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Press Release: Local Nonprofit Seeks Nurses Interested in Serving in their Congregations

2019 class trains local RNs and provides board certification in a unique nursing specialty

Bellingham, WA – Local nonprofit, Health Ministries Network (HMN), is seeking nurses, retired nurses and caring individuals who want to serve the health needs of their church or faith community. First launched in Bellingham in 1997, the Foundations Course provides the initial training and certification for nurses to become Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers, and to launch or build a health ministry in their congregation.

The HMN Foundations Course is offered in a hybrid format combining interactive in-person and online sessions from March 1 to May 5, 2019. The in-person weekend sessions (March 1 and 2, May 5) will be held at the First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA. This course fulfills the educational requirement for board certification in Faith Community Nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). RN participants earn 44 contact hours of continuing education.

The HMN Foundations Course is certified by the Westberg Institute, an international leader in the development of outcomes-based health ministry integrating mind, body and spirit wellness. The course is open to all faiths, beliefs and religions. Health Ministries Network offers a scholarship for diverse applicants, open to residents of Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Islands Counties.

Churches and congregations offer unique opportunities for social and spiritual connection. Faith community nurses and health ministers bring a professional skillset that opens the door for important conversations about health.

Faith Community Nurses helped Scott of First Congregational Church in Bellingham, who says, “Those nurses saved my life.” After church, Scott wasn’t feeling well and consulted with a faith community nurse, who found that his blood pressure was dangerously low and immediately referred him to the Emergency Room. He was diagnosed with dehydration and impending kidney failure. Thankfully, he’s back at church and getting his blood pressure checked regularly.

This unique model of health-related care is supported by Health Ministries Network, the regional organization that provides education and support for faith community nurses.

“Health Ministries Network provides vital services and a positive force in our community,” says Sue Sharpe, outgoing Chuckanut Health Foundation Executive Director. “Chuckanut Health Foundation is pleased to support the work of these dedicated community health professionals.”

serve clients in congregations and in the community at no cost to clients

Now Enrolling: The 2019 Foundations Course for New Volunteers

Health Ministries Network is actively recruiting nurses to complete the Foundations Course to begin their ministry. Although many of the faith community nurses are retired RNs, HMN is also recruiting younger nurses and health care providers who are seeking a deeper connection with their church or faith community. “One of the gifts of faith communities in general is the opportunity for inter-generational connection and that is a benefit for faith community nurses as well,” says Health Ministries Network Executive Director Amelia Vader.

Congregations interested in initiating or enhancing a health ministry can sponsor on or more individuals for the Foundations Course.

HMN is offering the following information sessions about Faith Community Nursing and the 2019 Foundations Course:

  • Tuesday, January 15, 1:00 PM at St. Stephens Episcopal, 555 Regatta Dr. Oak Harbor, WA

  • Wednesday, January 16, 1:00 PM at Sonlight Community CRC, 8800 Bender Rd. Lynden, WA

  • Thursday, January 17, 1:00 PM at First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA

  • Tuesday, January 22, 1:00 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 415 S. 18th St, Mt Vernon

Course and scholarship applications are due February 19, 2019.

About Health Ministries Network:

Health Ministry Network (HMN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliated with Chuckanut Health Foundation. HMN is incorporated provides holistic wellness education in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties. Since 1997, nurses and health ministers have provided B/P clinics, health screenings and consultations, agency referrals, wellness checks, home visits, and transitional support from hospital to home to their faith communities at no charge. We serve the elderly, children, families with limited resources and those with disabilities. Our ministries serve all denominations, nationalities, races, sexual orientations, genders and ages. There are more than 80 faith communities and 128 parish nurses, faith community nurses, health ministers and community health advocates in the network.

For recent profiles of local faith community nurses, visit:


Carol Nicolay, Course Facilitator

Call or Text: 360-510-9797



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