What is Faith Community Nursing?
Faith Community Nursing is “…the specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting holistic health and preventing or minimizing illness in a faith community.” (American Nurses Association, 2005, Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice)
A Faith Community Nurse (FCN) is an experienced registered nurse whose central focus is intentional care of the spirit. FCNs serve as a connection between health care and the faith community by providing wholistic care of body, mind and spirit for those served.
As members of the ministerial staff, the Faith Community nurse works alongside members both within and outside the walls of a faith community to empower them to make positive health choices that will enable them to live the abundant life that is possible for all regardless of the state of their current health status. Roles may include health counselor, health educator, health advocate, and referral agent for community services.
Shenandoah is proud to support the role of Faith Community Nurses in our community through our innovative programs. We offer two FCN training tracks each year: the Basic Course and the Advanced course.
Formerly called Parish Nursing, Faith Community Nursing is a specialty practice in nursing recognized by the American Nurses Association. The Faith Community Nurse must have an active license and have specialized training in spiritual care utilizing a standardized curriculum such as the Westberg Institute at Church Health Center. Faith Community Nursing is one of the fastest growing specialties in nursing and promises to be even more prominent as it finds its place in community based care in health care reform.
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. The role of the FCN can include:
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
Discusses health issues and problems with individuals.
Makes home, hospital and nursing home visits as needed.
Provides referrals to other congregational resources as well as those found in the community at large.
Recruits volunteers and coordinates resources within the congregation to serve in various health ministries.
Develops Support Groups
Facilitates the development of support groups for members of the faith community and people from the external community.
Advocates for Healthy Living
Works 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.
Faith Community Nurse Helpful Resources
Shenandoah University, Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing, Faith Community Nurse Center https://www.su.edu/nursing/faith-community-nursing/
Faith Community Nursing Coordinator is Lorie Henley, RN, BSN, MSEd at email@example.com.
Health Ministries Association
The Health Ministries Association is recognized as the only national professional membership organization for Faith Community Nurses. For more information, click here. >>>
International Parish Nurse Resource Center
The International Parish Nurse Resource Center is the primary source for education, resources, and standardized curriculum for Faith Community Nurses. For more information, click here. >>>
Nurses Christian Fellowship
Nurses Christian Fellowship is an organization which supports nurses in integrating their Christian faith with their nursing practice. For more information, click here. >>>
Church Health Center http://www.churchhealthcenter.org/westberg-institute-intro
Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing a ministry of Church Health Center http://www.churchhealthcenter.org/whatisfaithcommunitynursing
Courses and Forms for Becoming a Faith Community Nurse and/or a Faith Community Nurse Coordinator from Shenandoah University’s Faith Community Nurse Center
Here you will find the resources and forms for your consideration in becoming a Faith Community Nurse. These forms are required in registering for the two different courses offered by Faith Community Nurse Center at Shenandoah University’s Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing. Contact Lorie Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Foundation Course – This training specifically designed for health ministry is necessary to understand the focus and tasks of the ministry. The Foundation Course is a 34-38 hour course focusing on the entry-level knowledge necessary for FCN practice. Its sections include spirituality, professionalism, wholistic health, and community. This course is offered at Shenandoah University as well as other sites across the nation. http://www.churchhealthcenter.org/fcn-foundations-course
The Advance Preparation Course for Coordinators and Managers – The Coordinator’s curriculum for FCNs in leadership and management positions for organizations and networks managing FCNs in various practice areas. Leadership, funding, communications and documentation are but a few of the included topics. The Advance Preparation Course for FCN Coordinators and Managers is offered at Shenandoah University as well as other sites across the nation. For locations: http://www.churchhealthcenter.org/fcn-coordinator-course
Our mailing address is:
Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing
Faith Community Nurse Center
Health & Life Sciences Building
1460 University Drive
Winchester, VA 22601
The Faith Community Nurse Coordinator is Lorie Henley. Please feel free to contact her at email@example.com with questions or to register for Shenandoah University’s courses.