Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Lisa VanGetson APRN, DNP, FNP-C

Second Advisor

Susan Cutshall APRN, DNP, CNS

Third Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN


A spinal cord injury is a serious and complex disease that causes significant disability with profound consequences. In 2016, 282,000 individuals were living with a spinal cord injury, and over 42,000 of those were veterans. Veterans with a spinal cord injury often experience health disparity due to the limited resources and support to help them achieve optimal health. To address the health disparity of veterans with a spinal cord injury, family nurse practitioners at the Veterans Affair Hospital must identify ways to promote health and prevent disease among veterans with a spinal cord injury. Health coaching, a practice that has shown to support patients in primary care to identify their health goals, strength, and barriers, helps to facilitate behavioral changes in a structured and supportive partnership between a health coach and patients. Implementing the evidence-based practice of health coaching in primary care will support family nurse practitioners in guiding veterans to improve self-efficacy and positive patient health outcomes that are congruent with a veteran’s values, beliefs, and culture. The foundation of health coaching practice is guided by health coaching principles and Jean Watson’s theory of Transpersonal Care and Caring Moment during each coaching occasion. Using the health coaching principles and Watson’s theory of Transpersonal Care and Caring Moment, a health and wellness model of practice was created to guide family nurse practitioners in helping veterans with a spinal cord injury regain control of their health and living a high quality of life as they define it.


SC 11.DNP.2020.Lang.J