Facilitating Faith Community Nursing in Australia
Faith Community Nursing – bringing ‘nursing’ to the ‘faith community’ and ‘faith’ to ‘community nursing’!
It offers a health dimension to pastoral care that increases its scope, depth and reach. It offers a unique approach to addressing many current problems in health, aged, disability and community care, by mobilising the many gifts and strengths of local churches in innovative ways to address contemporary health and social issues.
A Faith Community Nurse (FCN) bridges the gap between the person or family and the health and community care systems, by connecting the person with local support that can improve their whole health and promote wellbeing.
An example of why we need more FCNs
Add health to pastoral care. Free introductory resources to help you.
As an FCN I make a REAL difference in someone’s life right where I live – you can too!
Kevin was tired… Eve, his wife, was becoming more challenging to care for. With her advancing dementia came more complicated behaviour, more cooking, cleaning and household work. The woman he loved was disappearing and the grief left Kevin sad, exhausted and overwhelmed.
Kevin knew there were aged care options to help him, but he was too tired to be bothered trying to navigate the ‘maze of paperwork’. He was sad at the thought of Eve moving to aged care, saying he felt as if he was failing her. “All her memories are here and she will have nothing of her past to hang on to if she goes into a home.” said Kevin dejectedly. I listened to Kevin’s heartfelt concerns. I located information about services and processes for respite and possible permanent care and talked to Kevin and his family about their options.
As a Faith Community Nurse (FCN) in my church I see people holistically, as body, mind and spirit, living in relationships, with God, others and the creation, so the support and care I bring considers all of those aspects. I always begin by listening and offering prayer to people if they want this. I provide many services such as health counselling, education, support with navigating various care systems, I locate resources for people, I provide information and support to people like Kevin so they can make informed decisions and take actions that support the health and wellbeing of their family. God places us into community to “love one another” and in my FCN role I can “love my neighbour” in a meaningful and tangible way. I am part of the health and pastoral care ministry in our church where I bring a health focus that adds a helpful depth and scope to our pastoral care. I use my professional knowledge and skills to support many situations for people of all ages in my church, and I provide an outreach ministry to our local community. The opportunities in the FCN role are vast and life-changing for those we serve. I thoroughly recommend churches consider adding an FCN to their pastoral care ministry.