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Public/Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist Role: Assisting Faith Communities in Developing and Maintaining a Faith-Based Nursing Ministry

Asper, Maureen A. MSN, RN, ACNS-BC

Section Editor(s): EBRIGHT, PATRICIA DNS, RN, CNS; PATTEN, STEPHEN MSN, RN, CNS, CNOR, Conference Co-chairs

doi: 10.1097/01.NUR.0000348950.21199.04
CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS: 2010 NACNS National Conference Abstracts: March 3-6, 2010, Portland, Oregon
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An important aspect of the mission at Holy Spirit Hospital (HSH) is to "help develop health communities" in our area. The Faith-Based Nursing Ministry (FBNM) serves that mission by providing assistance to all faiths to develop or enhance their ministry of health and ongoing guidance and education to faith community nurses (FCNs) and health ministers.

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Health education has been shown to save considerable dollars in treatment costs. FCNs who develop health and wellness programs offer many rewards for their congregation now and in the future. The FBNM assists nurses and health ministers with integrating their religion into a health and wellness program within their congregation.

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Previously, our area had a fee-for-service congregational program developed by a local hospital. HSH also had a volunteer parish nurse program for inpatients, and some local FCNs were meeting to network. These programs have all disbanded. The FBNM was conceived to support and serve the FCNs and health ministers in their efforts to offer health and wellness programs in their congregations.

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Free services offered to all local faith communities include an assessment of the congregation's needs, assistance in developing an individualized wellness program, ongoing guidance, networking opportunities, a resource center and lending library, and monthly lunch-n-learn programs. Onsite visits are offered along with assistance in identifying volunteers, training staff, creating programs, and integrating the unique mission of the faith community into their health and wellness program at no charge to any faith community in our area.

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From the original databases of our volunteer parish nurses and the local informal parish nurse group, we have increased the number of FCNs interested in receiving monthly information by over 300%, with good attendance at the monthly programs.

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This successful program meets our mission to develop health communities. Several faith communities have offered health fairs, exercise programs, and other health-related activities as a direct result of our efforts.

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Implications for Practice:

Several nurses have expressed an interest in FCN, but did not know how to start. This program serves them individually and also serves the experienced FCNs in developing their health and wellness program in their congregation.

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Section Description

The 2010 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Annual National Conference is planned for Portland, Oregon, on March 3 to 6. More than 375 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are expected to attend. This year's theme, "CNS as Internal Consultant: Influencing Local to Global Systems," demonstrates the breadth and depth of CNS practice and leadership at multiple levels in organizations and on healthcare.

A total of 142 abstracts were submitted for review, and 58 (not including student posters) were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session; student abstracts will appear in a later issue of the journal. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in all 3 practice domains as described in the Spheres of Influence Framework for CNS Practice. Abstracts emphasized patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, CNS education, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into the 3 Spheres of Influence, the role of the CNS in developing clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, the role of the CNS in National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) activities, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNS's contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, as well as contributing to the advancement of the nursing profession.

The conference abstracts are published to share new knowledge with those unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics.

Watch for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at the next NACNS annual conference scheduled for March 9-12, 2011, in Baltimore, Maryland.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.