For many cities and towns, faith-based organizations are integral to the overall well-being of these communities. During the past 10 years there has been an enhanced interest from healthcare professionals to address the unique needs of these organizations. To address this growing area of specialization within the nursing community, the West Virginia University School of Nursing will launch a new faith community nursing certificate course in fall 2016.

The School of Nursing will offer a nationally recognized faith community nursing course which is the first step in the nurse’s ability to apply for national certification in faith community nursing through American Nursing Credentialing Center. Registered Nurses can complete the course to gain national recognition as a trained faith community nurse.

The course will be offered both online or a hybrid option, which will include both online courses and a face-to-face educational session with School of Nursing faculty in Morgantown. The faith community nursing program will be offered in four units of study with 28 total learning modules. The units include: spirituality, professionalism, holistic health and community. Students can complete the program in as little as two months.   

In 2005, the American Nurses Association approved the Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. The professional practice of faith community nursing focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting holistic health and preventing or minimizing illness in a faith community.

“Faith community nursing is a growing area of interest for nurses all over the nation. Our program provides a unique area of specialization for men and women who want to serve their communities in this nursing role,” said Tara Hulsey, dean of the WVU School of Nursing.

School of Nursing faculty members Angel Smothers, DNP, APRN-BC, and Lois Harder, PhD, RN, will oversee and facilitate the courses. For more information about the faith community nursing program, including the application process, visit

Application for 32 contact hours has been made to the West Virginia University School of Nursing, Charleston Division. WVUSON-Charleston Division is an approved provider of continuing education for Registered Professional Nurses by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses (WVBRN registration number: WV1997-0187RN).

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For more information: Contact: Tara Curtis, WVU School of Nursing, 304-581-1772