Becoming a Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse and the Role
A Different Kind of Nursing
What Is a Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse?
A FCN is a registered nurse with an active license in the state he/she has or has had a practice (or be covered by a licensing compact), who has taken a Faith Community Nurse preparation course to promote and practice health ministry. Whereas most health disciplines are trained in our aspect of medical care, FCNs are trained to nurture the whole person — body, mind and spirit. FCNs work in partnership with pastors, churches, hospitals, social service agencies, and the community. FCNs focus on prevention, wholeness, and wellness. In many communities of faith, the FCN is the health ministry team leader.
Roles of a Parish/Faith Community Nurse
Parish Nurse is an Integrator of Faith and Health, reminding people to care for the body, mind, and spirit. The parish nurse fills many roles within a faith community. These roles may include:
Health Educator, providing programs in all formats from one-on-one to group seminars, encouraging the understanding of the connection between faith and well-being and the needs of the community at large. Educational programs may include all aspects of physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Coordinator of care, enlisting, training, and assisting volunteers within the faith community to support members with their health and wellness needs.
Resource person, assisting members in identifying and securing appropriate and available resources that address health and spiritual needs across the health care continuum.
Health advocate and counselor, aiding members in the understanding of health concerns and helping mem-bers access appropriate health care within the community. In this role, the parish nurse may assist members with life transforming issues.
Member of the pastoral team, collaborating with the spiritual leaders to provide faith education and worship offerings, comfort and support to members in need, and visitation to members in their homes or in various health care settings.