Faith Community Nursing

Faith Community Nursing

WHAT IS FAITH COMMUNITY NURSING/PARISH NURSING?

Faith Community Nursing, also known as Parish Nursing, is a specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting wholistic health and preventing or minimizing illness. This practice is guided by the following general principles:

  • Effective health care requires more than medical treatment of
    disease or illness.
  • Promotion of health and healing are part of the mission and service of a faith community to its members.
  • Wellness and wholeness can only fully be achieved when we acknowledge the close connection between body, mind and spirit.

FCN focuses on helping the patient (which can be an individual, family or the entire congregation) achieve health, healing and wholeness by implementing health promotion and disease prevention practices. They must be caring, spiritually mature people who reach out to comfort, console, strengthen, teach and encourage the faith community. They must have good communication skills, the ability to work with others within the congregation and the larger community, a demonstrated relationship with a faith community and the time and desire to implement a health ministry program within their faith community.

Their practice focuses on these traditional FCN roles:
  • Integrator of Faith and Health
  • Health Educator
  • Personal Health Counselor
  • Referral Agent
  • Trainer of Volunteers
  • Developer of Support Groups
  • Health Advocate/Health Care Navigator


To learn more about Faith Community Nursing or to find an FCN near you, contact:
Wyoming Health Council
Faith Community Nursing Program
ahubbard@wyhc.org or 307.632.3640

Faith Community Nursing

HISTORY OF FAITH COMMUNITY NURSING/PARISH NURSING

HISTORY OF FAITH COMMUNITY NURSING/PARISH NURSING:

In the late 1970s or early 1980s, the Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg, a Lutheran minister, hospital chaplain and author of the best-selling book "Good Grief", developed the modern day concept of Parish Nursing. This relatively new concept of health ministry builds upon the centuries old traditions of religious orders that cared for the sick and needy. This was exemplified in the past in this country by the many hospices, hospitals and schools of nursing that were developed by various Judeo-Christian religious institutions. In recent years, the concept of Parish Nursing/Faith Community Nursing has swept the nation. In our neighboring state of Montana, close to 350 Parish Nurses have been trained in the past ten years!

In 1998 the American Nurses Association, in collaboration with the Health Ministries Association (HMA) the professional membership organization for nurses in this specialty, developed the Scope and Standards of Parish Nursing Practice. In 2005, this document was transformed into Faith Community

Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice in order to embrace a non-denominational, ecumenical perspective. This document points out that the Faith Community Nurse (FCN) bridges two disciplines and thus must be prepared in and responsible to both. “Appropriate and effective practice as an FCN requires the ability to integrate current nursing, behavioral, environmental and spiritual knowledge with the unique spiritual beliefs and practices of the faith community into a program of wholistic nursing care. This is necessary no matter the level of education the nurse has achieved.”