Faith Community Nursing, also known as Parish Nursing, is a specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting wholistic health and preventing or minimizing illness. This practice is guided by the following general principles:
HISTORY OF FAITH COMMUNITY NURSING/PARISH NURSING:
In the late 1970s or early 1980s, the Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg, a Lutheran minister, hospital chaplain and author of the best-selling book "Good Grief", developed the modern day concept of Parish Nursing. This relatively new concept of health ministry builds upon the centuries old traditions of religious orders that cared for the sick and needy. This was exemplified in the past in this country by the many hospices, hospitals and schools of nursing that were developed by various Judeo-Christian religious institutions. In recent years, the concept of Parish Nursing/Faith Community Nursing has swept the nation. In our neighboring state of Montana, close to 350 Parish Nurses have been trained in the past ten years!
In 1998 the American Nurses Association, in collaboration with the Health Ministries Association (HMA) the professional membership organization for nurses in this specialty, developed the Scope and Standards of Parish Nursing Practice. In 2005, this document was transformed into Faith Community
Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice in order to embrace a non-denominational, ecumenical perspective. This document points out that the Faith Community Nurse (FCN) bridges two disciplines and thus must be prepared in and responsible to both. “Appropriate and effective practice as an FCN requires the ability to integrate current nursing, behavioral, environmental and spiritual knowledge with the unique spiritual beliefs and practices of the faith community into a program of wholistic nursing care. This is necessary no matter the level of education the nurse has achieved.”