PRESTONSBURG – Deanna Rice, RN, BSN, CNOR, Director of Surgical and Obstetrical Nursing at Highlands Regional Medical Center, recently completed all of the requirements for certification as a Faith Community Nurse (FCN). The certification includes attending more than 45 hours of designated study in the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing program, through the University of Kentucky in Danville.
Faith Community Nursing is a growing specialty practice of nursing that is recognized by the American Nursing Association. It is a recognized specialty practice that combines professional nursing and health ministry. Sometimes referred to as Parish nursing, it emphasizes health and healing within a faith community. The philosophy of the Faith Community Nursing (FCN) embraces four major concepts: spiritual formation; professionalism; shalom as health and wholeness; and community, incorporating culture and diversity. It is a ministry that is embraced by many different Christian denominations as well as other faith traditions. It is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and the historic practice of professional nursing, and is consistent with the basic assumptions of many faiths that we care for self and others as an expression of God’s love. One goal of Faith Community Nursing Association is to have access to a FCN nurse in every faith community. The FCN’s tasks are advocacy, education, and referrals for clients, monitoring of the health and spiritual issues of clients and providing emotional and spiritual support to clients and families.
Personally, Rice hopes to use her own training as a Faith Community Nurse to work with her own Faith Community, serving as an advocate for the congregation’s health and wellness needs. Professionally, she plans to use her FCN experience to meet the spiritual needs of Highlands’ patients, and to encourage other Highlands’ nurses to become a FCN. In the future, Rice hopes to become an instructor and offer the FCN program to nurses in Eastern Kentucky.
“Being a nurse advocate for my own church has always been important to me,” Rice said. “Now, I can use this training to serve in a more purposeful way. I am also eager to develop a group of nurses here at Highlands to minister to the spiritual needs of our patients. Often we assess our patients for everything except their spiritual needs. And for some, the most important thing they desire is to have someone to talk with them and pray with them. I hope to do that and also to work with other nurses to provide this care to our patients. I am very proud to serve as a FCN and so proud of Highlands for caring about our patients’ spiritual needs enough to send me to this training.”
A graduate of Big Sandy Community & Technical College and Morehead State University, Rice became a registered nurse in 1991. She has worked at Highlands for 24 years; in a management position for almost the last 10 years. Rice resides in East Point with her husband and has two children.