Nursing workshop aims to integrate faith with care

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Registered nurses have the opportunity this summer to participate in a 38-hour workshop and retreat on the concept of faith community nursing. The workshop, organized by Catholic Charities, is based on the Westberg Institute in Memphis, which specializes in faith-based community nursing. It is set for June 9-10 and June 23-25 at Belhaven University in Jackson.
Participants will learn about spirituality, holistic health and community as it relates to community nursing. “Faith community nursing provides a ‘wholistic’ blending of nursing expertise and spiritual care as professional nurses practice in congregations, faith-based organizations and other institutions as part of ministry team,” according to a flier for the event. This program is designed to help faith communities get closer to the ideal and develop community outreach opportunities.
“The training is for nurses, although I have had other individuals taking the course as well. I am working hard to provide a retreat-like setting, so we can minister to the participants as they minister to others wholistically,” explained Ann Elizabeth Kaiser, coordinator for the Catholic Charities faith-based nursing program. “I hope faith communities and other health institutions may sponsor individuals, so they may attend the event and bring knowledge and compassion to their congregations,” she added. The workshop costs $200, but scholarships are available.
Several congregations in the Diocese of Jackson have a faith-based nursing ministry. In some cases, they offer health education in their parishes, keep an eye on those in the parish who may be having health issues or sponsor health screenings for the community.
To register for the workshop or find out more about scholarships, contact Ann Elizabeth Kaiser at (601) 213-6378 or