Faith Community Nursing Association
Te Kotahitanga Neehi Hapori Whakapono o Aotearoa
"Faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead" James 2:17
What is a Faith Community Nurse?
Faith community nurses are currently registered nurses who provide holistic care to individuals and whanau/families using nursing knowledge combined with spiritual care. They practice within a church pastoral setting and provide an outreach ministry to their local community.
NZFCNA has existed to support - Te Kotahitanga Neehi Hapori Whakapono o Aotearoa he timata ki te tautoko:
the church, nurse and community with a quality health ministry that meets the spiritual, mental and physical needs of individuals and families by developing understanding of the relationship between faith and health within the context of a caring faith community.
i te whare karakia, neehi me te hapori me te minita hauora kounga tutaki ana i nga hiahia wairua, hinengaro me te taha tinana o te tangata takitahi me nga whanau ma te mohio ki te hononga o te Whakapono me te hauora i roto i te kaupapa o te hapori Whakapono manaaki.
Faith community nursing has historical origins within the religious orders and deaconess movements of the early Christian Church. The late Reverend Granger Westberg, an advocate of holistic health care, reinvigorated this movement in the 1980s by introducing parish nursing to the USA. Westberg realised that nurses had broad knowledge across the health disciplines, which provided the requisite professional linkages for care of the whole person.
The specialty of faith community nursing formally commenced in Australia in February 1996 when a seminar to introduce the faith community nurse role was held in Adelaide, South Australia by Dr Anne van Loon.
Dr Anne van Loon
Anne was subsequently invited to lead training courses in New Zealand and links were forged with the Australian Faith Community Nurses Association. NZFCNA in its current form was established during the Nelson conference in 2003.
NZFCNA has links with the Westberg Institute, the international forum for Faith Community Nurses. The association or its members have hosted visiting parish nurses/faith community nurses from England, Wales, USA, Canada as well as Australia. Visitors to New Zealand from the UK took the vision of FCN home and the work there grew from those seeds.
In 2023 the decision was made to cease active operations of the NZFCNA. There are still practising Faith Community Nurses in NZ. The Nurses Christian Fellowship (NZ) are nesting the Association until it is ready to fly again. Professional support can be accessed via the Australian Faith Community Nurses Association who have a New Zealand representative on their Board.
The logo of the New Zealand Faith Community Nurses Association is similar to the Celtic Knot used in the Early Christian Church. The three points represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit intertwined as three in one.
In the interlocking hands, red represents the atoning blood of Christ and blue the traditional colour for healing.
The hands also represent the nurses’ touch as in holding a hand in support or to provide practical care. They also represent prayer to seek God’s healing, thelaying on of hands for healing; the receiving of the sacraments of communion and Christian fellowship.
The three points represent the client who seeks our support; and the wholeness of God Himself, the ultimate source of all healing and the faith community nurse who together with the faith community seeks to provide spiritual, mental and physical health for a person.
You can view a video about Faith Community Nursing in NZ by clicking here