What is a Faith Community Nurse?

The following is a description of Parish Nursing written by the Parish Nursing Department of Concordia College, Moorhead, MN:

“Parish nursing” or “faith community nursing” is a specialty practice in nursing and professional model of health ministry.

  • The historic roots of health and healing come from the Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • The faith community nurse uses her/his knowledge to promote wellness of body, mind, and spirit.
  • The faith community nurse works in the faith community and helps individuals and families.
  • The roles of the faith community nurse include:  Integrator of Faith and Health, Health Educator, Personal Health Counselor, Referral Agent, trainer of Volunteers, Developer of Support Groups, and Health Advocate.
  • The term “faith community nurse” is a more universal term which addresses practice within a broad range of faith communities.  Other acceptable terms include “parish nurse” and “congregational nurse.”

Who can be a faith community nurse?

A faith community nurse must be a currently licensed registered nurse (RN) and have completed an internationally recognized basic faith community nurse preparation course.

What are examples of faith community nursing activities?

  • Refers parishioners to various support services, including older adult programs or grief support.
  • Involves congregational members in health ministry through a Health Cabinet/Wellness Council (In our case the Diaconate board).
  • Offers comfort and prayer during times of crisis and celebration
  • Offers tips related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the church’s newsletter
  • Coordinates seminars on stress management, child health counseling, and screening for hypertension, etc.

What do faith community nurses not do?

  • Faith community nurses do not provide “hands on” care or perform invasive treatments.
  • It is not a substitute for pastoral care, medical assistance, community health nursing or social services.
  • Faith community nurses work in partnership with others to advocate for the health and well being of the congregation.

You can also go to the Covenant Church’s website (www.covchurch.org) to review the Covenant’s Resolution on Health Care, presented by the Commission on Christian Action and adopted by the delegates to the 108th Covenant Annual Meeting.