Anne van Loon, Founder of Faith Community Nursing in Australia
Antonia (Anne) van Loon RN, DipAppSc(CHN), BN, MN(Research), PhD.
In October 1995 Anne and Emeritus Professor Merilyn Annells held an open forum to introduce the Faith Community Nursing role. Ann Solari-Twadell was the invited speaker from the ‘International Parish Nurse Resource Centre’ in the USA. From this point five churches in Adelaide, Australia, commenced five pilot Faith Community Nursing projects. Anne worked with each faith community and their nurses for three years to develop a contextually appropriate model for Faith Community Nurses as part of her doctoral research. Anne saw the need for a Professional Association for Faith Community Nurses to support them with continuing education for this specialty nursing role, and to facilitate professional standards and regulatory requirements for Faith Community Nurses. In 1996 she commenced the ‘Australian Faith Community Nurses Association’ (AFCNA) as an inter-denominational professional association for Christian nurses ministering in the Faith Community Nurse role. AFCNA is now a member organisation of the Council of National Nursing and Midwifery Organisations (CoNNMO) in Australia.
Anne has been a nurse researcher and academic at Flinders University, Adelaide; she is now Senior Project Consultant (Health & Care Ministry) for Baptist Care South Australia.
Anne assisted Elaine Tyrrell to commence the ‘New Zealand Faith Community Nurses Association’ in 2003 and provided the initial training courses developed from her doctoral research.