1. Schoonover-Shoffner, Kathy

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Dr. Deborah Ziebarth discovered and fell in love with faith community nursing early in her nursing career. She went through a parish nurse training program in 1995 (later known as faith community nursing) at Marquette University under the tutelage of parish nursing pioneer Rose Marie Matthews. After serving as a faith community nurse (FCN) at Ascension Lutheran Church in Waukesha, Wisconsin, for eight years, Deb transitioned to become the Community Benefit Manager and Parish Nurse Coordinator for the next 13 years at PROHEALTH CARE, INC for Waukesha and Oconomowoc Memorial Hospitals. Faith community nursing was her life calling! She has worked extensively with the Westberg Institute, Faith Community Nurses International, the Wisconsin FCN Coalition Board, and currently is Nursing Program Chair for Herzing University, Brookfield, Wisconsin. She is also working with the Spiritual Care Association's University of Theology and Spirituality to develop a master's degree in theology for the FCN.

Figure. Deborah Zieb... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Deborah Ziebarth, PhD, MSN, RN-BC
Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

In 2012, Deb attended a research conference convened by another FCN pioneer, Ann Solari-Twadell, at Loyola University in Chicago. Attendees were asked to write down all the research on faith community nursing, unpublished and published, of which they were aware. Deb's sense of calling and scholarship made her curious. She began digging for anything she could find on parish/faith community nursing. Deb thought the FCN literature should be captured as a historical record and for scholarship purposes for students, educators, researchers, and FCNs. Every time she found a reference, she recorded the citation on an ever-growing list-and a golden treasure was born! Deb's ongoing work for the last 10 years created the Faith Community Nursing Literature Reference List (Ziebarth, 2022).


The List isn't just an ordinary list; it is a comprehensive collection of FCN literature. Currently, the List includes 565 citations (and growing!) ranging from publication in 1976 to 2022, arranged in alphabetical order by author in American Psychological Association (APA) format. Citations come from unpublished theses and dissertations, published manuscripts, the Parish Nurse Resource Center established in 1986 (later known as the International Parish Nurse Resource Center), presentations at the Westberg Institute since its inception in 1987 and from other conferences, newsletter articles, books, and position statements. The List contains work from the Reverend Granger Westberg, pioneer of modern faith community nursing, including his seminal 1979 publication Theological roots of Wholistic Health Care: A response to the religious questions that have been raised, by Wholistic Health Centers Incorporated.


Deb defines faith community nursing literature as "published research manuscripts, papers, presentations, dissertations, thesis, articles, and books...focusing on the faith community nursing specialty" (Ziebarth, 2022, p. 1). Faith community nursing is defined as a specialized nursing practice "that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as well as the promotion of whole-person health and the prevention or minimization of illness within the context of a faith community and the wider community" (American Nurses Association & Health Ministries Association, 2017, p. 1).


How does Deb keep the List updated? She shares (personal communication, February, 2022),


I receive Google Scholar alerts biweekly for both the search terms "Parish Nursing (Nurse)" and "Faith Community Nursing (Nurse)." I read to ensure that the piece of literature is indeed addressing or focused on the Faith Community Nursing specialty. Many times, I find that terms such as community, faith community, parish, or parish nurse mean other things, such as a parish = a district, or parish nurse = a public health nurse. I also see that many health activities occur in the faith community but not by or with a Faith Community Nurse. In these cases, the citation is not added.


People also send Deb citations. She formally updates and releases the List every January.


How can you get your hands on this golden treasure? Download the List from Faith Community Nurses International under the tab "Research Committee" (see Also find it on the Westberg Institute FCN Knowledge Sharing Platform inside the group, "Research in FCN Practice and Spiritual Care Nursing" under the Discussion, "Research List by Deb Ziebarth Updated." Join the platform through


American Nurses Association & Health Ministries Association. (2017). Faith community nursing scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). ANA. [Context Link]


Ziebarth D. J. (2022). Faith community nursing literature reference list.[Context Link]