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Classes Open to Registered Nurses Throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama

Saint Thomas Health Faith Community Nursing program hosts classes for nurses

NASHVILLE, TENN. –July 12, 2013- Saint Thomas Health has a Faith Community Nursing (FCN) Program to help grow and support faith community or “parish” nursing, a specialized area of nursing where registered nurseshelp care for the congregation of a church and promote overall wellness in the community.

The Saint Thomas Health FCN program is hosting its fifth Faith Community Nursing Foundations course for nurses who are currently serving as or interested in faith community nursing.

The 32-hour course will be held Sept. 5-6 and Sept. 12-13 at Saint Thomas West Hospital. Classes are open to registered nurses throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama and will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free breakfast and lunch included.

Class fee is $350 and includes all educational materials and meals. Sponsorship from nurses’ local church leadership is encouraged. Financial scholarships are available.

With roots in the nineteenth century, FCN is recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA) as a specialized area of nursing that prepares registered nurses to serve as a member of the ministry staff of a faith community. Emerging as one of the fastest growing movements in nursing today, FCN focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting wholistic health and preventing or minimizing illness in a faith community.

The Basic Foundations Course is based on ANA scope and standards of practice for faith community nursing and meets the requirements established by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC).  The foundations course focuses on the primary functions of a parish nurse:  1) integrator of faith and health, 2) personal and group health counselor, 3) health educator, 4) referral agent, 5) health advocate, 6) coordinator of volunteers and 7) developer of support groups.  It is organized around four core concepts:  spirituality, professionalism,  wholistic health and community.

Faith community nurses may help their congregations in various areas, including health education, resource and referral services, post discharge home visits reducing potential for return hospitalization, counseling or support groups, health fairs, blood pressure clinics and parenting classes. 

“Being healthy includes spiritual, mental and physical health,” said Heather Wills, parish nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tenn. “As a recent graduate of the program I am so excited to know that, as a parish nurse, I can help my church and community lead healthier lives.”

“Like Heather,  many nurses in our area cherish the opportunity that faith community nursing offers to connect their professional skills with faith and prayer to promote whole person health,” said Mary E. Donnelly, Faith Community Nursing liaison.

To register, visit and click on “Classes and Events.” Select Sept. 5 and click the course name. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete your registration. Registration ends Aug. 27.

For more information, contact Mary E. Donnelly, Faith Community Nursing liaison, at  or call 615-222-6603.

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