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Alison Jergens

Milaca

There are a lot of things we can do as FCNs. Alison Jergens, RN, of Milaca Evangelical Free Church has three young children. The church hired her to bring Health Ministry to 200 families who are members in a community of around 3,000 with 20 churches.

Alison “loves her job” and has worked in other health care settings. She finds this combination of faith and health most fulfilling. All because someone in her church asked her what her “dream job” would be. She answered, “being a faith community nurse.” View her Faith Community Nurse job description (PDF)

The mission of the Health Ministry at Milaca Evangelical Free Church is to promote health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual within our church community. We do this because Jesus’ ministry was a healing ministry and because Jesus sent his disciples to preach the gospel and heal the sick. Through a variety of methods, we strive to promote health and prevent illness.

The Health Ministry:

  • offers CPR training, monthly blood pressure checks; home visits and calls, and grief share support groups.
  • coordinates presentations on topics such as: Advanced Health Care Directives, Caring for the Caregiver, and Stress.
  • coordinates Blood Drives.

The Health Ministry at MEFC is a made up of a Health Ministry Cabinet which currently consists of nine members who have a variety of professional backgrounds and a common interest in promoting health.

The FCN, Alison Jergens, is a part of this group and a member of the church staff. Faith Community Nurses are registered nurses who have specialized training to serve in a faith community.

Alison Jergens says her FCN practice is very autonomous and very family friendly. She has children ages 6, 4, and 1 ½ and works 30 hours per month. With a young family, Alison is blessed to have found a job she loves and is called to. Most work is done at an office at church and some from her home. With such a young family she cannot work without solid child care. She says it would not be possible without her husband’s help, and that of her mother and mother-in-law, who come from 1 ½ hours away to spend precious time with and take care of their grandchildren, an added bonus.

Alison also is linked with other area parish nurses such as Barb Kotsmith of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Milaca. They have coordinated a blood drive together.

When she started, she had a couple from church take her to homes to meet church members. This helped introduce her to the church members as she was new to the community.

Alison is under supervision of Senior Pastor Dan Clausen and the Health Ministry Cabinet, which has six members and meets every other month. A nurse on the Cabinet, Jackie, is the Coordinator. They have taken steps to set up an Emergency Response Team of people trained and willing to be on call during church services. Jackie is making a picture board of the team for church and she is taking the Policy & Procedure Plan to the church council for approval. Alison put together an emergency bag with supplies and an incident report form has been developed. The team received a grant from Fairview Hospital for an AED and work with them to complete CPR training.

Alison also makes visits/calls to those who are homebound, recently discharged from the hospital, widows, those living with a chronic illness, and whoever else has a need.

Another innovative idea she shared is using the prayer cards her church puts in pews for people to sign up for prayer needs. On the card one can check if they want to be called confidentially by pastoral staff and she added a spot for them to check if they wanted the Parish Nurse to Call.

Her church has Awana open for any community children, ages 3-6th grade and has programs for youth as well as adults.

Alison took her parish nursing training through Concordia College in 2009 at Mount Carmel Retreat Camp during a beautiful fall week.

Alison’s position was funded partially by the Elim Care system to start and then taken on by her church. her passion and commitment to faith community nursing in her church is evident. It is not only her “dream job” but her “calling” to serve God in her community this way.