Have you ever met a faith community nurse? My guess is that if you have, you know it. They are go-getters. They know how to take an idea and make it happen. Not only do they have the practical knowledge to care for the health of their congregations (like checking blood pressures after church on Sundays), they also inspire others to get motivated and learn about their own health and well-being. Many of them give freely of their time and are completely dedicated. They exude passion, and so are able lead thriving health and wholeness ministries. Many of them I have had the pleasure of working with have been trained through the Congregational Nurse and Health Ministry Program of the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem.
As a Regional Consultant for PHW, I focus my time in eight counties, and Forsyth County is at the heart of my region. Congregational nurses, with all their energy, knowledge, creativity, and compassion, have a special place in my heart, and the CNHM Program works to continuously provide them with resources and spiritual support, as well as opportunities for leadership and advocacy. If you are interested in becoming an FCN, the good news is that CNHM has a Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course coming up in September. And, although the course is located in the Triad, it is open to anyone. Some scholarships are available.
The course will be offered September 14 through 18 by the CNHM Program at the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem. Classes will be held from 8:30 to 5 each day at Knollwood Baptist Church. Participants will earn 34 contact hours of continuing education credit (required for FCN certification). For registration and more information please contact Judy Iannuzzi or Lori Carter, co- directors, at 336-748-0217 or Jiannuzzi@shepherdscenter.org by August 14.
Learn more about Faith Community Nursing here. and Lori Carter speaks about the profession below:
Faith Community Nursing (parish nursing or congregational nursing) is a nursing specialty recognized by the ANA. These nurses operate from their own Scope and Standards of Practice and may become certified FCN’s through a portfolio process.
Most FCN’s will say that they felt called to this specialty, which gives them the training and the opportunity to minister to the spiritual needs of those they serve, as well as the physical and emotional needs that all nurses are trained to address.
Serving a faith community gives nurses the perfect opportunity to be teacher, counselor, advocate, healthcare navigator, and offer a supportive, non-anxious presence to those they serve.
Because many ministers tend to develop poor health, caring for members of their faith communities rather than attending to their own needs, some denominations employ FCNs to help their pastors and priests achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about the foundations course, please click here.