Parish Nursing is
A specialized practice of professional Nursing that focuses on the health of a Faith Community. Parish Nursing facilitates whole person health - body, mind, and spirit - by helping members of a congregation understand and adopt healthy attitudes, lifestyles, behaviors and relationships with God and other people.
Who is a Parish Nurse?
- Registered Nurse
- Member of ministerial team
- Vital link between faith and medical communities
What Does a Parish Nurse Do?
The role of parish nurse covers the following main areas by focusing on activities and services that address the specific needs and interests of those people served.
Promotes good health in the congregation and community by assisting those they serve to gain the knowledge needed to make the best choices for maintaining health, lowering health risks, preventing illness, and managing diseases already present.
Available to members of the congregation for personal consultations to assess and discuss problems, and support people through the challenges of life brought on by aging, role change, societal and cultural upheaval, loss, illness and disability. A health counselor is one who is able to explain, clarify and interpret for the client the language of healthcare so that terminology, diagnostic elements, and treatments are understood.
of support groups and care-giving volunteers. Uses the resources of the congregation, recruiting, educating and coordinating volunteers into support groups to meet the needs of people. The parish nurse facilitates the varied training necessary for a variety of ministries.
Referral Source/Liaison Person
Knowledgeable of the community and services available within the community in order to successfully refer individuals to the ‘right place, for the right service, at the right time’ for successful outcomes. is important. The parish nurse does not do “hands-on” care and does not compete with home health, hospice or other services.
Integrator of Faith and Health
Over-arching all other roles is the spiritual care a Parish Nurse gives. It is this that sets the role of a Parish Nurse apart from any other nursing practice.
How to start Health - Wellness Ministry in your church.
- Form task group to take inventory of health related activities and determine feasibility of a health and wellness ministry
- Form health committee of healthcare professionals and laypersons interested in wholistic health matters
- Perform needs assessment
- Develop health and wellness strategy
- Engage Parish Nurse
- Commission Parish Nurse for service to congregation
- Provide support and direction for the health programs to support ministry process
- Evaluate health ministry programs annually and revise as needed.