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CWD: Professional Development: Faith Community Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Faith Community Nurse?

Faith Community Nurses are spiritually mature registered nurses who volunteer or are hired within a congregation. They work with congregational leaders to support the ongoing transformation of the faith community into a source of health and healing.

What does a Faith Community Nurse do?

The American Nurses Association recognizes Faith Community Nursing as a specialty practice. They understand health as a dynamic process encompassing the whole person and beyond--including body, mind, spirit, relationships, and environment. They are not physicians, home health nurses, therapists, or clergy (although all parish nurses come to the field with a deep spiritual commitment). They:

  • Strive to promote healthy lifestyles for all ages.
  • Advocate for excellent care for the sick and justice within the healthcare system.
  • Recognize that spiritual health is at the core of a person's well being.
  • Offer a sense of hope for individuals with a disease, being aware that healing can happen without cure.

What unique expertise can a Faith Community Nurse offer?

  • Integration of Faith and Health
  • Health Promotion and Education
  • Health Counseling
  • Referrals
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Support Group Development
  • Advocacy for the Faith Community

Why the Faith Community?

All faith groups relate to the basic concepts of caring, love, meaning and purpose in life. This movement reclaims the historic roots of health, healing and wholeness found in many religious traditions. Congregations naturally care for one another and are seen as trusted sources of services and knowledge.

What are some activities that might occur in a healthy Faith Community?

  • Blood drives & blood pressure screenings
  • Cholesterol screenings
  • Diabetes awareness education
  • Drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs
  • Flu shots/health fairs
  • Grief support
  • Healing services
  • Heart health education
  • Medical and mental health awareness
  • Physical activity classes
  • Nutrition counseling and weight loss
  • Parenting tips/classes
  • Safety seminars
  • Visiting the sick
  • Advocacy for social justice issues

What is the difference between Faith Community Nurses and Parish Nurses?

The concept is the same. The Parish Nurse movement was started in the 1980s by Granger Westberg, a Lutheran Chaplain, and has grown tremendously in Christian denominations. Nurses from other faiths have taken an interest and want to make this idea fit their own traditions.

What are the required textbooks for the class?

  • American Nurses Association/Health Ministries Association. (2012). Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice 2nd Edition. Silver Spring, MD.   ISBN: 9781558104297
  • Additional Text To Be Announced Soon

What is the refund policy?

All financial obligations to WKU shall be met 7 days prior to the scheduled start date of the class. No tuition is refunded in whole or in part unless withdrawal is requested 14 days prior to the first day of class AND student has not received access to the University's education platform (Blackboard).


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 Last Modified 4/5/16