What we do
Faith Community Nursing | Health Ministries Northwest is an interfaith, non-profit agency that initiates, develops and supports faith community nursing / health ministries throughout the Pacific Northwest. Membership is open to anyone interested in advancing wellness and wholeness within communities of faith.
We educate, support, and connect Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers, providing them with resources and evidence-based tools to promote health within their faith community and surrounding neighborhoods. Trained FCNs and HMs are equipped to provide a wide variety of services, such as health education and advising, suggesting referrals, developing needed support groups, volunteer coordination and spiritual care.
Education: FCN/HMN offers classes throughout the Pacific Northwest in basic and advanced faith community nursing and health ministries developed through the Westberg Instituite (formerly called International Parish Nurse Resource Center).
Consultation/Support: FCN/HMN responds to individual, congregational, and organizational requests for assistance in establishing and sustaining a health ministry program.
Resources: FCN/HMN provides resources and information about Faith Community Nursing and promising practices within this specialized form of health ministry.
Conferences/Retreats: FCN/HMN hosts educational conferences and regional retreats.
What is a Faith Community Nurse?
A Faith Community Nurse is a registered nurse who has completed the “Foundations in Community Nursing” course and who combines both nursing and spiritual commitment in a healing ministry within a faith community. Faith Community Nurses do not do hands-on nursing, but work in partnership with pastors, churches, hospitals, social service agencies and the community. They serve as:
- Health educators promoting wellness;
- Health counselors advocating personal responsibility;
- Teachers and coordinators of volunteers;
- Referral agents and liaisons with community resources;
- Integrators of faith and health;
- Developers of support groups; and
- Health advocates.
What is a Health Minister / Congregational Health Promoter?
A Health Minister is a person in the faith community who is not an RN but who has taken the “Foundations in Faith Community Nursing” course or the Congregational Health Promoter course. This person contributes his/her skills to the Health Ministry Program, often under the guidance of a Faith Community Nurse, Parish Nurse or Health Ministry Team Leader.
What is a Faith Community Nurse Coordinator?
A Faith Community Nurse Coordinator manager is an FCN who oversees, educates, and supports practicing faith community nurses while organizing, planning, and sustaining the viability of this health ministry within a congregation or a healthcare organization.
This requires additional education, knowledge, skills, and gifts in the areas of community health nursing, not-for-profit management, and faith community life.
Since Health Ministry can be found in any faith community, the coordinator must be open to many faith traditions and be willing to spend time in the greater community promoting health ministry to people, groups, organizations, agencies, and faith communities.
To fully understand the complexities of managing FCNs, it is strongly recommended that FCN coordinators attend the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course or another comparable course prior to or within one year of becoming a coordinator. In addition, the Westberg Institute FCN Coordinator/ Manager course is recommended.