Where did Faith Community Nursing begin?
Parish Nursing was developed by a Lutheran minister, Dr. Granger Westberg in the early 1980s. He recognized the church has promoted health and wholeness for centuries through worship, music, sharing and caring and that it is the only human institution in our society that interacts with individuals from birth through death. A Faith Community/Parish Nurse’s presence promotes an intentional health ministry. Faith Community Nursing is a nursing specialty with its own scope and standards of practice. Today, FCNs serve a variety of settings and populations. The commonality is their work focuses on the intentional care of the spirit of the population that they serve.
What is a Faith Community Nurse?
A Faith Community Nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who has had educational preparation in wholistic ministry and who provides special health promotion services within a given faith community. She/he assists individuals in gaining optimal mental, physical and spiritual health by complementing the ministry provided by the Pastor(s) and other lay ministers. They may function in paid and unpaid positions as members of the pastoral team in a variety of religious faiths, cultures, and countries. The focus of their work is on the intentional care of the spirit, assisting the members of the faith community to maintain and/or regain wholeness in body, mind, and spirit. Faith Community Nurses perform different services, based on the congregation’s needs.
Shenandoah University’s Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing is proud to support the role of Faith Community Nurses in our community by offering our innovative program with The Foundations of Faith Community Nurse Course.
Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course
February 9, 2024 – April 5, 2024
For more information, email FCN@su.edu.
Faith Community Nursing Forms & Information
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Get In Touch with Us — Faith Community Nursing
Pioneers In Parish Nursing
The founders and trailblazers for Shenandoah University’s Faith Community Nursing program offer insight into the program’s rich history and how its blend of spirituality and health care continues to serve important role to people of all faiths.
What does a Faith Community Nurse (FCN) do?
The role of the Faith Community Nurse varies based on the size and identified needs of the congregation.
Some of the services/programs might include:
- Screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, glaucoma and overall fitness
- Classes for all age groups offered on health related issues (e.g., advance directives, nutrition, exercise, parenting, elderly parents care, stress management, CPR)
- Hospital, nursing home and home visits for assessment of health care needs
- Special prayer and healing services
- Referrals to appropriate community resources
- Health tips via newsletter, bulletin or informational board
The role of the FCN can include:
Health Education which promotes an atmosphere where individuals of all ages, through a variety of educational activities, can explore the relationship between values, attitudes, lifestyle, faith and health.
Personal Health Counseling to discuss health issues and problems with individuals. Makes home, hospital and nursing home visits as needed.
Makes Referrals to other congregational resources as well as those found in the community at large.
Coordinates Volunteers by recruiting and coordinating resources within the congregation to serve in various health ministries.
Develops Support Groups for members of the faith community and people from the external community.
Advocate for Healthy Living by working with the client, faith community and primary health resources to provide what is in the best interest of the client from a whole person perspective.
Helps Congregants to Understand Connection of Faith and Health in all activities and contacts, the faith community nurse seeks to promote the understanding of the relationship between faith and health.
A Faith Community Nurse serves as a bridge to better HEALTH in the following roles:
- H ealth counselor and promoter (provides screening clinics or health fairs)
- E ducator of wholistic health (seeks to promote understanding of the relationship between lifestyle, attitudes, faith and well-being)
- A dvocate/resource/referral agent (answers questions related to health and care)
- L iaison with community services (refers individuals to appropriate community agencies)
- T eacher of volunteer/support groups (educates on health and wellness topics and supports volunteers)
- H ealer of spirit, mind and body (serves as a member of the church staff, and in partnership with the pastor(s), meets the wholistic healing mission of the church).
A Faith Community Nurse does NOT:
- Provide hands on care (the FCN makes referrals to Home Health or other community agency to provide direct care).
- Replace the other active ministries already present within a congregation; rather complements the work of the clergy and ministerial team.
Why consider becoming a Faith Community Nurse?
There are several reasons to consider Faith Community Nursing:
- Provides an opportunity for a nurse to combine faith with health promotion.
- Offers opportunity and permission to address spiritual care for individuals.
- Formalizes the role of a nurse in a church to an educated Faith Community Nurse.
- Provides a known and trusted resource for health in the faith-based congregation.
- Allows a nurse to work full- or part-time in one nurse position while offering the opportunity to also work as a part-time FCN – either paid or unpaid
- Provides an additional community resource for patients after hospitalization
- It is a wonderful ministry!
Faith Community Nurse Helpful Resources
Shenandoah University, Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing, Faith Community Nurse Certificate Program, for information, contact the Faith Community Nurse Education Coordinator, Rosalie Lewis MSN, MS, RN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health Ministries Association is recognized as the only national professional membership organization for Faith Community Nurses.
Nurses Christian Fellowship is an organization which supports nurses in integrating their Christian faith with their nursing practice.
Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing is a ministry under the Spiritual Care Association.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Foundations of Faith Community Nurse Course
This training, specifically designed for health ministry, has been developed to understand the focus and provide guidance in this nursing specialty. The Foundations Course is a 36.5 hour course, focusing on entry-level knowledge necessary for FCN practice. This course is a blended format with classroom and online work to complete the requirements for CE. It’s Units include spirituality, professionalism, wholistic health, and community. This Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Curriculum course is based on the curriculum developed through the Westberg Institute in 2019. Westberg Institute is a ministry of the Spiritual Care Association. The Foundations for FCNs Course is offered at Shenandoah University as well as other sites across the nation. See WestbergInstitute.org for other offerings or more information.
The FCN Foundations Curriculum was developed from a Judeo–Christian theological framework of care and is applicable to and respectful of other faith traditions. It includes of sociocultural and geographic diversity including ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, sexual orientation, and faith traditions. (Foundations 2019 Course, Intro vii)
Enroll in the Upcoming Foundations Courses
- FCN Foundations course will be February 9, 2024 to April 5, 2024
Details for upcoming classes is: This is a hybrid course with four days in person and the remainder will be online. The last class on April 5, 2024 will also be in person, with a Dedication Ceremony in the afternoon for you, your friends, family, and clergy.
36.5 CEs will be earned for full participation. This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Northeast Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The course is based on the 2019 curriculum developed through the Westberg Institute, a ministry of Spiritual Care Association.
Cost: approx. $425 (plus $46 for manual which you will purchase separately)
Application Deadline: no later than February 2, 2024 at noon
Some scholarships available.
- Current license as a registered nurse
- Reference attesting to spiritual maturity
- Clergy reference form
- Basic computer skills
At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:
- Embrace the integration of faith and health as central to the Faith Community Nurse role
- Demonstrate knowledge, attitude, and skills to practice as a novice Faith Community Nurse
- Identify a network for continuing development and support
- Commit to continued spiritual formation to more effectively understand and carry out the Faith
- Community Nurse role
This is a Hybrid course. Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Functions of the Faith Community Nurse
- Wholistic Healing and the Connection of Faith and Health
- Functioning on a Ministerial Team
- Spiritual Caregiving
- Ethical and Legal Considerations for Faith Community Nurses
- Beginning a Successful Faith Community Nurse Ministry
The Course includes time for worship and reflection to promote spiritual growth.
Faith Community Nursing Forms & Information
To register for this course with Shenandoah University, please forward the following forms to the Faith Community Nurse Education Coordinator by email firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Application for Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course
- Clergy Reference Form for Foundations of Faith Community Nursing
- Information for Clergy – Common Questions for Clergy
- Computer Specifications for the Foundations Faith Community Nurse Blended (or Hybrid Course)
- Refund Policy
Leadership & Coordination Webinar Series
The Leadership and Coordination Webinar Series is newly brought to you by Westberg Institute and the Spiritual Care Association.
The Westberg Institute and Spiritual Care Association have come together to offer the Online Education Webinar Series. This series has 8 modules that are offered individually or in a group — with or without CEs. The discussion and group component of these webinars is offered on Yammer — a Knowledge Sharing Platform managed by Westberg Institute.
After completing the eight core modules of the Leadership and Coordination for Faith Community Nurse Practice Series, participants will:
- Integrate the knowledge gained into a basic development plan following best-practice standards.
- Demonstrate competence through completion of various content specific activities.
- Achieve a certificate of completion and recognition as a Westberg Institute affiliated Coordinator.
- Participate in the international community of FCN leaders and coordinators to share insight and support for continued practice development.
- Impact the specialty practice through guiding and directing FCNs, presenting the benefits of the practice to non-nurse leaders, and promoting sustainability through partnerships, revenue streams, and funding sources.
These webinars can be purchased individually or as a group.