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.
The Faith Community Nurse (FCN), in partnership with the ministerial staff, work together both inside and outside the walls of the faith community, to help the congregation and the community to make positive health choices. The roles of the FCN 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 the Basic Foundations Course for the FCN and the Advanced Preparation Course for the FCN Coordinator and Managers 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. 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
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. >>>
Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing a ministry of Church Health Center https://westberginstitute.org/
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 the Faith Community Nurse Certificate Program at Shenandoah University’s Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing. Contact Lorie Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Foundations Course – This training specifically designed for health ministry is necessary to understand the focus and tasks of the ministry. The Foundations Course is a 40 hour course focusing on the entry-level knowledge necessary for FCN practice. This course is a blended format with classroom and online work to complete the requirements for CE. Its sections 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. This curriculum was developed in 2014 through the Westberg Institute a ministry of the Church Health Center of Memphis TN. This course is offered at Shenandoah University as well as other sites across the nation. http://www.westberginstitute.org/foundations-of-faith-community-nursing-curriculum/
To register for this course with Shenandoah University, please forward the following forms to Lorie Henley, Faith Education Community Nurse Coordinator by email lhenley@SU.edu or send to Lorie Henley, FCN Education Coordinator at Shenandoah University, School of Nursing, Faith Community Nurse Certificate Program, 1460 University Dr. Winchester VA 22601
- What is a Faith Community Nurse?
- Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course
- Application for Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course
- Visiting Student Registration Information Form
- 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 for FCN Blended Online 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 course is based on the 2012 curriculum developed through the Westberg Institute a ministry of the Church Health Center of Memphis TN. The Advance Preparation Course for FCN Coordinators and Managers is offered at Shenandoah University as well as other sites across the nation, this course is 36 hours with CE credit. For locations: https://westberginstitute.org/foundations-of-faith-community-nursing/
Foundations of Faith Community Nurse Course
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/Online offering. The program is composed of two face-to-face sessions (one in February – and one in April). The rest of the course will be completed Online. 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.
Advanced Preparation Course for Faith Community Nurse Coordinators and Managers
After the course, participants will be able to demonstrate:
- Knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to serve as a FCN coordinator
- Spiritual leadership
- Explain the importance of collaboration with other professionals who contribute to FCN practice
- Skills in nurturing ongoing spiritual formation for the FCN and themselves.
CURRICULUM TOPICS Include:
- Functions of the Faith Community Nurse
- Role of the FCN coordinator
- Self-care for the FCN coordinator
- Working with different religious traditions
- Working with churches
- Current issues in health care
- Securing philanthropic grant support
- Infrastructure for FCN programs
- Human resource management
- Orientation of the FCN
- Documentation systems
- Program planning and development
- Creation of a mission and vision
- Planning for ongoing development of the FCN: professionally and spiritually
- Daily devotions led by participants and a dedication service on the final morning of the course.
Please forward the following forms to Lorie Henley, FCN Education Coordinator by email lhenley@SU.edu or send to Lorie Henley, FCN Education Coordinator at Shenandoah University, School of Nursing, FCN Certificate Program Community, 1460 University Dr. Winchester VA 22601.
Our mailing address is:
Shenandoah University’s Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing
FCN Certificate Program
Health & Life Sciences Building
1460 University Drive
Winchester, VA 22601
The FCN Education Coordinator is Lorie Henley. Please feel free to contact her at email@example.com with questions or to register for Shenandoah University’s courses.