Quick Guide for Pastors & Church Leaders

How Nurses Move Mission Forward

Click on each image to hear about some of the many different ways that Faith Community Nurses are impacting the mission of the Church.

Why Do I Need an FCN?

  • A Faith Community Nurse process that functions year-round provides measurable outcomes for health-related services provided by the church.  It moves ministry from being event-oriented to service-oriented.
  • Faith Community Nursing is a specialty practice of the field of Nursing, with it’s own scope and standards of practice.  It provides for high quality care at the church, where other nursing specialities are often excluded.
  • The FCN works alongside the pastoral team to provide care and support for members of the congregation and community, thus alleviating some of the burden on the pastoral team.
What is the role of the Faith Community Nurse?
  • Provides screening clinics or health fairs
  • Promotes an understanding of the relationship between lifestyle, attitudes, faith, and well-being
  • Advocate in members behalf as they navigate the church and health care system
  • Liaison, resource, and referral agent with community agencies
  • Trains volunteers and coordinates the facilitation of Support Groups
  • Serves as a member of the church staff and in partnership with the pastor(s) to meet the whole health healing mission of the church
What about the health of the Pastor & Church Leader?
  • Confidentially assisting with any health needs
  • Advocating on behalf of the pastor/leader and their family to the church leadership team and church members
  • Assisting with home visits and hospital visits when within their scope of practice
How can your ministry harness the power of nursing?
  • Encourage all nurses (including retirees and students) in your church to join AAFCN
  • Share this information with other pastors and leaders in your territory 
  • Contact AAFCN leadership to build a strategy for your Church/Conference

Brief History of Faith Community Nursing

It was in the 1900s that Faith Community Nursing was promoted in the Adventist Church, as conferences hired nurses to visit members in the hospital and to serve in the mission fields.

Parish nursing or Faith Community Nursing, as we know it today, grew out of Granger Westberg’s reading of the book, Ministry of Healing and doing experiments providing a pastor / nurse / physician team in several Chicago suburban churches. Dr. Westberg discovered that having a nurse on the pastoral staff could serve much the same purpose at less cost. The concept proved to be sound. In the older age group, hospitalizations were reduced 20-25%, with a similar reduction in costs. He chose nursing over other disciplines because nurses are trained in both the scientific and behavioral worlds. (Blome, M., Nelson, T., & Van der Vlugt, B., 2007)

Since then, Faith Community Nursing has become an official Nursing Specialty around the world and many Seventh-day Adventist Nurses have completed their training through Adventist Health Institutions, Colleges, and through the North American Division’s Adventist Association of Faith Community Nursing (AAFCN, AdventistNurse.org).

A New Vision for Nurses in Ministry

In 2023, AAFCN celebrated our 10-year anniversaryWe also undertook a strategic planning process to identify our missional goals for the futureLearn more about our history and our new vision for ministry by watching the video.

Who We Serve

AAFCN seeks to empower and engage Adventist nurses to work closely with pastors, health ministries leaders, and Conference Administration.

Our Mission

To equip all Adventist nurses to provide transformative care to their congregations and communities. 

Our Services
  • We provide trainings to currently licensed nurses, equipping them to serve in this specialty area.  Learn more.
  • We offer continuing education webinars so nurses stay informed with best practices for their ministry.
  • We support all nurses through networking opportunities that foster spiritual, personal, and professional growth.
Why Should I Support Nurses in Ministry?

Seventh-day Adventists emphasize a wholistic approach to health, which includes not only physical health but also mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Nurses play a crucial role in addressing all aspects of health, thereby fulfilling the mission of providing wholistic care to individuals and communities.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church places a strong emphasis on service to others, following the example of Jesus Christ. Nurses embody this spirit of service through their compassionate care for patients, often in challenging and vulnerable situations.

Nurses are instrumental in providing health education and promoting healthy lifestyle choices, which aligns with Seventh-day Adventist beliefs in maintaining health as a stewardship responsibility. Through their ministry, nurses can empower individuals to make positive changes in their health behaviors.

Seventh-day Adventists prioritize outreach and support for vulnerable populations, including the sick, the elderly, and the marginalized. Nurses are often on the front lines of caring for these groups, advocating for their needs and providing comfort and support during times of illness and distress.

For many Seventh-day Adventist nurses, their faith is an integral part of their identity and motivates their work in healthcare. Supporting the role of nurses in ministry allows for the integration of faith principles into healthcare practices, fostering a wholistic approach that addresses both the physical and spiritual needs of patients.

In line with the Seventh-day Adventist mission of spreading the gospel and serving humanity, nurses have unique opportunities to engage in missionary work through healthcare outreach programs, medical missions, and volunteer initiatives. Their ministry can make a significant impact on individuals and communities around the world.

Nurses often serve as bridges between healthcare institutions and local communities, facilitating outreach efforts and building relationships based on trust and compassion. By supporting the role of nurses in ministry, Seventh-day Adventists can strengthen community bonds and demonstrate God’s love through practical acts of service and care.

Ellen G. White, one of the co-founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, emphasized the importance of health and wellness in her writings and teachings. She recognized the vital role of nurses in ministering to the sick and promoting health principles. Supporting nurses in ministry honors the legacy of Adventist pioneers and perpetuates Christ’s vision of wholistic health and compassionate care as integral aspects of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and practices.

Contact Us to Take the First Step to Greater Ministry Success!

Our experienced Board members are ready to assist you develop an FCN Ministry for your Church, School or Conference.

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