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Become a Certified Health Coach, CHC
Through the National Society of Health Coaches!
Advancing Evidence-based Health Coaching & Patient Engagement in Clinical Practice

NSHC Health Coach Program Content

NSHC recognizes a higher level of education, knowledge, skill and supervised practice that healthcare professionals have acquired in patient/family communication, psychosocial aspects of illness and recovery, health teaching/learning assessment and methods, and care management of those with health conditions, both acute and chronic. Program content is based on this premise.

On average, a minimum of 70 hours of self-study is recommended to complete the new 3rd Edition Program.  However, individual study habits, reading speed, and comprehension can affect the amount of study time required to be successful with testing. NSHC Lead Coaches are available for support during your self-study.

In addition to the Program Manual, study resources include Audio CD, Video Clips, Webinars, Podcasts, Articles, Online Skills Practice, Live Practice Webinars, and Quick Reference Pocket Guide. These resources are located on the Member Home page upon log in. 

**University/College Faculty: Contact Us about integrating NSHC's program into your curriculum.

Section 1: Introduction to Evidence-based Health Coaching (EBHC)®

  • Evidence-based Health Coaching Defined
  • Premise of Evidence-based Health Coaching
  • Why Health Coaching has Emerged
  • Differences in Traditional Health Teaching and Health Coaching
  • new Patient/Client Engagement
  • Self-Management Support
  • "Partnering" as a Healthcare Provider
  • Managing versus Coaching
  • Characteristics of an Effective Health Coach
  • new Trends in Health Coaching
  • NSHC's Clinical Model of Evidence-based Health Coaching
  • NSHC Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
  • NSHC Core Competencies

Section 2: Identifying Your Communication Style

  • Four Primary Styles
  • Adapting Your Style
  • new Communication Pitfalls to Avoid

Section 3: Are You Listening?

  • How We Listen/Active Listening
  • Ten Active Listening Strategies for Health Coaches
  • new Strategies for when Becoming Distracted
  • Unique Aspects of Telephonic Health Coaching
  • Differences in Face-to-Face versus Telephonic
  • Telephonic Health Coaching Outcomes

Section 4: Tapping into the Client's Learning Style

  • How We Learn
  • Four Primary Learning Styles Explored
  • Seven Step Learning Process
  • new Teach-Back Method

Section 5: Facilitating Health Behavior Change

  • Creating SPACE for Health Coaching
  • Transtheoretical Model of Change- Stages of Change
  • Societal and Generational Influences on Beliefs, Values & Health Behavior Change
    • Generational Influence
    • Cultural Competence
  • Readiness for Change Tools

Section 6: Guiding the Health Coaching Agenda & Goal Setting

  • Guiding the Agenda
  • Setting Goals: The Six Criteria
  • Commitment & Working through Goal Achievement
  • Feedback on Lack of Progress

Section 7: Motivational Interviewing (MI)

  • The History of MI
  • The "Spirit" of MI
  • Ambivalence: It's only Natural!
  • Four Guiding Principles of MI
  • OARS
  • Recognizing and Reinforcing "Change Talk"
  • Managing Resistance
  • MI Skills Practice
  • new Adaptation of MI for Brief Clinical Encounters

new Section 8: Wellness and Prevention

  • Tobacco Cessation
    •  Addiction & Smoking facts
    •  EBP Guidelines
    • Key Considerations in Health Coaching
  • Weight Loss & Maintenance
    • Contributing factors
    • Physical assessment
    • Weight management 
    • Behavior therapy
    • Mindful eating
    • Evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines
    • Key Considerations in Health Coaching
  • Stress Management
    • Effects 
    • Mind/body assessment
    • Measurement scales
    • EBP Guidelines
    • Key Considerations in Health Coaching
  • Eat Well, Eat Right!
  • Physical Activity and Resistance Training
  • Integrating Health Coaching into the Workplace

Section 9: Evidence-based Practice Interventions for Chronic Conditions

  • Evidence-based Practice & Standards of Care
  • new Integrating EBP into a Health Coaching Encounter
  • Evidence-based Practice Interventions for Chronic Conditions (Clinical Resource only; not on Exam)
  • Websites for Evidence-based Practice

Section 10: Measuring Health Coaching Outcomes

  • Outcomes and Outcome Measurement
  • Aggregation and Trending

new Section 11: Putting it All Together!


  • Quick Quizzes/Concept Applications
  • Forms & Tools

Additional Study Resources

  • Online Skills Practice
  • Video Clips of CHCs in Action
  • Webinars and Podcasts
  • Articles


Bibliography for Chronic Conditions

Suggested Reading


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