Parish nursing is a sub-specialty for RNs which allows the professional to put a person’s religious convictions and faith at the center of the patient’s treatment. These professionals may work in a variety of settings and are not limited to working in congregations or non-profit organizations. All FCNs must receive certification in the state in which they are licensed to practice. Advanced training may be obtained through nursing school or as a secondary certification course.
What is Parish Nursing?
Parish nursing, or faith community nursing (FCN), is a recognized and specialized field of nursing in which professionals that provide care put the spiritual well-being of the patient at the center of treatment. FCNs primarily provide care to patients of the same religious convictions as the professional. Like other types of nurses, FCNs provide community outreach and support healthy outcomes for their patients. The major difference between a standard RN and an FCN is advance training of faith-related considerations.
FCNs provide a number of services to faith communities. In addition to normal RN duties, FCNs may work as a health advisor, an educator, a correspondent nurse for ill church members, and provide at-home services. Many religious communities provide support for FCNs within their congregations. However, national associations for this specialty do exist. The Community Parish Nurse Program and the International Parish Nurse Resource Center provide guidance to professionals entering this field.
Nursing School Curriculum for Parish Nursing
Professionals in this sub-specialty are RNs who have obtained a degree that provides the same certification-quality skills and knowledge as other RN-based specialties. In addition to standard classes, RNs attending nursing school at a religious institution or college will also learn how their new job skills fit into faith and holistic healing principles. For RNs attending classes where parish nursing training is not offered, certificate programs may be taken in order to achieve the specialist qualifications.
Careers for Nursing School Graduates with Parish Nursing Specialty
FCNs typically work for 2 years as an RN before becoming a parish nurse. FCNs may work in any type of medical facility in the state in which they are licensed and may work in a number of settings. Settings include large churches, community clinics, non-profit organizations, and religiously-affiliated hospitals. Additionally, these professionals may further specialize in their field and achieve any other type of RN advanced certification.
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