Faith Community Nursing

Faith community nursing is dynamic; it reflects emerging nursing practice and healthcare trends. The Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition (2017) provides the current competencies in this nursing specialty.

Please contact HMA if you are seeking more information or clarification about faith community nursing standards and to purchase the new edition. For current resources please check out our Getting Educated section.

Faith Community Nursing Certification

Certification Changes for Faith Community Nursing

In 2010, Health Ministries Association along with College Nursing and Forensic Nursing were invited by ANCC to be a part of exploring and developing a certification by portfolio, something new for ANCC. Following that initial meeting and HMA’s discernment of the viability of pursuing both with time and financial resources, a formal contract was signed with HMA and ANCC to pursue developing a certification by portfolio process for the professional nursing specialty practice of faith community nursing.

Teams from across the country were selected by ANCC to serve in various capacities of the portfolio process. Those teams included content experts, evaluators and appraisers. Those members were sent to ANCC for intensive training and education as part of the certification process. Standard requirements for certification and fees were set by ANCC.

Effective August of 2014, HMA and ANCC announced the certification process by portfolio was now available for the specialty practice of faith community nursing. Several members of HMA leadership who were honored to sit at the table for the initial conversation back in 2010, were thrilled to see all the hard work of so many come to fruition and delighted that there was a mechanism for seasoned faith community nurses to pursue certification.

From August of 2014 until December 2017, 146 faith community nurses successfully completed the portfolio process and received their certification and are now board certified faith community nurses!

On October 9th of 2017, HMA, along with 6 other nursing specialties, were notified by the Commission on Certification that a decision had been made to discontinue the portfolio process and that effective November 17th, 2017, no further applications would be processed.
The following notification was posted on the ANCC web site and shared by HMA with our members:

“As of October 10th, 2017, ANCC will not be accepting applications for submission to current Portfolio programs, nor will it explore developing new Portfolio products at this time.

The ANCC Portfolio program for board certification was launched in 2012 as a strategy to certify nurses in specialty areas of practice where an examination was deemed not feasible to develop or did not currently exist. While the Portfolio program has achieved some of its intended goals, applicant volumes have not reached a level whereby any of the programs have achieved financial stability. In addition, persistent low applicant volumes preclude ANCC from applying for external accreditation.

Therefore, the Commission on Certification {COC}, in collaboration with ANCC program leadership, has decided to end the Portfolio Program. Those who are currently certified by portfolio will be able to maintain their certification by meeting ANCC’s certification renewal requirements. Those who have current applications under review will receive a certification decision by early December.“

While the decision was disappointing to HMA, it did not diminish all the hard work successfully completed by HMA and the outstanding work recognized by ANCC for the faith community nurses who achieved certification. Since the October 2017 announcement, HMA has continued to respond to inquiries about next steps in pursuing options available for certification and recognition.

Professional nurses of all specialties value certification as a high point in their career, confirming excellence in their nursing practice. There is no time frame as to when HMA may have options to present to its FCN constituency. During this time of exploration and discernment, it is important to remember that many FCNs bring with them expertise in other areas of nursing and as such, might consider pursuing certification in other professional nursing specialties where they meet the qualifications.* Please note that certifications available are offered as an examination and not through portfolio.

As we move forward, HMA is committed to exploring all opportunities and avenues for faith community nurses to be recognized for their expertise in the specialty practice. It is also important to recognize our financial responsibility in those pursuits and to identify viable options to document excellence.

Respectfully submitted:
Nancy L. Rago Durbin, MS BSN RN-BC
Faith Community Nurse
HMA Board member, Director for Faith Community Nurse Constituents

Ruth E. Syre, MSN, RN-BC
Faith Community Nurse
HMA Board Member, Director for Collaborative Development

*For anyone interested in pursuing certifications in other areas of professional nursing, please refer to the link provided below.

To see previous updates view FCN Certification History and Previous Updates

Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd Edition, 2017

The current edition is now available for $32.95, to order go to our HMA Publications page under the Resources tab. If you are a member, in order to purchase this publication at a discount ($27.95) you must do the following:

  • Log into the member’s section
  • Once you are on the Member Dashboard page, hover over the “Resources” tab at the top of the page
  • When the drop down menu appears, go to “Getting Started” and “HMA Publications”
  • Place your Order

Faith Community Nursing Society

To identify and recognize HMA faith community nurses who have achieved certification the Health Ministries Association has established the Faith Community Nursing Society.

Faith Community Nurses who have achieved certification in the professional nursing specialty of faith community nursing and meet the membership criteria are invited to complete an on-line application found on the HMA Members Only section.  If you have achieved this and are an active member of HMA, please log into the member’s section and complete the application.

For more information on the Faith Community Nursing Society, please contact Helen Bhagwandin, Faith Community Nursing Society Chair.

Faith Community Nurse Mentor Program

HMA recognizes that many FCN begin their role as a lone practitioner without the benefit of a health system or network or provide them a nurturing environment for growth and development both spiritually and professionally.

Upon completion of a Foundational FCN Curriculum, the novice FCN needs guidance and support in order to establish and sustain a successful professional practice.

The HMA FCN Mentor Program has been established to link the novice FCN with an experienced HMA FCN leader in order to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, experiences and wisdom and to encourage growth and achievement by providing an open and supportive environment.  We invite you to consider being a part of this exciting program.

Requirements to participate:

  • Recently completed a Foundational FCN course
  • Membership in HMA
  • Seeking support and guidance in your new FCN practice
  • Willing to commit to a one year relationship with an experienced FCN who will work collaboratively with you in your FCN practice development

For more information please contact: Cari Moodie, RN

Information for FCN Foundational Curricula Educators

Are you teaching a Faith Community Nursing Foundations Course?  Download the HMA Presentation (PowerPoint) or HMA Presentation (pdf) to use during your course.