What’s Your Passion?

Is your passion… Integrating faith and health? Parish nursing? Faith community nursing? Spiritual care? Wholistic health? Extending the reach of traditional healthcare to faith communities?

If you answered YES! to any of these, then we have lots in common and I invite you to join me on a mission to create an online community for Connecticut Faith Community Nurses!

(If you are reading this wondering, “What is Faith Community Nursing?,” then click here.)

Through this blog I hope to help us help each other begin, support, practice, and advocate for our health ministries across many faiths and religions in our shared region of CT.  Whether you are brand new to this nursing specialty or have been ministering for many years, I know there is a place for you here.

Please view this blog as a two-way conversation.  I am fairly new to faith community nursing and bring a strong passionate fire to the practice from my own perspective, experiences, and visions.  I know that I am only one of many who are called to walk this path, so I invite you to please comment on my posts and share your perspectives and knowledge.  I’d love to hear what interests you or what you’d like to share with us, so we can join together on a journey of learning and practicing Faith Community Nursing.

I hope that we will share stories, ideas, resources, and moral support with each other.  Some of us have many stories, others have just begun!  Some of us have so many ideas that we don’t know what to do with them (like me!), and others are gifted in giving life to those ideas.  Some of us are blessed with a wealth of resources at our disposal, and others have very little financial or human capital.  All of us need moral support as we continue to blaze the path that started here in Connecticut 25 years ago!

(That sounds great, but I’m really just looking for foundational education on Faith Community Nursing…click here.)

One topic of special importance to me is the fact that some of us are paid, but most of us are unpaid. Only 10% to 35% of faith community nurses are paid nationwide (McGinnis, 2007; Patterson, 2011). Unpaid faith community nurses spend less time in faith community nursing roles and report less satisfaction with outcomes, skills and support than paid faith community nurses (McGinnis, 2007), and their documentation is less intentional (Rydholm, 2006). This diminishes the potential of unpaid faith community nurses to show significant positive health outcomes, an influential factor in future funding of research and paid faith community nurse positions (ANA & HMA, 2012).

As an unpaid faith community nurse, myself, I can relate to all of the findings above.  I certainly spend less time in my faith community nurse role than I’d like to. Low satisfaction with outcomes is what ignited my desire to pursue the Doctor of Nursing Practice at Quinnipiac University.  (It’s ironic, really, how my unpaid status led me to pay for further education.)  I continue to work on building my skills, but my mentors have limited time for meeting my needs…as do I.  I have felt the inspirational support of fellow faith community/parish nurses at the many conferences that I have attended, yet those experiences are fleeting.  Not long after, I find myself practicing in the silo of my own faith community.  I continue to grapple with documentation.  It’s an area where we can improve the quality of our specialty and design it for demonstrating the positive health outcomes that we see in practice.

But, let’s not fret too long on these not so happy thoughts!  There is hope…

“When most of the people who know something about your specialty aren’t in your own organization, social media can help professionals to build knowledge and relationships.” (Blossom, 2009, p.151)

Through social media, we can be better connected with each other.

Through social media, we can help each other become experts in our specialty through educational, professional, program, and emotional support.

Through social media, we can work with each other to advocate for our specialty, improve our documentation, demonstrate our value with positive health outcomes, and increase the number of paid faith community nurse positions in the state.

In closing, I hope that you find this song equally as moving and inspirational as I did!  Let’s move toward each other online and help each other carry out our calling to health ministry.

“Touched by the lodestone of thy love, Let all our hearts agree. And ever toward each other move, and ever move toward Thee.”

Mark Templeton, born 1974, is a choral composer, conductor, and countertenor. He teaches and resides at West Nottingham Academy in Colora, MD, the oldest boarding school in the United States. Templeton’s music has been performed all over the world at various international festivals and ACDA conventions. Some of his music is published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and he has recently started to self-publish. He also enjoys coaching, playing, and watching soccer when he is not working. He is available for commission upon request.

For more information about this song and other compositions by Mark Templeton email singmtempleton@yahoo.com


References

American Nurses Association & Health Ministries Association. (2012). Faith community nursing: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.

Blossom, J. (2009). Content nation: Surviving and thriving as social media changes our work, our lives, and our future. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

McGinnis, S. (2007). Findings from a survey of parish nurses/faith community nurses in the United States. Rensselaer, NY: Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, SUNY Albany.

Patterson, D. (2011). Ask Deborah: Parish nurse pay.

Rydholm, L. (2006). Documenting the value of faith community nursing: 1. saving hundreds, making cents — a study of current realities. Creative Nursing, 12(2), 10-12.

“This blog has been created as part of the educational coursework for ICM 522 – Introduction to Social Media in the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University. The postings on my site are solely my own and do not reflect the views of Quinnipiac University or any of its employees nor do they offer any professional, legal or medical advice.”

About courtholmes

Nurse Practitioner, Faith Community Nurse, Parish Nurse, Certified Wound Specialist, DNP Student at Quinnipiac University, Social Media Enthusiast... Passionate about integrating faith and health! CT Faith Community Nurses on Twitter @CTFCN

Posted on October 17, 2014, in Inspiration, Introduction, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. I love your passion, and agree with the need to minister to the spiritual aspect of the patient in order to complete that holistic picture. Not every nurse is trained in spiritual matters, but I think it’s important to bring it up when appropriate, and refer people to their spiritual leaders. I am a Christian, so when I know my patient is also a Christian, I feel confident to share some things that will be helpful. It’s all integrated – body, soul, and mind. Our emotions, physical body, and spiritual well being are all at stake when illness strikes. So many mental issues could be helped with some spiritual guidance, especially when it comes to anxiety and depression.

    I am writing books to help people in spiritual matters, building character in young people, defending the faith, loving God, family and community, etc. I love getting out in the community and talking with people about the Lord. It’s hard to do in the healthcare setting, and sensitivity needs to take place.

    This is a great topic, and I would love to learn more about integrating faith and medicine. I know studies have shown people of faith have better healing rates, especially when they pray.

    The Christian Medical and Dental Associations is a great organization, and I am a member. One of these days I want to go to one of their conferences. I would like to learn what other Christian providers are doing in their workplace settings.

    Like

    • Thank you Dawn! I agree, it’s a challenge to provide spiritual care when not in a faith based role (for me as a parish nurse). I think the easiest spiritual care any nurse can provide in any role without raising religious or faith topics is the gift of presence.

      Like

  2. You spell out your passion and intentions quite clearly as a member of the Ct faith community nursing industry. I love the way you documented your position with stats and showed your vulnerability by being honest about the reason you are in QU’s program with your readers. I think this community will have no problem expressing and connecting with your blog. You also leave everyone with an uplifting song to end it. Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My passion is to contribute to create an avenue that integrates the different branches of the healthcare fieldworking together to educate the public in the community arena with resources to be healthy holistically. My experiences working as a volunteer in Parish Nursing at Courtney’s church has educated me that is ine avenue to provide this type of integrative heath care. I believe that being healthy holistically incorporates the physical,spiritual,emotional and mental components that make us as human beings.
    Diana Greenia ANP,BC

    Like

  4. You can tell that you really love this subject and I can read your passion in your writing. I look forward to following you on this blog and finding out what you write about. I have a feeling you will keep this blog long after this class is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is great to see someone as passionate about you about their interests. It is pretty great that you will be able to have a career in a field that you love and truly care about. Not many people are so lucky. Great blog. Looking forward to reading more about your community.

    Like

  6. Thank you. Nursing is a wonderful career with many options to find the niche that fits your gifts and passions the best.

    Like

  7. Courtney, I am truly impressed with your blog. It’s clear that you are deeply immersed in your community and able to speak with real authority. It’s equally clear that you’ve put a lot of thought into how you want the space organized and what you want to present. You are giving visitors here a lot of reasons to come back. Congratulations! – Steve S.

    Like

    • Thank you! I want to make sure I provide quality content for my readers. The blog seems to have drawn a national audience as well as CT nurses. Most topics are applicable to all faith community nurses, but I also post local resources and content as well for my state.

      Like

  8. Remarkable things here. I am very happy to peer your post.
    Thank you a lot and I am having a look forward to touch you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    Like

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    Your long term health as well as your long term weight
    matter. It is important that you do various physical activities daily so you will not gain much
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    Like

  10. Awesome Website, Keep up the very good work. Thanks!

    Like

  11. I am new to the “blog” community, but love the idea, and the potential to connect with other faith community nurses. Thank you, too, for the beautiful song .

    Like

    • Yes, so exciting…An entire world of potential! No matter where you or I are, we can connect, share resources, ideas, and learn from each other online in a national, even global community, with others who are passionate about health ministry like us.

      Like

  12. I love the concept of an online retreat! How can others participate in this concept.

    Like

  13. After exploring a handful of the blog articles
    on your blog, I seriously like your way of writing a blog.
    I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking
    back soon. Please visit my web site as well and tell me your opinion.

    Like

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