Siloam has historically been committed to Whole-Person Care—addressing not just the physical, but also the social, psychological, and spiritual determinants of health in our patients. As our community health outreaches have confirmed, one of the most effective ways to do this is at the level of the local congregation. This week’s commentary is from guest blogger, Heather Wills, who serves as Faith Community Nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church here in Nashville.
Throughout Scripture, God calls people of faith to ministries of healing. Faith Community Nurses (FCN’s) answer that call by serving their congregations and promoting wholistic health of mind, body and spirit. This tradition – also known historically as “parish nursing” – was established as a sub-specialty nursing practice in the 1980’s by Granger Westburg. He realized that nurses – who are trained with one foot in the sciences and the other in the humanities – are uniquely suited to bridge the gap between faith and health.
Faith Community Nursing is recognized by the American Nurses Association and has its own Scope and Standards of Practice. Here in Middle Tennessee FCN’s gather for monthly meetings that offer educational programs on a variety of topics that address the unique focus of Faith Community Nursing. Together FCN’s share resources, experiences and practical information. Healthy congregations have the potential to transform the health of Middle Tennessee, and Faith Community Nurses are on the front line!
Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville offers a 34 hour, 32 CEU course that provides experienced RN’s with knowledge, tools and resources they need to function effectively in the unique role of an FCN. Even full time nurses in hospital, office or community settings can benefit from this additional, complementary training. Visit www.STHEALTH.COM/FCN for more details about this specialty practice! The next course will be offered March 14, 15, 28 and 29th of 2014.
If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me (Heather Wills, Faith Community Nurse at Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, TN) at ParishNurse@stbs.net.