What is Faith Community Nursing?
Faith Community Nursing (or Parish Nursing, Congregational Nursing) is a specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as well as on the promotion of wholistic health and prevention or minimization of illness within the context of a faith community. (Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice 2017).
Faith Community Nursing is recognized as a specialty by the American Nurses Association.
Faith Community Nurses:
- Are registered nurses with a current license (baccalaureate or higher degree preferred)
- Have academic preparation in community-focused or population-focused care
- Are experienced as a registered nurse using the nursing process
- Are knowledgeable of healthcare assets and resources in the community
- Are knowledgeable of spiritual beliefs and practices of the faith community
- Have specialized knowledge and skills to enable implementation of Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice. (Scope and Standards 2017).
These spiritually mature registered nurses volunteer or are hired within a congregation. Their work, flowing from the mission and vision of the congregation, supports the ongoing transformation of the faith community into a source of health and healing. Faith Community Nurses strive to promote healthy lifestyles for all ages, advocate for excellent care of the sick, and encourage healthcare justice. They recognize spiritual health is at the core of a person’s well-being and offer a sense of hope for individuals with a disease, being aware that healing can happen without cure.
What are the functions of a Faith Community Nurse?
Rather than practicing from a medical model, a Faith Community Nurse’s unique expertise concentrates on intentional care of the spirit. S/he may offer:
- Integration of faith and health
- Health promotion, education, and counseling
- Referrals, volunteer coordination, support group development
- Advocacy for individuals and the congregation/community
Criteria for Faith Community Health Network Membership:
- Spiritually mature leader
- Hold active RN license and personal liability coverage
- Attend the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course
- Attend orientation and Network meetings
- Comply with state and Faith Community Nurse Standards of Practice
- Give an average of 8 or more hours monthly to build the program
- Document with web-based tool and report activities to measure outcomes
- Encourage healthy policy change in your congregation
- Collaborate to build a culture of health and wholeness within the congregation/community
To learn more about Faith Community Nursing, contact us at (402) 343-4395.