This article can be found in the Winter 2019 edition of the Alumni Magazine.

October 29, 2019

At first glance, Rachel (Stauffer) Pritz, ASN ’03, seems far removed from her start as a nursing student at USF in the early 2000s. Look a little closer and the connection between her early days as a bedside nurse to her career today as a life coach comes into focus. The goal—helping people achieve optimum health—remains the same.

“My personal mission is to grow and develop people to their full potential; that’s what really lights me up,” Pritz said. “I want to see them get unstuck from the rut they’re in, and then help them reach their full potential.”

Pritz has covered almost all angles of the healthcare world since she graduated with an ASN from USF in 2003. She progressed from a nurse to the chief nursing informatics officer at Community Health Network in Indianapolis, an organization where she worked for 14 years. That’s a condensed version of her climb up the corporate ladder, but like many executives, she reached a point where her work consumed her time and energy. She sought out a life coach, who helped her regain what she calls “work-life satisfaction.”

Pritz was soon struck with an epiphany: She felt the call to be a life coach. She started her own business, Rachel Pritz Coaching, and didn’t look back.

“I originally thought it was going to be a side hustle,” Pritz said. “Then I started seeing the potential for a larger program. A lot of people are just not showing up as their best selves. They all need coaches. We can get to where we want to be if we can get out of our own way.”

Pritz recalls how she was consumed by her career as a healthcare executive, piling up the hours on the clock, and losing some precious time with her family, which includes husband Aaron and children Austin and Zoey. That’s when she sought a life coach.

“I stopped that run-run-run mentality,” she said. “I set some healthy boundaries around work. Family is very important to me, so I stopped working more than 40 hours a week. The team saw me as a mature leader, setting boundaries around what I was doing. Most people in that same level did not have that same balance. I felt I had something to give to other people and teach them how to have the life they want.”

Pritz started her practice and she said it grew organically very quickly. She works with corporate teams and with individuals, usually for a period of six to 12 months. She also speaks at businesses, corporate and community events.

On her website, RachelPritz.com, Pritz points out that “Our lives are like complex puzzles. Some people have all the pieces, but don’t know how they all fit together. Others are still searching for missing pieces. Coaching can help you find pieces of you and fit them together.” She helps clients in using the Enneagram personality assessment, which she says was enlightening to her when she took it.

One aspect of her knowledge that sets her apart from other life coaches is in her experience as both a hands-on nurse and an executive dealing with information technology. She understands and relates to both types of careers. She earned a Master of Leadership in Healthcare Systems, as well as a Nursing Informatics Certificate, from Indiana University, and completed Life Coach Training at the Martha Beck Institute.

She emphasizes the nursing training she received at USF put her foundation in place.

“I feel nursing really set me up for what I do today,” Pritz said. “I can serve so many people by taking care of them and how they respond to stress. It’s not like I stopped being a nurse because I was having a bad experience. I love the profession of nursing. Had I not gone into nursing school, I would not be where I am today.

“I became a nurse because I knew I wanted to help people,” she said. “I’m still helping people and, in some ways, it’s much more direct. With nursing it was physical health, now it’s more emotional health.”