Faith Community Nursing

Faith Community Nursing

Our Purpose
To equip faith communities to promote integrated care of the body, mind and spirit.

Our Goal
To empower every local faith community to build and sustain a thriving health ministry, and to advance the field of faith community nursing in the Central New York area.

Our Network
Our network consists of faith community nurses, registered nurses, health ministers, care ministers, clergy and pastoral caregivers, faith institutions, educators, program leaders, community organizations and community members who have partnered with us in reclaiming the faith community’s role in the ministry of healing.

There is no cost to be part of our network as an individual or faith community partner.

Our Services and Role

  1. Faith Community Consulting and Mentoring
    A St. Joseph’s Health faith community nurse (FCN) coordinator, acting as a consultant and mentor, provides expertise, outreach and on-site/off-site (virtual) consulting to assist FCNs and health ministers in developing and sustaining health ministry programs—whether the health ministry is just developing, fully operational or simply being considered. If a registered nurse is not available to assume leadership of a health ministry program, we work with other congregational leaders to respond to the health needs of the faith community.
  2. FCN/Health Minister Education and Training
    We offer foundational and ongoing training for health ministry leaders and team members.
  3. Spiritual Support
    We offer intentional opportunities for spiritual support through our spiritual reflection groups and other activities.
  4. Health Ministry Resources
    We support the integration of faith and health through our monthly meetings, specialized health ministry materials; and access to health improvement programs and resources.

What is a faith community nurse (FCN)?

Faith community nursing is a specialized practice of professional nursing, endorsed by the American Nurses Association, that focuses on intentional care of the spirit. A faith community nurse (FCN) is a registered nurse who is actively licensed, serves as a member of the staff of a faith community, and has specialized education in integrating faith and health.

What is a health minister?
A health minister is anyone other than an FCN or religious leader—usually a health professional or strong lay leader with educational preparation in holistic ministry—who feels called to health ministry. Professional health or ministry background is not required to be a health minister.

What do FCNs and health ministers do?
FCNs and health ministers serve as leaders within faith communities to build on and strengthen the capacity of individuals and families to become stewards of their health as guided by their faith tradition. Each FCN or health minister uniquely serves their congregation based on identified needs. FCNs and health ministers are fully supported in their role by ministerial leadership and a health team—vital keys to maintaining a sustainable program.

Services or programs an FCN or health minister might offer include:

  • Access to health screenings (blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, bone density)
  • Health education programs (fitness, chronic disease, mental well-being, CPR, advance directives)
  • Health information (bulletin inserts, newsletter articles, bulletin boards and displays)
  • Advocacy for individuals in the health care system
  • Referrals to community health resources
  • Visitation to homes, nursing homes and hospitals
  • Spiritual support and listening presence

FCNs  and  health minsters  DO NOT:

  • Provide clinical hands-on care. Instead, they make referrals to agencies that provide direct care.
  • Replace other ministries. They serve to complement the work of faith community leaders and teams.

Contact Us
For more information, Call 315-744-1206 or email us to join our network.