Two Canonsburg Hospital nurses, Karen Rowley, RN, BSN, and Cassie Lenco, RN, BSN, are now commissioned as Faith Community Nurses to serve church communities in the Canonsburg service area.
Ms. Rowley and Ms. Lenco completed a specialized Faith Community Nursing course through the Sisters of Mercy at Mercy Hospital. Faith Community Nursing is a recognized nursing specialty through the American Nurses Association. It is defined as the specialized practice of professional nursing focusing on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting holistic health and preventing or minimizing illness in the faith community. There is no substantive difference between the title of faith community nurse and a parish nurse. The title, “faith community nurse” is a generic term used to describe a community-based nursing practice, which can be done in the context of any form of faith community, including Christian and other faiths.
Faith Community Nurses serve in several roles including:
- health advisor
- educator on health issues
- visitation in homes or in the hospital
- providing assistance in obtaining needed health services
- making referrals to community resources
- developing support groups
- training and coordinating volunteers
- providing health screenings.
Faith Community Nurses work in a variety of settings. One nurse may work through one or more churches as a health minister, as part of a group of nurses supporting several churches, or as a nurse connected to a hospital or clinic working with churches to improve the health of the community through organizing health screenings or other outreach activities.
Faith Community Nurses are not home health nurses, but rather nurses who provide their support and resources as a caring healthcare professional to the church and the community.