Faith community nursing is a growing field, says Nelda Hobbs, RN, clinical instructor, and the Faith Community Nursing program coordinator.

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing and the Oklahoma Nurses Association will present Faith Community Nursing Foundations Course, said Nelda Hobbs, RN, clinical instructor, and the Faith Community Nursing program coordinator.
“It is a recognized specialty area by the National League of Nursing,” Hobbs said.
The event will take place at the Kramer School, located at NW 27th Street and Blackwelder, Room 334, in Oklahoma City. It is will take place Oct 28-30 and Nov. 11-13.
“I’m very interested in getting this information out to the nurses in Oklahoma,” Hobbs said. “This is the faith community nursing basic preparation educational course. And what that is we offer it here at Kramer School of Nursing and we invite nurses of all denominations to come and attend this prep course so they meet the established criteria and curriculum to bring Faith Community Nursing into their congregation.”
Course work includes:
· Gain an understanding of the theoretical knowledge necessary to begin in practice as a Faith Community Nurse.
· Discuss the various roles of the Faith Community Nurse in Practice.
· Examine and nurture personal spiritual development.
· Identify a network of continuing educationl and support.
Most faith community nurses have a church affiliation.
“But if you’re a faith community nurse, it’s wherever God calls you.” Hobbs said. “Wherever you’re needed. Whatever spiritual journey you happen to go on with whomever you meet.”
Faith community nursing encompasses mind, body and spirit, Hobbs said. It is one of the fastest growing specialty fields in nursing, she said. Faith community nursing is not hands-on nursing. It is being a spiritual representative to help an individual on whatever journey they are on, she said.
There is a Faith Community Nursing Association of Oklahoma established in Oklahoma City with regular meetings. Faith community nurses come together to see what their assessments are for their congregation or their community at large, Hobbs said.
“I’ve been here for almost 12 years,” Hobbs said. “I consider Oklahoma City University my parish community,” Hobbs said.
Many of the nurses who complete the Faith Community Basic Education Course go into mission work. Each semester, Hobbs does a presentation about faith community nursing to the students. Her hope is that nurses will take this practice into their daily practices. They will be the instrument of meeting whatever spiritual or emotional need is present, Hobbs said.
“We want all religions to be part of the faith community nurse movement,” Hobbs said. “But I hope that nurses realize that when they’re dealing with patients, that the spiritual component of care is so important and can make such a big difference to their recovery, to have somebody there that they know.”
Hobbs said hopefully nursing students graduate from Kramer School of Nursing knowing they take care of mind, body and spirit.
The program offered in October and November is offered once a year. It may be offered twice a year in the future, Hobbs said. Kramer School of Nursing is where the program originated. Several years ago, Catholic Charities assumed the responsibility of the program. However, in 2014, OCU took it back from Catholic Charities, she said.
“I was excited about that because I wanted to be responsible,” Hobbs said. “It’s such an important area of nursing that we just really need to get nurses back to looking back at that piece of patient care, or client care as they say now.”
Patients are more than a procedure, she said. They are not a fractured leg.
“You have to look at that whole person that is in that hospital with all the things that are going on,” Hobbs said. “Be the vehicle to let them know that there are other forces at work, or to just reinforce in them the need they might have right then for a higher power. Some people like to say God, some people like to say Jesus, and in some religions that’s not the deity we refer to, but whomever it is that they feel like they get that strength from — that’s who we want to know is there.”
Nurses must complete the educational program in order to call themselves a faith community nurse, she said. Anyone interested in pursuing faith community nursing may contact Nelda Hobbs at 405-208-5945 or