A Faith Community Nurse serves by promoting health; and the prevention, or minimizing impact, of illness. Although a FCN does not practice direct-care nursing, there are many other avenues of support offered.
The church is often the first place people come with their health needs. The FCN can enhance the ministry of the present staff and existing programs through their presence, attentive listening and prayer. Because the nurse is already connected with health systems, the FCN can refer them to the appropriate sources and become their advocate. As health care systems become increasingly complex, the FCN provides an outreach to the community as persons are often uncertain, unaware or uninformed.
A FNC may engage in, make available, or refer persons to such things as: visits, referrals to families dealing with illness/crisis, support groups, prayer with those who have health concerns, medical missions, disability education and inclusion, babysitting skills education, first aid kits, CPR/AED training, health education, mental wellness/ counseling, fitness programs, new baby visits, health screenings (blood pressure, blood sugars, osteoporosis), domestic violence awareness, counseling services, healing service, referrals to appropriate sources, first aid training for ushers/greeters, listening and more. Above all, nurses share their hope in Christ to those to whom they are ministering.
Cynthia Dainsberg holds a current license as a Registered Nurse, and earned her Parish Nurse certificate from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University July 17, 1997. She has lived with ongoing health challenges for almost 30 years, particularly CFIDS; recently being diagnosed as well with Late-Stage neuroborreliosis (Lyme) with Co-Infections. Although she has not been able to be employed as an RN for many years due to her health challenges- she enjoys keeping up on health issues, researching, advocating and promoting health on a volunteer basis. If you have a question, concern, need… feel free to contact her and she will do her best to provide you with direction.
If you are an R.N., and have an interest in becoming a Faith Community Nurse, check out the Evangelical Free Church of America’s webpage* for more information of serving as an FCN. And if you would like to learn how to become a certified FCN yourself, Cynthia would be happy to help you find training options.
(*Portions of this article adapted from the EFCA’s website: http://www.efca.org/reachnational/holistic-ministries/efca-faith-community-nurse-network/faqs-faith-community-nursing