“The simplest and most practical lesson I know … is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow.”

Catherine McAuley, RSM, Founder of the Sisters of Mercy 

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course

A new virtual course uniquely designed for adult learners … come & join us!

2021 course dates:  October 1, 2, 16, 22, 23; 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (includes 45-minute break for lunch and two 15-minute breaks)

As an educational partner of the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing (WI), a ministry of the Spiritual Care Association (SCA), Pittsburgh Mercy is an approved provider of the “Foundations of Faith Community Nursing” course [based on the curriculum (revision 2019) developed through the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing (the curriculum is owned by Church Health Center of Memphis, Inc., 1350 Concourse Ave., Suite 142, Memphis, TN 38104)]. This five-day, 39.25-hour preparation curriculum is a hybrid course that includes in-classroom virtual presentations via Zoom meetings and online learning modules via HealthStream.

Our focus is on adult learning activities such as small and large group discussion, case studies, storytelling with life application, creating a spiritual care board and self-care plan, daily participant reflections, healing service, brief video clips, music, mindful coloring, guided imagery, and much more. Adult learning is not only about understanding content, but also applying life principles and sharing lessons learned with others. Adult learners excel in safe, non-threatening learning environments that encourage questions with deep reflection. This Course is uniquely designed by the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse Ministry Team and offers participants a wonderful opportunity to experience spiritual awareness and group faith sharing through virtual learning.

We invite all to this sacred place and time of learning as we allow ourselves to prayerfully reflect on whole-person health … balancing body, mind, and spirit. Our goal is to commission our participants to faith community nursing (FCN) and/or health ministry in order to heed the call for safe, better health and well-being in our faith communities and communities at large. Our instructors have diverse backgrounds, are content experts in the fields of practice they are presenting, and have many years of health ministry experience as both volunteer and salaried faith community nurses.

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Curriculum: 15 Modules

  1. The Spiritual Dimension: a) History & Philosophy of Faith Community Nursing, b) Health, Healing & Whole-Person Health, c) Spiritual Care, d) Prayer
  2. Professionalism: a) Beginning Your Ministry, b) Communication and Collaboration, c) Legal Aspects, d) Ethical Issues, e) Documenting Practice
  3. Whole-person-centered Health: a) Health Promotion, b) Behavioral Health and Faith Community Nursing, c) Violence, d) Loss, Suffering, & Grief
  4. Community: a) Assessment & Accessing Resources, b) Advocacy, Care Coordination, & Transitional Care

Credit and Cost:  Nurses earning 39.25 CECs – $350; Health Ministers – $250

  • Partial scholarships available upon request and on a limited basis. Discount for Pittsburgh Mercy employees. Apply early for $25 discount post marked by September 4, 2021.
  • Participants are required to purchase the Participant Guide (course textbook) before this course begins – see this link https://amzn.to/2NIG47d
  • Please note, the Course is limited to 20 participants. Participants completing the program will be awarded a certificate with the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing logo.

Westberg Institute prepared faculty: Amy Armanious, DNP, MSOL, RN; Kathryn Conrad, MSN, MA, RN-BC; Dorothy Mayernik, MSN, RN; Sister Rebecca Nolan, OP, BSN, MA, RN

For more information about the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course, please contact us at 412-232-5815 or email ParishNurse@pittsburghmercy.org.

There will be 39.25 continuing education (CE) credits provided to registered nurses. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.  UPMC and ANCC do not endorse any commercial products as a result of this CE activity.

Speakers have no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose in regard to Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program, part of Pittsburgh Mercy and Trinity Health, serving in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy.

2021 Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course Brochure.

2021 Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course Application


Pittsburgh Mercy Health Ministry Prayer Gathering 2020 Reflections

Anne Papinchak, M.Ed. BS, PCC, Qualified Spiritual Director

On Saturday mid-morning, November 21, 2020 the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program hosted their annual Autumn event titled “Ignite the Inner Spirit” via a virtual format (Zoom invitation only). It was a special time of learning and fellowship. The purpose was to help participants network together and enhance their knowledge about spiritual care of self and others in need.

There were a total of 26 participants who shared their ideas and suggestions about self-compassion, motivating others, safe space through connection, and spiritual health. Due to the Pandemic, there was much discussion about addressing the spiritual needs of our congregations as they isolate socially. Our guest speaker and facilitator, Anne Papinchak, brought her insight and words of wisdom about the topic of self-compassion by encouraging participants to be self-aware from both a professional and personal viewpoint. Anne divided participants into small break-out groups with specific topic discussion points. Participants were enlightened with learning new practices of self-love, self-kindness, connection, and mindfulness so to create space for healing and hope.

We are appreciative of those who chose to spend their Saturday morning with us so that we could encourage each other in our ministries and professional work. Participants left with encouragement and joy as they continue to serve their Creator, families, faith communities, neighbors, and friends. We learned from each other and became better equipped to lead our faith communities through the ministry of health and healing. God’s blessings to all in the new year 2021!

Encourage one another day after day….

Hebrews 3:13 (NASB)


25th Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Symposium

Reflections from Our 25th Symposium: “Celebrating Health Ministry: Our Past, Present, and Future”

Our 25th symposium, held on Saturday, October 28, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and entitled “Celebrating Health Ministry: Our Past, Present, and Future,”  was a great success, assisting participants in reflecting more deeply on how we provide wholistic care (whole-person care) to those we serve in our faith communities. The symposium celebrated our past in faith community nursing, magnified our present service to those in need, and moved us forward to the dynamic vision for the future of health ministry.

We explored important health care trends:

  • Wholistic care
  • Cultural competency
  • Diversity appreciation
  • Complex community needs
  • Addiction
  • Behavioral health concerns.
Marlene Feagan (right) receives a Terrible Towel from Sister Rebecca Nolan (left)

Our wonderful guest speaker, Marlene Feagan, MA, BSN, RN-BC, president of Health Ministries Association, Inc. (pictured holding a beloved  Terrible Towel), encouraged all 52 attendees to address our own individual callings to health ministry as well as to look honestly at areas needing further discernment and prayer in our faith communities.

Marlene also facilitated roundtable discussions to move us beyond our ecumenical boundaries, and intersect faith and health concerns across social avenues focusing on those who are identified with homelessness, addiction, behavioral health concerns, and spiritual challenges.

She also engaged us with questions that may not always have answers when it comes to providing wholistic care in faith communities. The spirit-filled room opened and closed with prayer and singing as attendees bonded together.

Participants at our 25th Annual Symposium

We learned from each other and became better equipped to lead our faith communities through the ministry of healing. As it says in Isaiah 40:11 NIV, “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads…”. God’s blessings to you in your ministry!

For more information about the 25th Annual Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Symposium, please contact us at 412-232-5815.