Collaborating Community Nursing and Faith-Based Nursing

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CollaboratingCommunity Nursing and Faith-Based Nursing


Faith-basednursing is centered on a strict belief. This belief is based on theteachings of the Bible. The main principle of these nurses is thetreatment of all individuals as sacred and deserving of medicaltreatment. Every person is therefore given utter respect and dignityby these nurses. The nurses of this order are servants to thecommunity and they provide secure and holy places for caring andhealing that is dealt with a lot of compassion. They work togetherwith the clergy and members of the church to transform thefaith-based community into a fountain of health and treatment(Dehavan et al., 2004).

TheHeritage of Faith-Based Nursing

Faith-basednursing, also known as parish nursing, was initialized by Rev. Dr.Granger E. Westberg. At that time, he was working as a chaplain atChicago Hospital. He had assisted in the creation of an organizationknown as Wholistic Health Centers. He had the idea that combiningmedical practitioners in this organization would be very progressive.Rev. Westberg pictured a nurse of the parish working in a faith-basedcommunity and was focused towards guaranteeing the well-being of thehealth of the community that are the same goals as the ones set bythe hospital. This would widen the nurse’s chances of interactingwith members of the society from all ages and different levels ofsickness and discomfort. The faith-based nurse would have theopportunity to confer spiritual guidance while providing all theconcepts of health care. This parish nurse would also promoteprevention of diseases and early treatment (Zahner &amp Corvado,2004).

Reasonsfor Collaboration

Theaim behind collaborating community nursing with faith-based nursingis to attain full access on health and have no cases of situationsthat arise from selective or treatment based on segregation. Thesteps taken towards achieving this goal involve the following.

Increasedavailability of early and preventive care

Severalfactors hinder this availability of health care. This may includelack of the providers of these health care services. The geographicallocation of the patients to the location where these services may beobtained could be another factor that works against health careaccessibility for all. The working hours during which thesefacilities are available could also affect people who have limitedtime between work and family time. A clear understanding of thelanguage and culture of the people who may need these services alsoworks against these goals. Parish nurses are therefore well trainedto handle all these negative aspects, and thus they work towardsachieving their goal.

Improvingthe supply and standards of healthcare

Eventhough the faith-based nursing organization works towardsavailability of health care for all, the services should also beimproved as well as improve its quality. The steps taken to guaranteethese improvements are several. This is such as the development of acultural understanding delivery system that is specific to eachculture. The inclusion of spirituality is also another way ofensuring the improvement of the quality of these services. Furtherenhancement of health education focused on preventive strategies isanother key feature of this organization.

Improvedisease control by every individual patient

Thereare some of the diseases that are caused by habits and lifestyles.Such diseases include diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Suchdiseases can be controlled and even avoided through a drastic changeof lifestyle practices. The faith-based nursing system achieves thisthrough the support of healthier lifestyles based on religious andmoral principles that confirm these changes are in conformity withspiritual and cultural beliefs. The organization further helps byinitiating programs that sustain and improve these lifestyle changes.

Benefitsof this Collaboration

Thefirst benefit is towards the individuals who receive these servicesfrom faith-based nurses. They benefit from education on preventivemeasures and early treatment of diseases that is based on principlesunderstood by their culture. Trust between the parish nurses andthese individuals is also established, and regular health carefollow-ups are made regular. Lifestyle changes are promoted, andspiritual beliefs associated with health and healing are enhanced.The people also benefit from convenience as these services areavailable close to them.

Thesecond benefit is towards these health centers. This is because thefaith-based organization gets to achieve its goal that is to providehealth care access for all. These centers also get access to morefacilities and funding from different organizations inclusive ofgovernment funded programs.

Thethird benefit is towards the community as a whole. The community getsimproved physical health. This leads to healthier individuals whosupply the working force for the community. More health-related jobsare created, and the community benefits economically as more familiesin the community achieve financial stability (Dehavan et al., 2004).

Roleof parish nurse in faith-based communities

Theparish nurse is the combiner of beliefs and health. The nurse alsobecomes an educator to the community on matters of health as well asact as the counselor for the community. This faith-based nurse mayalso be the champion of health as well as the health referralconsultant. This nurse can also be the initiator of support groupsand the coordinator of volunteers for various community schemes. Theparish nurses also work with aspects with aspects such as long-termcare, the running of hospices, dealing with daycare, organization ofsoup kitchens, school operation and coordination of any othercommunity programs.

HealthyPeople 2020

Thefaith-based nursing organization is campaigning for a program thatstructures itself on the steps seen in the Healthy People of 2020goals. Every project and scheme that they set up is all aimed atcreating a better, healthier society that would guarantee futuregenerations would no longer have the current health issues that arecharacteristic of the current generation.

Considerationof Legal, Ethical and Financial Issues

Parishnursing has ensured that the government is involved in itsoperations. This is through government-funded programs and charters.This ensures that the operation of this organization is well withintheir legal mandate. All the steps that are taken by the faith-basedorganization are therefore viewed as legal within the laws.

Someethical issues involving nurses who have joined such organizationsthat are run by religions that are different from the nurses’ ownhave also arisen. This issue revolves around the notion that one mayhave to let go of their religion to work for such an organization.This is not the case since different faith-based organization have anopen policy whereby any nurse from whichever religion may join themwithout the need for religion change. Only the principles andguidelines that the organization is run by that is required to befollowed.

Thecollaboration of the faith-based nursing with the community nursingis also seen as an act that may lead to more financial expenditure.This is not the case since this partnership creates availability ofmore funds and resources. This venture works in a way that ensuresnone of the two different systems is exploited (Weis et al., 1997).


Theabove discussion shows that collaboration between the communitynursing and the faith-based nursing system is very beneficial to thecommunity. Accessibility to health care is provided for all withoutany favoritisms to any culture or religion, and it is done so at animproved quality of service provision. The partnership of the twosystems of nursing is, therefore, a very transformational steptowards improved health of the society.


Dehavan,M. J., Hunter, I. B., Wilder, L., Walton, J. W., &amp Berry, J.(2004). Health Programs in Faith-Based Organizations: Are theyEffective? American Journal of Public Health.

Weis,D., Matheus, R., &amp Schank, M. J. (1997). Health Care Delivery inFaith Communities: The Parish Nurse Model. Public Health Nursing.

Zahner,S. J., &amp Corvado, S. M. (2004). Local Health DepartmentPartnerships with Faith-Based Organizations. Journal of Public HealthManagement and Practice.

Collaborating Community Nursing and Faith Based Nursing

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CollaboratingCommunity Nursing and Faith Based Nursing

The collaboration between Faith Based Nursing and Community Nursingis undoubtedly significant in the healthcare system. With theincrease in health related challenges in society today, thecontribution of such organizations is worth taking note of. Ingeneral, faith based nursing involves the amalgamation of holistichealth and faith. It mainly puts emphasis on health promotion andprevention while integrating the spiritual or theological thread intoits operations (Kuhn, 1997). Community nursing on the other hand,entail organizations that provide high quality health care servicesto needy and diverse populations (Kuhn, 1997). In the recent years,Faith based nursing programs are increasingly forming partnershipswith community nursing initiatives. This paper seeks examine keyissues in relations to faith based communities, parish nursing andcommunity nursing.

Theheritage of health and healing in faith based communities can betraced back to the year 1985 in Illinois when it was initiated as apilot project. Dr. Reverend Granger Westberg came up with the visionof the program. Originally, it was referred to as Parish nursingbased on the fact that it involved a nursing domain that served boththe church and the greater community outside the church. Sinceinception, faith based nursing has tremendously grown (Patterson andSlutz, 2011).

Itcan be stated that faith based communities are grounded on theanalogy that health care should be holistic in the sense thatspirituality should be integration in the provision health careservices because it plays the significant role of nurturing thepractical feature of the nursing service (Bachhuber, 2006). In thiscase the parish nurse uses a unified healing and faith approach thatputs emphasis on providing health care within the framework of thepractices, beliefs and values of the church through offeringreverence and sympathy. As propagated by Florence Nightingale, inorder for healing to take place, spirituality and science must bejuxtaposed. Increasingly, faith based communities have integratedspiritual believes into the model of promoting health and healing(Bachhuber, 2006). In addition, in the recent years, increasedpartnerships with other health care service providers has resulted totremendous benefits.

Benefitsof the Collaboration and the Role of Parish Nurses

Oneof the key benefits of the collaboration between community nurseswith parish nurses and faith based communities is that it has reducedthe level health disparities. Populations that cannot effectivelyaccess health services are able to receive services without the costimplications. Barrett (2001) discloses that there are roughly 43Million people in the United States who cannot get health insuranceand many lack primary health care service. It can be stated that thepartnership has assisted in meeting the objectives of communityhealth which is to ensure that populations that cannot access healthservices are equally served. The collaborating group of nurses workto ensure that primary health services are provided to the people andtheretofore promoting health and healing to such people. Parishnurses in this context have played the role in providing bothspiritual and physical health assistance to the marginalizedpopulations.

Astudy conducted by Twadell (2010) discloses that the collaborationbetween parish nursing and Community nursing has greatly improvedwomen’s health. According to Twadell (2010) the alliance has hadan intention to offer community based care for both the women andtheir family members. Parish nurses have widened their scope indealing with health issues related to women. For instance one of themost common health problems affecting women is endometriosis which isregularly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. The ministry of health andcommunity nurses are able to offer significant information concerningbetter health choices. The involvement of parish nurses in theprogram has however raised the awareness levels for many women aboutendometriosis. The women are given more information concerningprevention strategies. The collaboration has also seen parish nursesincrease the services they offer to women with low incomes. Twadell(2010) highlights that this intervention has increased theappreciation of the collaborative relationship. In addition, therehas been an increased appreciation of the work done by parish nursesand communityreferrals.

Additionallyit can be stated that the partnership has increased convenience inthe sense that health services can be accessed at flexible times andplaces, for instance at home or even in church (Barrett, 2001). Parish nurses holding membership in faith based community often serveas the first respondents when a member of the congregation haschallenges related to their health during the church service. Thenurses are also involved in health ministry activities such asvisiting members and providing follow up even at home.

PlanningConsiderations by Communities of Faith

Communitiesof faith may include Healthy People 2020 guidelines in programplanning in a variety of way. Foremost, it is essential that whenplanning communities of faith must ensure that their objectives aremeasurable and attainable. Healthy People 2020 guidelines in programplanning recommends that a good plan should have clear objectivesthat are measurable and attainable. In most cases, organizationstend to make plans by outlining objectives that they can no measureor attain. This has resulted to failure of projects and thereforeleading to negative health implications to the community and alsofinancial loss for the organization. Healthy People 2020 guidelineshas outlined objectives that are actually measurable. For instance akey objective is to attain health equality, eradicate disparities andimprove the health of every group in society (CDC.2009a). Itpossible to examine if the objective can achieve a level of successtherefore making it measurable and attainable.

Also,when planning, it is essential to integrate partnership orcollaboration as a key element of their plans. Healthy People 2020,greatly stress on the significance of promoting the development of ahealthy nation. One of the key recommendations is for communityorganizations such as Faith based nursing programs to formpartnership in order to promote community health (CDC.2009a). Basedon this requirement it can be argued that, when undertaking planningcommunities of faith must factor in the concept of partnership as asignificant element. Additionally, in the partnerships, parish nursesare actually the main ambassadors for their faith communities, asresult their role should also be integrated in the partnerships.

Additionally,the Healthy People 2020 guidelines in program planning also requiresthat when planning it is essential to put into considerationintervention points which entails identifying where change can bemade. Likewise the manner in which progress is to be measured is alsosignificant. When developing plans communities of faith should alsoput this facts into consideration.

IssuesRelating to Parish Nursing

Thereare various legal issues related to parish nursing. Based on the factthat Parish nurses are now recognized by the American NursesAssociation, it is essential for them to uphold legal requirements ofthe nursing profession such us the Nurses Practice Act (O`Brien,2003). According to the Act, a nurse should not engage in unethicalbehavior such as alcohol or drug abuse in the workplace.

Also, another legal requirement is that parish nurses should notdisclose private information to the public without the consent of thepatient such as what is stipulated in the HealthInformation Portability and Accountability Actof 1996 (HIPAA),

Oneof the ethical considerations for a parish nurse is integrity. It isessential for a parish nurse to uphold honesty in all theirundertakings. This will assist in maintaining public trust towardsthe program. Parish nurses should also conduct their duties asassigned to them without delay as proposed by the ANA Code of Ethicsfor Nurses.

Akey financial issue that exist in parish nursing is that most fundsare derived from the church it is therefore essential foraccountability to exist in the manner in which the funds are used.


Theabove discussion has presented various views concerning collaborationbetween community nursing and faith based nursing. A key element totake note of is that the partnership has actually transformed thehealthcare system. The paper highlights the benefits contributed bythe partnership essentially through the parish nurses. Some of thekey contributions include provision of health care services todeprived populations, improvement of women’s health and increasingaccessibility of health services to all people in differentlocations. In conclusion it can be stated that the partnership isvery much relevant and should be improved.


Bachhuber,M.(2006). TheCollaboration Between Parish Nurse and Public Health Programs in Connecticut.Connecticut University.

Barrett,S.(2001). SharingLegacy of caring partnership between Health care and faith Basedorganizations. National Center for Cultural Competence

HealthyPeople 2020 guidelines in program planning Retrieved on 7thDecember 2015 From

CDC.(2009a). Healthy People 2020. Topics and objectives

Kuhn,K. (1997). A profile of parish nurses. TheJournal of Christian Nursing.14(1): 26-18.

Patterson,D and Slutz, M. (2011). Faith community/parish nursing: What`s in aname? Journalof Christian Nursing, 28(1),31-33.

ParishNursing and Community Collaboration in Women`s Health.

O`Brien,M.(2003). ParishNursing: Healthcare Ministry within the Church.Jones&amp Bartlett Learning.

Twadell,P.(2010). Parish Nursing and Community Collaboration in Women`sHealth. Journalof Obstetric, Gynecologic, &amp Neonatal Nursing. 39(2). pg 204,

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