Top 10 Reasons to Get Certified as a Faith Community Nurse

Last month the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Health Ministries Association announced the first board certification for Faith Community Nurses at the 25th Anniversary of the Health Ministries Association Annual Meeting and Conference. As someone who has been involved in this process since last Fall as a member of the ANCC’s Content Expert Panel for our specialty, I was very excited to hear this news! All of our hard work (in addition to many others involved with the ANCC) is finally being implemented and faith community nurses across the nation can apply for this new credential! So, this news has me wondering…

Are you going to get certified in Faith Community Nursing?

Yes? I wish you the best of luck in preparing your portfolio! Tell us why YOU are getting certified in the comments below.

No? Tell us why not, and read on…

Not sure? Then, let me present my…

Top 10 Reasons to Get Certified!

1. Receive validation of your knowledge and skills in a specialty that you love from a respected organization, the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

2. Hey, who doesn’t love a little alphabet soup? You can add a few letters to your professional credentials, RN-BC to be exact.

Photo Source: Click photo to read their article on nursing’s alphabet soup.

3. Contribute to a larger movement aiming to elevate the level of credibility of professional faith community nursing.

4. You’ll get a new best friendFaith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2nd ed.).

My well loved book.

My well loved book.

Seriously, you will become intimately familiar with this book. This is a good thing because it provides you with a clear description of our specialty’s scope of practice and the standards “by which the quality of practice, service, or education can be evaluated” (ANA & HMA, 2012, p.2). Without measurement, we cannot be validated for our unique role in healthcare.

5. It’s an opportunity for self-evaluation. We must know ourselves before we can improve ourselves. To learn more about how self-evaluation benefits healthcare, check out this article published by the Quality Assurance Project for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

6. Learn something new. Through the process of completing your portfolio, you may discover opportunities to build upon your current professional development. Maybe you’ll need to take some continuing education courses on topics specific to our specialty. Learning these things will not only bring you closer to certification, but they will also benefit the faith community that you serve.

7. Do something new. There are sixteen standards of practice for Faith Community Nursing. Chances are you might need to expand your practice a bit to encompass all of these in your portfolio. This is exciting because it will help your practice “reflect the values and priorities of the profession” (ANA & HMA, 2012, p.2). If you’ve never precepted a nursing student in this setting, made a poster presentation on parish nursing, or participated in a quality improvement project in this role…here is the motivation to take the next step and actually DO it!

Photo courtesy Cathi Kellet

. Poster presentation at Valley Parish Nurses 25th Anniversary Celebration. Photo courtesy Cathi Kellett.

8. Become a lifelong learner committed to the quality and advancement of our specialty. Recertification every 5 years encourages continued professional development. (FYI Recertification costs are much less than initial certification, and there are discounts if you are a member of the American Nurses Association or the Health Ministries Association).

9. Gain recognition as an expert in Faith Community Nursing by colleagues and employers. “In a survey of nurse managers, 86% indicated that they would hire a certified nurse over a noncertified nurse if everything else were equal”(Jacobs & Glassie, 2004, as cited in Why Certify? The Benefits of Nursing Certification).

10. Elevate the level of your faith community nursing to excellence in practice, quality, and safety for your own professional satisfaction and for the benefit of your faith community.Excellence


Was ten reasons not enough for you?

Watch this video for inspiration if you need an extra little boost to get started on your application! Keep in mind that it focuses on certification by exam, and ours is through portfolio. It’s still worth a watch.

Video Reference: ANCC website.

So, have you decided?

Are you going to get certified in Faith Community Nursing?


American Nurses Association & Health Ministries Association. (2012). Faith community nursing: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.


About courtholmes

Nurse Practitioner, Faith Community Nurse, Parish Nurse, Certified Wound Specialist, DNP Student at Quinnipiac University, Social Media Enthusiast... Passionate about integrating faith and health! CT Faith Community Nurses on Twitter @CTFCN

Posted on October 24, 2014, in Certification, Professional Development and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I am working on my certification, it should be submitted next week! It has been a validation of all I have done over the last 11 years. Hopefully the narrative piece will be appropriate and I will not have to try again. It has been a worthwhile process.


  2. I am not sure why I keep being posted as anonymous?


  3. These are all great reasons. Becoming a lifelong learner would be the most compelling to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Margaret Miller

    I have been retired for 13 yrs., so no longer interested in certifications, etc. Most of the other Parish Nurses in my area are also retired, unpaid professionals, volunteering time, knowledge and talents to promote health and welfare in our churches as best we can. When more faith communities are inclined to make Parish, or Congregational Health, Nurses a part of paid staff, I can see getting Board Certified, tho salaries have a long way to go to match those in hospitals & other facilities. Plus most faith communities only want a nurse part time.

    I suppose that varies in different parts of the country & by denomination. I am beginning to worry now about who will continue the work I have begun in my church when I can no longer serve at the level I do now, which is more difficult already, with a husband in long term care with Alzheimer’s Disease. The younger, working RN’s have all they can handle with their 12-hr. shifts and raising families & the retired ones do not want additional responsibilities.

    It will be interesting to see where this goes. Personally, I have no interest in how many letters are behind a Parish Nurse’s name. His or her commitment to the physical, mental, and spiritual welfare of the congregation mean a lot more.


    • I understand what you are saying. I’m in my thirties and absolutely love this way to use my nursing abilities within a faith community. I have many years ahead of me to continue doing this, and I hope to show other nurses how awesome it is. So, it’s definitely worth it for me to get certified. Most nurses that I talk to in traditional settings have no idea what parish nursing is all about, and when I tell them about it their interest is peaked. I’m hoping this blog will raise nurses’ awareness. Unpaid work in parish nursing has also benefited my paid nursing work through my own personal transformation from doing it. I believe certification helps raise the bar for professional practice, hopefully in the direction to encourage stakeholders to pay us, as you said…it’s needed, sort of a catch 22. Thanks for commenting!


  5. When we start getting paid for what we do it might be worth the certification. But, then it might just become another job instead of a labor of love giving back to people in the Lord’s name.


    • I have heard other nursing roles described as a labor of love (faculty role) despite their being paid. It is what we make it, whatever our role in nursing. Some do it for the love of nursing, and some do it for a paycheck. I believe the former infuses the nurse with higher quality performance, but I haven’t looked at the literature on that yet. When I became a nurse it was through a calling to carry out love in the world. We don’t all have this, but I suspect anyone who practices faith
      community nursing has this similar sense of nursing as a labor of love, wether or not they are paid or certified. The best part of certification is how it guides and holds us to the standards of practice to fulfill the role of FCN. Not all will want to do this and not all must, but the map is there if wanted. All FCNs benefit their communities; certified FCNs do so as measured and validated against a set of specialty standards. Certified FCNs ensure meeting the standards of practice to the benefit of our faith communities, which after all is our main objective.


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