Faith Community Nursing
Since 2016, Augusta Health has provided unique community support through volunteers who are Faith Community Nurses. The Augusta Health Faith Community Nursing Network is made up of 25 professional nurses who serve in 16 faith communities and congregations throughout Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County. Regardless of faith traditions, the 25 Faith Community Nurses combine their faith and nursing skills in order to promote wholistic health and an intentional wellness ministry.
What is a Faith Community Nurse?
Parish Nursing was developed by a Lutheran minister, Dr. Granger Westberg, in the early 1980s. He recognized that the church promoted whole-person health for centuries through worship, music, sharing and caring and that it is the only human institution in our society that interacts with individuals from birth through death. A faith community can choose the designation of Parish Nurse, Faith Community Nurse, or other interchangeable title. The presence of a Faith Community Nurse promotes an intentional health ministry. Faith Community Nursing is a nursing specialty with its own scope and standards of practice. A Faith Community Nurse (FCN) is a registered Nurse (RN) who has had educational preparation in wholistic ministry and who provides special health promotion services within. The FCN focuses on the intentional care of the spirit while promoting whole person health through prevention or minimization of illness within a given faith community or broader community. She/he provides spiritual, physical, mental and social care, complementing the ministry the Pastor(s) and other lay ministers provide. Alongside their faith community leaders, these nurses work to identify health related needs and to develop programs to address them.
The Augusta Health Faith Community Nursing Network partners with Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA) to provide Faith Community Nurse educational preparation. Our program models the unpaid professional Faith Community/Parish Nurse Program of Valley Health, coordinated by Kim Davis, RN. The Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course is provided locally in partnership with the School of Nursing at Shenandoah University. Lorie Henley, RN, is the Faith Community Nurse Coordinator at Shenandoah University and the facilitator of the course. The course blends classroom and self-paced, on-line learning. The course provides 36 ANA contact hours.
Augusta Health has a partnership with Shenandoah University to offer the Faith Community Nursing Foundation Course. This video provides a rich history of how a Faith Community Nursing program can blend spirituality and health care:
- Westberg Institute: Evidence Based Practice Position Statement
- Augusta Health Faith Community Nurse Network: Guidebook
- Augusta Health Faith Community Nurse Activity Report
To learn more about the Augusta Health Faith Community Nursing Network, please contact:
Gayle Shultz, MSN, RN- Faith Community Nurse Coordinator
(540) 332-4988 or PS0020519 [at] augustahealth.com