New Zealand

Te Kotahitanga Neehi Hapori Whakapono o Aotearoa

"Faith by itself, not accompanied by action is dead"  James 2:17


How much does a FCN cost?

The average hourly rate for a Registered Nurse is $27-32 per hour.  If this is to be a voluntary role the minimum cost to the church would be:

  • annual fees to Nursing Council($110 in 2021),
  • indemnity insurance (approximately $580 pa in 2021)NZNO or College of Nurses Aotearoa NZ
  • FCN education a one-time payment ($100 in 2021)  
  • evidence of continuing competence as required by Nursing Council
  • membership by the church of the New Zealand Faith Community Nurses Association ($80 in 2021)
  • clinical and spiritual supervision
  • mileage and equipment. 

How is a Faith Community Nurse chosen?

In our experience the nurse very often is called by God to this ministry, this can be in volunteer or paid role.

What are the criteria for qualification in terms of nursing training level?

The FCN is a registered nurse with a current practicing certificate; she/he needs to be mature in both nursing and spiritual life. Any nursing background can work, although a knowledge of the community is helpful. As well as an annual practicing certificate, the nurse needs to take faith community nurse training.

What qualifies them as a faith community nurse in terms of their theology and church attendance?

The nurse should be a committed Christian and a regular attendee at a church. The theology of the nurse is personal so any theological training and support is the responsibility of the recruiting church

How much time does FCN role involve?

This is to be decided between the nurse and the church, however often it will be a minimum of one day per week, it could be a full time role but this is not likely unless the role is paid. The more hours the more is the nurse’s effectiveness.

How are FCNs trained to offer spiritual as well as medical help?

The registered nurse would not practice outside of their scope of practice, and is responsible for ongoing professional development;  the nurse will seek out training in both the medical and spiritual sphere. Ongoing training can be obtained  through Nursing Professional development, NZFCNA and their own denomination. A FCN would use a referral system for any client where more in depth help was needed whether in the spiritual or medical sphere.

Who oversees the professional behaviour of the FCN?

The Registered Nurse is responsible for their own practice, and is regulated by Nursing Council of New Zealand. The nurse and the church are responsible for ensuring that those accepting this ministry are aware of their rights as listed by the Health and Disability Commissioner It is also recommended that a FCN has both a spiritual and clinical supervisor.

How is the new role recognised by the faith community?

After a period of preparation by the church and the nurse, it is suggested that there be a service of commissioning.  This process identifies the nurse becoming part of the ministry team. 

How is the FCN reviewed? Who is responsible for this?

An annual review between the church leadership and the nurse is strongly recommended; both have the opportunity to contribute to this review. An annual report to the whole faith community is also recommended.

What options for ministry/service are there apart from a parish?

This could be through any faith community, for example a school or a mission society. The Catholics often employ someone in a FCN role to look after their retired nuns and clergy. Also a group of churches could use a FCN in their local community. 

Is an employment contract necessary?

Yes, whether it is an unpaid or paid role this is necessary. It could be a memorandum of understanding if it is an unpaid role. Please download our sample employment contract.