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Faith community (parish) nursing 

Faith community (parish) nursing
Faith community (parish) nursing

Antonia M. van Loon

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date: 16 May 2022

Faith community nursing (also known as parish nursing, pastoral nursing, congregational/church nursing) is a specialist nursing practice distinguished by its endorsement of a faith-based perspective of the person, which focuses nursing care on integration, nurture, and restoration of the whole person in all their dimensions (physical, mental, spiritual and socio-cultural). Faith community nurses (FCNs) help people with existing diseases or complex conditions to manage their condition enabling the person to maximize their potential and their quality of life. However, the FCN’s primary focus is on preventing disease and illness, and promoting the preconditions for personal and community health. This is largely undertaken by nurturing healthy relationships within the person, between the person and God, between the person and the environment, and between people by addressing social justice issues, providing education and support regarding faith and health issues. All these activities are undertaken in the context of, and with the support of, an auspicing faith community. The FCN’s clients are not restricted to that faith community, thus all activities and programs conducted by FCNs have the capacity to reach into the wider geographic and/or the cultural community which that faith community seeks to serve. This chapter focuses on the development and outworking of faith community nursing within Christian faith communities. This faith has embraced the FCN role and this group are most frequently represented in the published literature internationally.

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