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Faith Community Nursing

Since 1993, Valley Health System has provided support to unique community health outreach initiative called Parish nursing or Faith Community Nursing. Regardless of faith traditions, more than 70 Faith Community Nurses combine their faith and nursing skills in order to promote wholistic health to parishioners from 50 congregations in the Shenandoah Valley. Valley Health partners with Shenandoah University to provide Faith Community Nurse educational preparation.

What is a Faith Community Nurse?

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 a given faith community. She/he assists individuals in gaining optimal mental, physical, and spiritual health by complementing the ministry provided by the Pastor(s) and other lay ministers. The FCN’s presence promotes an intentional health ministry.

FCNs provide many services, based on the congregation’s needs. Some of the services or programs might include:

  • Screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, glaucoma and overall fitness
  • Classes for all age groups offered on health related issues (e.g., advance directives, nutrition, exercise, parenting, caring for elderly parents, stress management, CPR)
  • Hospital, nursing home and home visits for assessment of health care needs
  • Special prayer and healing services
  • Referrals to appropriate community resources
  • Health tips in newsletter, bulletin or informational board

To Learn More About Parish Nursing

The Northwestern Virginia Parish/Faith Community Nurse Coalition is a group consisting of faith community nurses, area clergy, healthcare professionals, educators and laypersons organized to explore and facilitate opportunities for parish/faith community nursing in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

For more information on the concept and local involvement, contact Deb Saunders, MBA, BSN, RN, Valley Health: 540-536-7255 or