Category: Nursing

Oregon Center for Nursing Conference provides great networking opportunities!

Oregon Center for Nursing Conference provides great networking opportunities!

The Faith Community Health Network’s attendance at the recent Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN) Conference hosted at RiverBend in Springfield, OR provided spectacular opportunities for networking and collaboration. There were approximately 130 attendees at the two-day conference, April 25-26, 2024. As the “Bag Sponsor,” the FCHN logo was on the conference bag issued to all attendees and we were able to put informational items in each bag. We also had an exhibit at the conference, and Marcy Shanks and Deb Fell-Carlson delivered a talk entitled “Using Collaborative Partnerships to Build a Nursing Network for Faith Community Nursing Engagement.” Many who stopped by our booth were unaware of faith community nursing and the team had rich opportunities to share about the importance of faith community nursing to the health of all Oregonians.

Oregon Center for Nursing Conference provides great networking opportunities!

Left to right, back row: Tiffany Wadlow, FCN, Southside Christian Church (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Director of Engagement, Marcy Shanks, FCN, New Hope Church (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Ethics Officer, Deb Fell-Carlson, FCN, Am HaSefer – People of the Book (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Executive Director, Kiersten Erickson, CHW/Health Minister, Am HaSefer – People of the Book (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Health Minister Voice

Front row, left to right: Tawni Pfaff, FCN, Am HaSefer – People of the Book (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Education and Event Coordinator, and Susie Freeman, Health Minister, Am HaSefer – People of the Book (Lebanon, OR).

Oregon Center for Nursing Conference provides great networking opportunities!

Left to right: Tiffany Wadlow, FCN, Southside Christian Church (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Director of Engagement, Kiersten Erickson, CHW/Health Minister, Am HaSefer – People of the Book (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Health Minister Voice, Marcy Shanks, FCN, New Hope Church (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Ethics Officer, and Deb Fell-Carlson, FCN, Am HaSefer – People of the Book (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Executive Director

FCHN Display at OCN Conference

FCHN Display at OCN Conference

Oregon Center for Nursing Conference provides great networking opportunities!

Left to right: Deb Fell-Carlson, Kate Whalen, Marcy Shanks, and Jana Bitton, OCN Executive Director

The FCHN held a drawing for a free scholarship which was awarded to Kate Whalen, DNP, Associate Professor of Practice, Nursing/Portland ABSN Director Concordia University-St. Paul. We look forward – to having Kate in our class this fall!

Also in attendance but not pictured: Linda Tedisch, FCN, Immanuel Lutheran Church (Albany, OR) and FCHN Vice-President, Kimberlee Sorci, CHW, Am HaSefer – People of the Book (Lebanon, OR) and FCHN Outreach Volunteer, Louise Glenn, Health Minister, North Albany Community Church (Albany, OR).

Linn-Benton Community College Nursing Students Host 2nd Annual Community Health Poster Session

Linn-Benton Community College Nursing Students Host 2nd Annual Community Health Poster Session

Representatives from the Faith Community Health Network joined other community leaders at the 2nd Annual Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) Nursing Program Community Health Poster Session on March 13, 2024 at the LBCC Healthcare Occupations Center in Lebanon, OR.

Poster Downloads

Emily Rose, MSN, RN, LBCC Nursing Faculty, gave second-year nursing students a practical, real-world assignment designed to enhance knowledge about how social determinants (education access and quality, healthcare access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, social and community context, and economic stability) have an influence – either positive or negative – on the health of individuals and groups residing in our communities. This is important knowledge for these students regardless of their future nursing practice setting.

Each of five student teams assessed a vulnerable population in a local community and identified examples of existing resources available for their identified population as well as gaps and potential interventions to bridge those gaps. Each team developed a poster summarizing its work and prepared and delivered a 30-minute presentation on the findings.

The students’ presentations and posters were professional and informative. We all learned a great deal!
It was an excellent session!

Great job!

Team 1: Corvallis

Linn-Benton Community College Nursing Students Host 2nd Annual Community Health Poster Session

Team 2: Albany

Team Albany Poster Project

Team 3: Philomath

Team Philomath Poster Project

Team 4: Lebanon

Team Lebanon Poster Project

Team 5: Sweet Home

Team Sweet Home Poster Project

Oregon Nurses Foundation Brunch – a valuable networking event!

As a part of our outreach effort, the Faith Community Health Network sponsored a table at the annual Oregon Nurses Foundation Fundraising Brunch on February 25, 2024.

As a part of our outreach effort, the Faith Community Health Network sponsored a table at the annual Oregon Nurses Foundation Fundraising Brunch on February 25, 2024. Following a delicious meal, the keynote speaker, Jennifer Mensik-Kennedy, ANA President, spoke on the theme “Creating Diverse Nursing Leadership.” She responded to questions about ANA’s national efforts to create a reimbursement mechanism for nursing care, including nurses who provide care in the community.

Our Scholarship recipient delivered a powerful presentation about her life, what this scholarship means to her, and how important it is to keep these scholarships alive. There was plenty of time for networking with attendees from other organizations, including the Oregon Center for Nursing, Oregon Nurses Association, Bushnell University, and more.

Our sponsorship paid for our logo on the marketing materials and a designated table reserved for our attendees. Faith Community Health Network attendees were Marcy Shanks, Ethics Officer, Tawni Pfaff, Education and Event Coordinator, Deb Fell-Carlson, Executive Director, and Kiersten Erickson, Health Minister Voice. Anita DeAnda, Gretchen Koch, and Alicia Bublitz attended as FCHN guests.

As a part of our outreach effort, the Faith Community Health Network sponsored a table at the annual Oregon Nurses Foundation Fundraising Brunch on February 25, 2024.

Busy Spring Ahead!

Busy Spring Ahead

Greetings, all!

Spring is always busy for the faith community nursing profession, and this year is no exception. Here is what we have on the docket so far. We hope to see you at some or all of these events!

Distinguished Service Award Banquet, February 23, 2024

Representatives from the Faith Community Health Network will attend the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Awards banquet on February 23rd, 2024. We will be presenting our Matthew 25:35-40 Award for the first time this year! This award recognizes a faith community in Linn, Benton, or Lincoln County, Oregon for consistently selfless service to the community throughout the previous year. We hope you can join us! Register for the banquet here – and let us know what YOUR faith community is doing! Maybe yours will be our award recipient next year!

Matthew 25.35-40 Award presented by Faith Community Health Network

Oregon Nurses Foundation Brunch, February 25, 2024

The Faith Community Health Network is sponsoring a table at the annual Fundraising Brunch on February 25, 2024, with the theme “Creating Diverse Nursing Leadership.” There is still time to purchase individual tickets if you missed the announcement and are interested in attending. Learn more about the event here.

Westberg International Faith Community Nursing Symposium/Caring for the Human Spirit Conference, April 15-17, 2024 -VIRTUAL

Two of our team will be presenting at the Westberg International Faith Community Nursing Symposium! We will share our experience navigating the process to write up a project and submit it for publication. This is always a terrific conference, so we encourage you to join us there. It promises to be an inspirational and transformative three-day conference and is designed to provide chaplains, nurses, and other spiritual care providers with the skills, best practices, and research to enhance spiritual care practice and ministry. This is a virtual event that will be held April 15-17, 2024 and registration is OPEN! Register here!

Oregon Center for Nursing – Nursing Practice Transitions Conference, April 25-26, 2024

The Oregon Center for Nursing – Nursing Practice Transitions Conference is an in-person event and will be held April 25-26, 2024 at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center RiverBend in Springfield, OR. Two of our team have submitted to present there – we should hear next week if we have been selected – and we will have an exhibit booth there. Join us! Learn more and register for the conference here!

2024 Oregon Nurses Association Convention and House of Delegates, May 20-22, 2024

The Oregon Nurses Association Conference is coming up in Seaside. Register for this conference here. We are in the process of securing exhibit space at this venue and hope to see you there!

International Journal of Faith Community Nursing – watch for us in an upcoming issue!

Finally, two nurses on our team are co-authors with the esteemed Dr. Deborah Ziebarth on a case study article that will be submitted to the International Journal of Faith Community Nursing soon. This is an open source journal, so you can read articles of interest, watch for our article, and submit your own article for publication to this respected peer-reviewed journal by navigating to this link. We are thankful for Dr. Ziebarth’s patience and mentorship as we learn to navigate this publication process.

Remember to sign up for 5-2-1-0 and get involved in your community!

See previous blog post and our events for details! See you soon!

2023 Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course wraps up!

2024 Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course wraps up!

Our most recent Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course wrapped up on November 14, 2023 with seven registered nurses and two health ministers completing the course! We were blessed to have the expertise of 15 guest presenters throughout the six days, which greatly enriched the course.

We encourage our graduates to plug in to their local networks, many of which can be found on the Westberg Community Platform. We are excited to see where this knowledge takes these passionate individuals!

Bottom left:

  • Amanda Huston, RN, Faith Community Nurse, St. James Catholic Church, McMinnville, OR
  • Sadie Blau, Health Minister, No current affiliation, Lebanon, OR

Second row, left:

  • Kim Hawkins, RN, Faith Community Nurse, Battle Ground Health Care, Battleground, WA
  • Judi Imig, RN, Faith Community Nurse, Salem Alliance Church, Salem, OR
  • Julie Vaniman, Faith Community Nurse, First United Methodist Church of Olympia, Olympia, WA

Third row, left:

  • Myra Hurt, RN, Faith Community Nurse, Ogilville Christian Church, Columbus, IN
  • Linda Cutts, RN, Faith Community Nurse, No current affiliation, Walla Walla, WA
  • Patty O’Day, RN, Faith Community Nurse, Family Assistance and Resource Center, Sweet Home, OR

Top row, left:

  • Tawni Pfaff, Faith Community Nurse, Lead Educator, Zoom Co-Host, Faith Community Health Network
  • Deb Fell-Carlson, Faith Community Nurse, Lead Educator/Course Coordinator, Faith Community Health Network
  • Geeta Barr, Health Minister, Am HaSefer – People of the Book, Lebanon, OR/Salem, OR

We will be adjusting the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course schedule for 2024. Past attendees overwhelmingly want the course to continue on the Zoom platform, so we will stay with Zoom for 2024. The first two days of class will be November 11 & 12. We will meet on Monday, November 18 & Monday, November 25 for class days three and four, and will wrap up with the fifth and final days of class on December 2 & 3, 2024. We will also be offering the class at NO CHARGE for Oregon residents in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties.

Spread the word and save the dates!

Flying in to Fall

Here we are at the end of September! Things have not slowed down for this busy team of passionate nurses and health ministers! Community health assessments are underway in several of our faith communities. This is an interesting project – and in most cases, full of surprises! – for those involved. We will be sharing some of those discoveries in our grant update to the Intercommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization’s Delivery Systems Transformation Team. That presentation is scheduled for later in October. More to come.

The Faith Community Health Network hosted the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce Friday Greeters on Friday, September 22, 2023. We had a great turnout and were able to let the business community know about our need to bring nurses into service in our faith communities and beyond. Deb delivered a peppy 15-minute presentation which was followed by a lively question and answer session and introductions and announcements all around.

We have an excellent educational session lined up for our September 27, 2023 meeting. Check it out on the Events page on our website. We also try to post them on the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce and on Eventbrite. Follow the Faith Community Health Network on Eventbrite to get notified when we schedule an educational offering!

We will be presenting at the Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital Auxiliary Board Fall Luncheon and Annual Meeting on Friday, November 3, 2023 and are excited to be able to share our vision for faith community nursing with these active and passionate volunteers.

We are in the final days of registration for our annual Foundations of Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministry Course. If you are planning to attend and have not yet registered, please do so right away! We will need a couple of weeks of lead time to have books shipped to you, so registration will be closing in early October. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foundations-of-faith-community-nursing-and-health-ministry-course-6-days-tickets-645368333057?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

August & September Check In

Welcome! We are glad you are checking in!

We have had lots going on this summer. We didn’t make it to National Night Out… there was a brush fire RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from my house, complete with Level 3 evacuations. Minimal harm done… our excellent and relentless firefighters got on it quickly and had it out in less than two hours! We were sorry to miss the event, but I was too distracted to attend a community event, let alone be an exhibitor. We will be back next year!

One of our nurses hosted us for a wonderful gathering in her garden this summer. It was a time of refreshment for all of us. We enjoyed tasty delicacies made by our team and enjoyed the spiritual food found in fellowship. We have always enjoyed gathering together and hope to do more of it in the coming months!

We met with Conner Booth, Legislative Aide to Oregon Representative Jami Cate in early August to bring them up to speed on what we are doing to move faith community nursing forward in Linn County – and in Oregon and beyond. Representative Jami was unavailable – this is a busy harvest time on her farm – but Conner was interested and we will be keeping Jami and him in the loop, for sure.

On August 11, Marcy Shanks and I met with Senator Deb Patterson, who serves as Chair of the Senate Interim Committee on Health Care. She is on several committees and Task Forces that relate to the work we are doing, and we think she will be able to help us. Interestingly, Senator Patterson is in a unique position to do so! Take a moment to read her biography and you will see that she has been an ally for faith community nurses for many years, but it was called parish nursing back then. We brought three issues for consideration:

  • Exploring compensation for faith community nurses, perhaps following a model similar to the funding model currently used to compensate community health workers. Faith community nurses can do much more, yet there is currently no mechanism to pay RNs for the work they do in the community.
  • Exploring liability protection options for faith communities who choose to have faith community nurses. RNs, especially in Oregon, are autonomous, function under their own license, often carry their own malpractice insurance, and they typically have close, trusting relationships with members of their faith communities. We have found no evidence in the literature to suggest that faith communities are at risk of lawsuit for the work of nurses leading and working in ministries for their congregations, yet we have found this to be a concern among faith leaders we have surveyed formally and informally, and they are reluctant to allow a faith community nurse to practice.
  • Assistance with nurse recruitment. We know there are nurses interested in this nursing practice specialty, but nurses tend not to check email often, and trying to reach them other ways is challenging.

We look forward to connecting with her again.

We had a wonderful educational session on August 23 featuring Angel Harris, Equity Consultant with Harris Consulting. We had 17 in the class from attendees coming from as far as Portland! This session was in person only.

After an action-packed August, September looks to be just as lively! We have some exciting education coming up on September 27, 2023. Dr. Robert Fallows, PsyD, APBB, will open our session with a rich mental health topic. Dr. Fallows is a mental health provider with Samaritan Health Services and was the recipient of the Early Career Service Award by the National Academy of Neuropsychology in 2019. Welcome Dr. Fallows! Beck Low, Community Health Worker Training HUB Coordinator with Benton County Health Services will wrap up our session with information on the Benton County Health Services Training Hub, something we are eager to hear more about.

We are working hard to get the word out about our Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course. Check it out on our Events page! We spoke to a representative from the Oregon Center for Nursing yesterday to brainstorm ideas to reach Oregon nurses who might be interested in this practice specialty and got some great ideas from that discussion. More to come on that! For now, we will have a display up in the Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital from September 1-15, 2023 and will host the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce Greeters on September 22, 2023 at 8:30am, also at the hospital in Lebanon. We will be in Conference Rooms 3 & 4.

Contact Deb at faithcommunityhealthnetwork@gmail.com if you would like to be added to our mailing list, and if you are in our area in the morning on September 22, stop by and see us!

Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministry – Why? Why now? Why here? And how?

Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministry – Why? Why now? Why here? And how

Faith community nursing – in some form – has been around for many years. As the American Nurses Association Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards, 3rd Edition states, this nursing specialty has its roots in faith and health – and in both ancient and modern faith traditions. The Faith Community Health Network summarizes this as “bridging the gap between faith and health.”

Faith community nurses (FCNs) had a robust presence in Oregon in the late 1990’s. I can attest to that; I had an opportunity to take the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course in 1999, but I didn’t feel called to the ministry just then, and as a mid-career graduate student, I simply couldn’t fit it in to my busy life. The course was offered frequently in the Willamette Valley. I wasn’t concerned; I would take the course later.

Fast forward to 2016, when I clearly felt the Spirit moving me away from my satisfying career as an occupational health nurse to this obscure practice of faith community nursing. As it turns out, we no longer had FCNs in my community, and there was no local training for this practice specialty! What am I doing?!

Why faith community nursing? Why now? Why here? And how was this going to happen if I could not find any FCN colleagues or even a training course? The answers were revealed, but not all at once, and, looking back, I had answers before I realized I had the questions.

Why start a faith community nursing practice?

G.R. was a homeless gentleman who came to our congregation via our ministry with the Oregon Department of Corrections. Excited to be out of prison and passionate about his new faith, he eagerly joined our Sabbath services, but his attendance was sporadic. Later, when my husband bought him a new tire and I went with him to put it on G.R.’s motorhome, I learned that G.R. had undergone a major reconstructive surgery and that is why he had not been able to attend. I also learned that he had been released to his motor home after that surgery – a motorhome with no heat, no running water, and no place to park except in a rest area along the interstate.

I was shocked.

I had been away from clinical nursing for decades, but I knew this was wrong. Yet in conversations with others in our region, it sounded like it was a common occurrence. Thus, G.R. became one of many answers to the “why faith community nursing” in our congregation – transitional care. Transitional care is one way a faith community nurse can help assure that individuals in the faith community are safe and have what they need when they are discharged from the hospital or emergency department.

Since then, I have identified many more answers to “why faith community nursing?” They have names and stories. I have done everything from walking dogs, accompanying community members to medical appointments, advocating for a specific course of treatment, and filling out housing paperwork as part of a nursing care plan for someone in my faith community — but this one was the most poignant for me. G.R. shaped my faith community nursing journey in many ways.

Faith community nursing practice is traditionally geared toward health promotion. A faith community nurse in a traditional faith community nursing practice might do blood pressure screenings, provide health counseling, teach Mental Health First Aid or CPR, and have resource nurse office hours. These are all worthwhile, to be sure, but faith community nursing is so much more…. so very much more… and so desperately needed in its broadest sense.

Why start a faith community nursing practice now, and why here?

Why now… We have much generational poverty in our area of rural east Linn County, Oregon. Many residents are without stable housing, and many suffer from chronic health conditions. Some of our unsheltered have mental health challenges, including addiction, and many, especially now, coming out of the pandemic, are elderly individuals and families who could not cope, got behind financially, and ended up on the streets. We have others who are lost in our complex medical system and stymied by online communication. As a result, they miss appointments and may be sufficiently intimidated as to avoid healthcare altogether. Many of our struggling community members belong to a faith community, and they may not know help is available to connect them to community resources. A faith community nursing practice inside a larger health ministry can help to address these socio-economic needs – and with an FCN on board, can also address the chronic health conditions that often accompany them.

Why here… my answer is specific to my geographic community, but poverty is everywhere. You may not see it on your commute to work or to the grocery, and it may look like those individuals sitting on either side of you during worship have what they need, but there are people in your faith community who need help, even if they don’t look like it. Computer illiteracy/lack of computer access may not be formally recognized as a health disparity, but faith community nurses see it daily. Many of our community members simply cannot access their online health information.

The very core of nursing practice is assessment, synthesizing what is learned from that assessment into a nursing diagnosis, developing a plan to intervene for health improvement, moving forward with the plan, and evaluating. We need faith community nurses in every house of worship in every faith. Not just here. Everywhere.

So, getting back to my story...

It was late 2016 and I was about to retire from the best job I ever had with the best boss I ever had to step into something that was completely unknown to me. My husband was supportive. However, I couldn’t find a faith community nurse in my town to mentor me and I couldn’t find training for this nursing specialty. These were the first of many obstacles in this leap of faith, but it was a leap I was certain I was supposed to be taking. I worship in a small faith community in Lebanon, Oregon called Am HaSefer – People of the Book. I shared this call to service with our Rabbi and Gesher, Jonah Freeman. He felt the call, too, and was in full support, although neither of us knew what it was we were being called to, really, or how it would happen. I left my occupational health nursing career in the spring of 2017.

It took several months, but I found a Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course about an hour away and registered for the October, 2017 class. Jonet Schutz, BSN, RN, Faith Community Nurse for Redeemer Lutheran Church and Coordinator for the Salem, OR area welcomed me into the class even though I was not in the Salem area. There were several of us in the class, all from different faith traditions.

The class was life-changing for me. Now that I had the course under my belt, I could hardly wait to get started! I thought the next big question was how to bring this to my faith community, but the call to service was bigger than that; I felt led to bring it to our entire rural community, not just my faith community. Rabbi Jonah agreed, although both of us were still unsure what “it” was, what “it” would look like, or how, exactly, to do “it.” We knew the need was great, and we agreed this could be a way to meet it.

The Lord provided the answer to this bigger “how” through unexpected open doors. I enrolled in an online FCN Coordinator Course through the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing in the spring of 2018. Our congregation partnered with Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministries NorthWest, a Portland-based non-profit and Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing Educational Partner, and hosted our first Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course in Lebanon, Oregon in over a decade. We held the class in donated space in Trinity Baptist Church in Lebanon. We were blessed to have Annette Stixrud, BA, RN, MS, as our Lead Educator and Jonet on hand as my coordinator mentor and graduated nine FCNs and health ministers, but only three were from Linn County.

The three local area graduates from that class joined with me to form an informal coalition we called the Faith Community Health Network and began meeting in January, 2019. We met monthly; all of us called to serve and committed to find our way. Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministries NorthWest sponsored me to take the Lead Educator Course for the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course in the spring of 2019 and I was excited to bring the course to our local area on a regular basis to help build our team. Unfortunately, Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministries NorthWest folded late in 2019. We could not deliver the course without an approved Educational Partner. Linn-Benton Community College – Extended Learning stepped in and partnered with the Faith Community Health Network to host the course in 2020 and 2021. Our Faith Community Health Network, officially a public charity since September, 2021, is now a Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing Educational Partner in its own right, and we are able to deliver the course on our own and did so in 2022. The Faith Community Health Network coordinated and delivered the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course right through the pandemic, with classes in the fall of 2020, 2021, and 2022! These courses have helped to build our team, and we continue to meet most months – nine times a year – for education, fellowship, and networking.

The ”how” has truly been Divine Intervention. We continue to grow and our small team of faith community nurses and health ministers are active in – and beyond – their faith communities.

We are making a difference.

We have another Foundations of Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministry Course scheduled for fall, 2023. We hope you will join us! Click here to learn more about the course and to register, and email Deb at faithcommunityhealthnetwork@gmail.com to be added to the email list.

Lebanon’s Faith Community Nursing: A Holistic Health Ministry

Lebanon, OR – A new initiative is taking root in Lebanon’s faith communities, bringing spiritual care and nursing practice together to promote health and wellness. Known as faith community nursing, this holistic approach to health aims to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of congregants. The ministry has grown in recent years as faith communities seek to offer more comprehensive support and care to their members.

Lebanon’s faith community nurses are registered nurses who have completed specialized training to provide healthcare services tailored to the unique needs and beliefs of their respective faith communities. They collaborate closely with religious leaders, healthcare professionals, and congregants to offer services such as health education, counseling, advocacy, and referrals to appropriate healthcare resources. Faith community nurses in Lebanon also lead support groups, organize health fairs, and develop wellness programs that address prevalent health issues in the community.

The impact of faith community nursing in Lebanon extends beyond individual congregations, reaching out to the wider community and providing much-needed support for vulnerable populations. By addressing health disparities and working to improve access to healthcare resources, faith community nurses play a crucial role in Lebanon’s overall health and well-being. Their emphasis on spiritual care and the importance of strong faith communities helps individuals navigate through difficult times, cope with illness, and find meaning and purpose in their lives. As Lebanon’s faith community nursing initiative continues to grow, its potential to transform the health landscape for the better becomes increasingly evident.

Faith Community Nursing: A Holistic Approach to Health and Healing

Introduction

Faith community nursing, also known as parish nursing or congregational nursing, is a unique blend of spiritual care and nursing practice that focuses on promoting health and wellness within faith communities. As an integral part of the ministry, faith community nurses work closely with religious leaders, congregants, and other healthcare professionals to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of their community members. In a world where healthcare has become increasingly impersonal and fragmented, faith community nursing offers a compassionate, holistic approach to healing that empowers individuals and fosters a sense of belonging.

Role and Scope of Practice

Faith community nurses are registered nurses who have undergone specialized training in the field, enabling them to provide healthcare services that are sensitive to the unique needs and beliefs of their respective faith communities. Their scope of practice encompasses a wide range of services, including health education, counseling, advocacy, and referral to appropriate healthcare resources. They may also lead support groups, organize health fairs, and implement wellness programs that address prevalent health issues in their community. By working closely with religious leaders, faith community nurses help create a supportive environment where congregants feel comfortable discussing their health concerns and seeking guidance.

Impact and Benefits

The impact of faith community nursing goes beyond the confines of the congregation, reaching out to the wider community and providing much-needed support for vulnerable populations. Faith community nurses can be instrumental in addressing health disparities, particularly in underserved communities where access to healthcare resources may be limited. They are well-positioned to identify gaps in healthcare services, advocate for change, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to improve the overall health and well-being of their community. Additionally, their emphasis on spiritual care and the importance of a strong faith community can help individuals navigate through difficult times, cope with illness, and find meaning and purpose in their lives.