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Faith Community Nursing


What is a faith community nurse?

Our faith community (parish) nurses at Sanford Health in Fargo, N.D., are a team of registered nurses who are committed to the healing mission of the church. As members of the parish or agency staff, faith community nurses bring health care and related services into the community.

Sanford’s faith community nurses can ease basic patient needs and health system navigation by:

  • Helping individuals access and navigate the health and social service systems within the community
  • Screening for hypertension or other health conditions
  • Helping individuals follow treatment protocols
  • Supporting personal fitness through activity and nutrition classes
  • Providing education on health issues and funding
  • Facilitating support groups


What does a faith community nurse do?

A faith community nurse promotes the healing ministry of the church and a sense of community by serving in the following capacities:   

  • Integrator of faith and health: Assists with wellness to improve holistic health.
  • Health educator: Provides venues for the congregation to learn about health issues, individually and in groups.  
  • Health counselor: Discusses health concerns, emphasizing early response to small problems and encouraging healthy lifestyle changes.
  • Referral advisor: Provides referral to health care and social services within the community.
  • Health advocate: Helps members of the congregation or community obtain needed health-related services.
  • Developer of support groups: Facilitates or develops support groups for the faith community and others served.
  • Volunteer coordinator: Recruits, trains and oversees volunteers who help those in need.

Call your local congregation to learn whether they have a faith community nurse. 

Call (701) 234-5818, or 1-800-437-4010, ext. 234-5818 to learn more about Sanford’s faith community nurses in the Fargo, N.D., region.

Services provided by Sanford

  • Assist congregations and faith based organizations with Health Ministry Cabinet development.
  • Assist congregations and faith based organizations with the implementation of a faith community nurse role. 
  • Offer orientation and mentoring for affiliated faith community nurses.
  • Provide program support to affiliated faith community nurses.
  • Arrange for networking and educational opportunities for affiliated faith community nurses. 

Become a faith community nurse

Faith community nursing has evolved into the largest community-based group of nurses. There are more than 15,000 nurses in this ministry in the United States. The American Nurses Association recognizes the role as a sanctioned nursing specialty and as of last year, the American Nurses Credentialing Center provides certification, which validates their skills, knowledge and abilities.

The Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course is specifically designed to help interested nurses understand the focus and tasks of this health ministry. You must apply for the course.

It's open to licensed registered nurses from all over the Sanford enterprise to rejuvenate their passion for the art of nursing, learn how to integrate faith into the care they give, and find out if they want to aspire to become a faith community nurse. Distance will no longer be a barrier; nurses can experience the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course from the comfort of home via the Internet.

Learn more about this course and available scholarships.

Program Contacts:  
Bismarck, Bemidji and Fargo: Lois Ustanko (701) 234-5818;
Sioux Falls: Karla Lubben (605) 339-7295;