What is Faith Community Nursing?
The beginning of this newer branch of nursing can be traced to Granger Westberg, a Lutheran minister during the 1980’s with connections to a Lutheran Hospital in Illinois. The original idea was to have medical clinics in churches with physicians, nurses and clergy working together, providing holistic care to members of the congregation. This project evolved into placing nurses within a congregation, connecting the hospital with the churches through parish nursing.
What does a faith community nurse do?
The call is a commitment to the intentional care combining nursing and ministry to help people with their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The Faith Community Nurse meets with groups and individuals to assess the health of the church, making visits to homebound, hospitalized, and long term care facilities. She works in conjunction with the pastoral staff to make referrals as necessary.
In the future, other activities may include comforting and uplifting those with chronic health issues through prayer and scripture, comforting those facing death, helping families know about palliative or hospice care as appropriate, and fulfilling the need for congregants to know FCC cares for them, especially in times of crisis and beyond.
Other areas of ministry to think about include providing advocacy when navigating through the health care system, disease and injury prevention through nutrition and fitness, education for heart, emotional and aging health, and creating a volunteer base in caring ministry.