.

You may want to start by reading our online advice page on Searching for courses, which talks about how and where to look for courses, what to consider when choosing a course, who to approach for advice and recommendations, as well as guidance on second registration, top up degrees, APEL, return to practice and much more.

Course finder checklist

✔  Contact local universities for advice and information

✔  Speak to your employer or local learning rep

✔  Speak to your peers in the RCN forum facebook groups

✔  Use your contacts and network to get recommendations

✔  Speak to your practice development team if you have one

Useful tip

If you want to know which course or qualifications to take in order to further your career, start examining job adverts for the type of roles you want, and look at the Selection Criteria and Person Specification.

Criteria may vary from employer to employer so try and compare as many as you can to get a good, all round picture of what you would be expected to meet.

Don't be afraid to contact prospective employers to ask which courses or qualifications are desirable to them.


You wouldn't need a Career Coaching session to get information about job roles. To get advice and information about particular roles, you can search online. There are some resources listed below to help get you started.

If you have booked a Career Coaching session, or are looking to book one, please ensure you research any roles you're interested in before your session.

General resources

Country Specific resources:

Useful tip

To find out what kind of experience, skills or qualifications are required for a particular role, examine job adverts for that particular role and look at the Selection Criteria or Person Specification

Criteria may vary from employer to employer so try and compare as many as you can to get a good, all round picture of what you would be expected to meet.


You may feel it's time for a change in your career, feel stuck, or be unsure how to move forward. 

Career Coaches cannot tell you what to do, but they can work with you over multiple sessions to explore the ideas you've got, and help you identify some steps to take forward.

Career Coaching could help you to:

  • Explore your reasons for wanting change
  • Talk through your ideas with you
  • Work through coaching exercises to identify your strengths, values, and which working environments you thrive in
  • Identifying any next steps or actions

When to contact us

If you think you could benefit from coaching, it's really important that you've carried out your own research first and have some ideas to bring to your session.

If you don't know where to start, don't worry; we recommend taking some time out to research up to 3 roles, or having a think about what you really enjoy, or which areas interest you. You could take inspiration from your current role, previous roles, any training or courses, placements, volunteering, etc. 

There are some resources below to help you.

Useful resources

Country specific resources

Booking an appointment

Please contact RCN Direct to speak to an adviser about booking an appointment.


If after reading our advice on Interview skills and techniques and Sample interview questions you feel you'd benefit from telephone interview coaching, you can book at appointment via RCN Direct.

There is a waiting time for appointments, so call us as soon as possible, so that your coaching falls before your interview date.

Once you've booked your appointment, you'll need to send us the job advert, Job Description and/or Person Specification

Disclosing a disability or requesting reasonable adjustments at interview

If you want coaching on disclosing a disability, or need to discuss how you might request reasonable adjustments, the Careers Service won't be able to help with this. However you may feel that you'd  benefit from disability coaching with the Peer Support Service.

Disclosing a previous sanction or dismissal at interview

Please read our online advice about Applying for a job following investigations or sanctions. If you feel you'd like to rehearse how you'd make a disclosure at interview stage, then book an appointment via RCN Direct.

If you've been referred to the NMC, it's important that you've had an initial response from the NMC regarding proceedings prior to speaking to a Career Coach. Employers usually want to know which stage of the investigation process you are.

Resources

Booking an appointment

Please contact RCN Direct to speak to an adviser about booking an appointment.

You could find yourself considering leaving nursing because of shift patterns, work life balance, or health reasons. Alternatively, you could be feeling burnt out, stressed or disillusioned with the profession. 

We understand this could be a difficult decision for you, and are here to try and support you.

Career Coaches can't influence your decision, or have a list of possible jobs you could move into, but they could help you to:

  • Explore your reasons and talk through your decision
  • Explore if it is the profession, or your current role / environment that needs change
  • Reflect upon why you become a Nurse
  • Explore your transferable skills
  • Help you plan your next steps

Career related resources

Other resources

Booking an appointment

Please contact RCN Direct to speak to an adviser about booking an appointment.


If you find yourself at a career crossroads due to a change in your health, you're not alone. The RCN Careers Service speaks to many members who successfully redesign their career around ill health or disability. We understand this could be a difficult time for you, and are here to try and support you.

Although a Career Coach cannot tell you which jobs would be suitable for you, or suggest possible roles for you, you may want to see our page on “Managing your career with ill health.” This page lists some roles that generally tend to be less physically demanding, so this could be a good starting point for you to gather some ideas.

When Career Coaching could help

Your first step must be to carry out some research and gather some ideas about potential suitable roles. 

Once you've done this, you may find it helpful to talk through your ideas with a Career Coach. Your Coach can help you to explore how your ideas would fit in with your values, skills, lifestyle, and of course, your health.

If you don't know where to start, don't worry; we recommend taking some time out to research up to 3 roles, or having a think about what you really enjoy, or which areas interest you. You could take inspiration from your current role, previous roles, any training or courses, placements, volunteering, etc. Your ideas don't have to be limited to nursing, and you might want to explore other roles within healthcare, or even outside nursing / healthcare all together. 

There are some resources below to help get you started. 

How Career Coaching could help

  • Talking through your ideas with you
  • Identifying your transferable skills
  • Working through coaching exercises to identify your strengths, values, and which working environments might suit you
  • Working through coaching exercises to identify any challenges or obstacles, and explore how you might overcome them
  • Planning your next steps

Career Coaches can't advise you on asking for reasonable adjustments. If you need advice on this, please see here or speak to RCN Direct / your RCN rep. You can also see the Peer Support resources, which includes a Disability Coaching Service.

Career resources

Other resources

Booking an appointment

Please contact RCN Direct to speak to an adviser about booking an appointment.

CV writing

Advice on writing a CV can be found on our CV writing page, along with sample CVs, template CVs, and guidance on writing covering letters.

If you would like a Career Coaching appointment to discuss your CV with a Coach, please contact RCN Direct to book an appointment. Please ensure you have read and followed the advice within our CV writing page first. 

Alternatively, you can simply send your CV and/or covering letter to us, and get feedback via email. See the CV writing page for more details.

Job applications

Advice on how to complete Job Applications and write Supporting Statements can be found on our Job Applications advice page.

If you would like a Career Coaching appointment to discuss and get feedback on your Supporting Statement, please contact RCN Direct to book an appointment. Please ensure you have read and followed the advice within our Job application pages first. 

Alternatively, you can simply send your Supporting Statement to us, and get feedback via email. See the Job Applications page for more details. 

Useful resources


What to expect during coaching

As an RCN member, you can access up to 3 telephone Career Coaching sessions in a 6 month period.

Coaching is flexible to meet your needs, so there is no set structure. However, what you can expect during your coaching sessions could cover:

  • Your values, strengths, talents and priorities
  • Your ideas
  • Research you've carried out
  • Exploring the reasons behind any changes or motivations
  • Overcoming obstacles or challenges
  • Career coaching exercises
  • Employability skills
  • Interview coaching

Remember, if you are feeling stuck or unhappy, one session of Career Coaching will not be able to fix that. Coaching is more of an ongoing, collaborative process that often involves exploring, soul searching, and even a bit of homework.