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Saint Thomas health faith program to hold nurse classes

Staff Reports • Updated Aug 4, 2017 at 9:00 PM

NASHVILLE – Signups are underway for the Saint Thomas Health Foundations of Faith Community Nursing program, a course that provides basic preparation for registered nurses to become faith community nurses.  

Faith community nursing is a specialized area of independent nursing practice; registered nurses care for individuals and groups within a faith community and beyond to promote overall wellness.

The Saint Thomas Health FCN program will hold a 40-hour course Sept. 8-9 and Sept. 22-23 at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital at 1700 Medical Center Pkwy. in Murfreesboro.

Classes are open to registered nurses in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.  All classes will be from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., with all materials and meals included.

“Faith community nursing or parish nursing, as it is often called, is a role cherished by many nurses in our area,” said Mary E. Donnelly, Saint Thomas Health faith community nursing liaison. “This training gives nurses a chance to connect their professional skills with faith and prayer to promote whole person health.”

Class fees are substantially reduced through the support of Saint Thomas Health; the class fee is $150 and includes all educational materials and two meals per day of the course. Thirty-two continuing nursing education credits are awarded for completing the course. Support from each candidate’s local clergy is recommended.

FCN is recognized by the American Nurses Association as a specialized area of nursing and one of the fastest growing movements in nursing today.

The foundations course is based on ANA’s scope and standards of practice for faith community nursing and meets the requirements established by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center. The course focuses on the primary functions of a parish nurse as a integrator of faith and health, health counselor, health educator, referral agent, health advocate, coordinator of volunteers and developer of support groups. The course is organized around four core concepts, spirituality, professionalism, wholistic health and community.

Faith community nurses may serve their congregations in various ways, including health education, resource and referral services, home visits, health counseling, support groups, health fairs, blood pressure screening and parenting classes.

To register, visit sths.com, click on classes and events, select Sept. 8 and click the course name. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the registration. Class size is limited, and registration ends Sept. 5.

For more information, contact Mary E. Donnelly, faith community nursing liaison, via email at mary.faithcommunitynursing@gmail.com or call 615-222-6603. Also visit sthealth.com/fcn.

In Tennessee, Ascension’s Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates. Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $78 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in 2016. Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based health care organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Visit sthealth.com.

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