The Catholic Health Association of the United States says that the tradition of nursing in Catholic health care, from nurse executives to nursing assistants, in hospitals, long-term care organizations, hospices and community-based programs, is one of providing holistic, compassionate care to all those in need.

If this describes your vocation, St. Francis Medical Center’s Parish Nursing Foundation Program is encouraging you to deepen your faith’s interaction with your career.

A faith community nurse focuses on the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of a parish, according to materials provided by St. Francis Medical Center.

The Diocese of Trenton’s Department of Pastoral Care encourages faith community nursing as being “rooted in the mission of the Church to build the Kingdom of God by serving those in need, and is a response to the call to share in Christ’s healing mission through various spiritual and healthcare ministries. Parish nurses believe that God desires fullness of life for his people, and it is their blessed task to journey with the parishioners in their community toward wholeness of body, mind and spirit.”

St. Francis is introducing a training program for registered nurses who maintain an active New Jersey State License and are willing to provide spiritual care for members of a parish. 

According to Nursesbooks.org, the official publishing program of the American Nurses Association, “Faith community nursing is a practice specialty that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit, promotion of an integrative model of health, and prevention and minimization of illness within the context of a faith community. Such practitioners consider the spiritual, physical, psychological and social aspects of an individual to create a sense of harmony with self, others, the environment, and a higher power.”

The sessions will take place on four consecutive Saturdays in April at the Diocese of Trenton Pastoral Center, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton.

This 38-hour course is based on the standardized core curriculum developed through the International Parish Nurse Resource Center.  A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided, and a $50 discount will be applied to registrations received before Feb. 29.

All registrations are due by March 17. More information can be obtained by contacting Mary Jo Abbondanza, Director of Health Promotions at St. Francis Medical Center, at mabbondanza@stfrancismedical.org.