Closer to home, Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing offers a continuing education course in faith community nursing, taught by Mary Lynne Knighten and Deborah Ringen. The latest nursing career advice and opportunities delivered to your inbox monthly. Nurses work in close collaboration with faith leaders, other healthcare providers and lay volunteers. Los Angeles County Faith community nurses and their patients share a common spiritual perspective and often a similar cultural framework, allowing nurses to build trust in ways that may be difficult in a normal clinical setting. Yearly evaluations completed with Leadership/Pastor. By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN, and Aaron Severson, In Country: U.S. Nurses During the Vietnam War. Deborah Ringen, RN-BC, MSN, FC, a faith community nurse for Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley in Connecticut and an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing, recalls playing a health advocacy role for an older patient, accompanying her to appointments to explain what the doctors were saying and helping the patient ask the right questions. “Most nurses who come to our courses and learn about faith community nursing love it because it’s like, ‘This is what I went into nursing for,’” explained Maureen Daniels, RN, MN, the Church Health Center’s former international faith community nursing specialist, in a 2013 video. endobj The congregational nurse’s central objective is to address the needs of their faith community, whether that means teaching parishioners about nutrition, addressing problems like diabetes or hypertension or helping seniors deal with declining health and mortality. Qualifications: The Faith Community Nurse shall; A. Other California Locations This can be especially beneficial in communities with many immigrants, for whom healthcare providers may seem alien or even hostile. Encourages the client through presence and spiritual support to express their faith beliefs and utilize them regularly especially in time of crisis and despair. They prayed together — Ringen for her patient, then the patient for her nurse — and exchanged cards for years afterwards. Beyond the professional standards, Walters-Bible notes that this calling requires “patience, humility, generosity and the ability to deal with reality.” Not every patient situation will be fixable, so this is not a specialty for nurses who thrive on quick, clear-cut results. Knighten says her connections with members of her church community allow her to recognize when they have problems that require emotional support and when it’s time to help someone make a doctor’s appointment or an ER visit. MEFC FAITH COMMUNITY NURSE JOB DESCRIPTION DRAFT: APRIL 28, 2011 I. Jointly authored by the ANA and the Health Ministries Association, these standards reflect input from 21 practicing congregational nurses, spelling out “the who, what, where, when, why and how of faith community nursing.”. One drawback is that health ministry can strain the resources of smaller or poorer faith organizations, even if the nurses are volunteers. 4 0 obj Ringen says she treasured those cards because they symbolized the real bond the two had developed. <>>> Here are some roles of the faith community nurse, as identified by the Westberg Institute ( • Personal health counselor • Health educator • Volunteer trainer/coordinator • Support group organizer • Referral agent • Health advocate • Integrator of faith and health. 3 0 obj Select a specialty When treatment proved unsuccessful, Ringen was the one to propose hospice care. Faith community nursing is very much a team effort. One FCN will be appointed as lead as agreed upon yearly. The Faith Community Nurse is accountable to the Pastor and Alaska Board of Nursing. �p��e�Eܥ|7j�,�,��g��iY. x��Z�o�8/��A�6PsE���+4�f��kw��}8���L�;�%����of(J�$*�� �,k���|��{����>��77��Ow����W?��GLf����W��$�� 咥Q��*���ϯ_=�>�����|!gw���~�8n9��Y��X��gAaW�(�,�]��1KFaƢ��|���|�]]$L�ɨ�d���%�m.8�g�D�>�u8�0�t��qB�P����?�Jp���%���|��������|,.BJ����u�q�R���v�I�Y��Q��[�����b�Xk�w��C���拴ޮtRr��~+�����Q�F,��$ϙL�/� �o�~~��r�0���-�a��(�OS� Throughout, Ringen was able to apply her intimate personal and spiritual perspective on the patient’s needs. The Faith Community Nurse is a health educator, referral source, health advocate and integrator of faith/health relationships, working with individual, families… A Faith Community Nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who has had educational preparation in wholistic ministry and who provides special health promotion services within a given faith community. <> %PDF-1.5 Case Management, Select a location Faith Community Nurse Coordinators. All rights reserved. In-depth articles on the wonderful world of nursing. It was the late Granger Westberg, a Lutheran pastor, chaplain and theology professor, who first coined the term “wholistic” for healthcare that encompasses a patient’s body, mind and spirit. <> For example, after a weekly sermon, a church pastor might invite parishioners to stay for a free health screening, which the congregational nurse would then conduct. Ringen says that her first patient was a woman in her 90s who lived alone. Historic and contemporary nurses who have advanced our profession. Congregational nursing can also play an important role in maintaining community cohesion, giving congregants another reason to remain part of the faith community. endobj For more information, please visit You can purchase a copy via the ANA’s publishing website, Morris describes health ministry as a Christian imperative, but the practice is also slowly catching on with other faiths. 1 0 obj Although faith community nurses work with and sometimes organize non-clinician health promoters, being an RN enables the nurse to provide a broader range of care and advocacy, such as holding weekly “office hours” to answer health-related questions or providing referrals to local health resources. Documents client assessment, nursing diagnosis, interventions and outcomes while maintaining confidential client record in accordance with the policy on documentation. It was not until after the pastor himself had suffered an emergency requiring fast intervention by paramedics that he agreed to spend the money. Books about nursing and healthcare that we recommend to inspire and educate. The Lead FCN will coordinate a yearly review of the effectiveness of the program with church leaders. Ventura County Orange County Advocates of this type of nursing practice, like Scott Morris, M.D., M.Div., founder and CEO of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tenn., believe that the health ministry should be a basic part of all faith communities, just like choir or Sunday school. Elly Walters-Bible, RN, BSN, PHN, a parish nurse in the Santa Barbara area, recalls the lengthy struggle she faced in trying to persuade her pastor to purchase a portable defibrillator for their church. She/he assists individuals in gaining optimal mental, physical and spiritual health by complementing the ministry provided by the Pastor(s) and other lay ministers. Those requirements will give you a quick overview of the skills and obligations this specialty demands. You can find additional resources at the websites of Faith Community Nurses International ( in St. Paul, Minn., and the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing ( Inland Empire Many congregational nurses are volunteers, but some are paid, credentialed employees of their church or ministry. %���� The eight-week course is primarily online, but culminates in a two-day onsite retreat, providing a total of 40 contact hours. Of course, a rabbi can’t diagnose heart disease, but being able to refer a congregant to a nurse who’s also a familiar member of the community can make the difference between getting needed care and leaving undiagnosed, untreated problems to fester. Sometimes, the nurse’s work is more hands-on.