IPNRC education news: "in the spotlight".
In future issues, we will share more stories. The stories that follow are in their own words.
Martha S. Erbach, RN, MEd, MSN
Associate Director of Health Ministries
Institute for Church Professions, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
Musings of an "Old" Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse Educator: In 1994, I was called to this adventure. I had never heard of Parish Nursing. It has been a great journey, and though I am retiring, the end of August, the journey is far from over. I'll be continuing in a volunteer and contract basis.
I have taken the Great Commission as my guide throughout this adventure. The King James version states: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations--teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
When my clergy partner, Kathleen Monge and I began, we knew we wanted to model our course after Rosemarie Mathias'. As we prayed about "our" model, Kathleen said, "Martha, our course needs to be Interfaith." I agreed and thus we have taught "all nations." We are planning to carry the curriculum to Africa University in Zimbabwe so that the faculty of their school of nursing will be able to teach this concept. It is our belief that the best way to teach HIV/AIDS prevention is through the churches.
The teaching "Whatsoever I command you", has been harder for me to discern. The IPNRC Basic Curriculum is not hard to accept at all. I have been privileged to assist several times in its development so feel some ownership. But there is so much more! Examples are: Presence and Healing, Music and Healing, Art and Healing, Sacred Stories, Humor and Healing. We are putting on more continuing education events for those "extras."
I continue to listen to guidance from our Lord as to what I am being "commanded" to teach.
I would like to leave you with "my" three steps to success:
1) Make sure your program/course is grounded in God and the example of Love in Jesus Christ. Is your program spiritually and scripturally grounded? Have you prayed and listened for guidance? Is there a scripture from which you can hang your thoughts? All children are loved by God. You must do the same! Even the students who challenge you deserve your love.
2) Become part of a village. I have been blessed many times by my village, Shenandoah University. The resources of faculty, physical set-up, cafeteria, print shop, public relations, registrar's office and being a provider of nursing contact hours has given our program a much higher caliber than it would have been in a stand-alone arena. If you are not a part of an institution of higher education, I strongly encourage you to see about the possibilities.
3) Lastly, you need to care for yourself. I know I don't always do a good job of this but it is so very important. Spiritual nourishment for your soul, rest and nourishing food for your body are vitally important to a successful program. Try to maintain shalom!
Candace Huber, MPH, BSN, RN, FCN
Director, Florida Hospital, Center for Community Health Ministry
Parish Nurse Institute, Orlando, Florida
My journey into Parish Nursing began years ago with a favorite Pastor, who made the life of Jesus come alive to me in my teen years. My mother was a Christian nurse, who also encouraged me as I watched her always helping others.
There was a specific point in time that I remember Christ influenced me directly. It was during college, and I was being drawn into what I thought was pastoral ministry. One afternoon, I was sitting in a courtyard reading my Bible and having a conversation with God about what I should do with my life. As we talked, He said very clearly to me, "Why don't you look into nursing?" As I walked to the dorm, I saw a sign for "College of Nursing Enrollment Interviews." It was five minutes to closing, and I entered an empty room to meet the Dean of the School of Nursing. The following year I was enrolled in Loma Linda University School of Nursing. It was there I learned about wholistic care. What a privilege it was to learn about Spiritual Care and pray with patients--back in the 70's!
I had always been intrigued by the stories of the early public health nurses, and after nursing school, I earned a MPH from Loma Linda University School of Public Health and also earned a certificate in school nursing and a K-12 teaching certificate. During these studies, I met a student who was a pastor and also studying for a degree in public health. He wanted to better serve the people of the congregation and pattern his ministry after Christ's ministry of healing. We married and began our ministry together with Christ. My husband and I have worked in each congregation to implement wholistic health for the members and the community. In the 1990's, I remember seeing the Peter Jennings TV news special on "Parish Nursing" and remember commenting to my husband how there was a name for what we had been working on throughout our ministry--Parish Nursing."
While I have had various roles throughout my career, (mother of two sons, pastor's wife, Health Educator, Diabetes Educator, Prepared Childbirth Educator, Home Health Liaison and Director), remember being thrilled to be called to work as the Director for the Center for Community Health Ministry at Florida Hospital. Not only was the mission of Florida Hospital in line with my own mission, "Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ," but the department included instructing and supporting Parish Nurse ministry in Central Florida. Since 2001, I have worked to revise and teach a Health Ministry Team Building course, which has been taught to more than 1000 laymen in over 300 congregations in Central Florida. We also became affiliated with the IPNRC to utilize the curriculum in preparing parish nurses. Over the years, we have prepared over 400 parish nurses from Florida, 26 other states, and Puerto Rico. Having completed a three year parish nurse project to measure community health improvement, Florida Hospital is now working on a five-year project where the seven-hospital system will be involved in multiple wholistic measurement projects in congregations with parish nurses.
The goal of my work is to lead and continue to encourage parish nurses in excellence, and to encourage that journey which moves from novice to that of expert in Christ's ministry of healing and abundant life.
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|Title Annotation:||International Parish Nurse Resource Center; Martha S. Erbach and Candace Huber|
|Publication:||Parish Nurse Perspectives|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2007|
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