Elaine Tyrrell QSM, Founder of FCN in NZ
Elaine has been involved with parish nursing since 1998 when she set up a ministry at Nelson Cathedral, so becoming the first Anglican Parish Nurse in New Zealand.
She completed her basic FCN training in Adelaide with the Australian Faith Community Nurses Association (AFCNA) in 2000 and friendships were formed with Dr Anne van Loon (Director of Development of AFCNA) and Dr Merilyn Annells (then Chairperson of AFCNA) who subsequently supported the establishment of faith community nursing in New Zealand. Enquiries came from throughout New Zealand and from international visitors to Nelson such that there was a need to develop networking and training within the country. Dr Anne van Loon has led several training courses within New Zealand – her first visit being to Christchurch in 2001 when NZAFCN was inaugurated and Elaine was invited on the Board. NZFCNA in its present form was born in 2003 when Elaine became chairman.
In 2004, the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia recognised faith community nursing as a valid, important ministry within the church and supports its parishes in developing this outreach. Elaine is the Parish Nurse Advisor within the Nelson Diocese.
Elaine’s husband, the Dean Emeritus, has not only supported this ministry but included it in his Masters dissertation. In 2006, he received the QSO in the Queen’s birthday honours list in recognition of his service to the community including the development of parish nursing within New Zealand.
Elaine also works as a rehabilitation nurse in Nelson Hospital and her thesis for her Master in Health Science focussed on the perspective of older patients and their family members about the role of nursing in rehabilitation.
!n the Queen's birthday honours of 2016 Elaine was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in recognition of her work in founding Faith Community Nursding in NZ.