Parish Nursing is the intentional integration of faith with the practice of nursing. Parish Nurses care for congregations all over the world. They work within their own church to provide education, health counseling, disease prevention and other duties as directed by their congregation.
Health ministry is a field of ministry within a congregation that focuses on leading the body of Christ to wholeness. As part of Jesus’ example to teach, preach, and heal, health ministry deals with the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of a person. Parish nurses and others within the congregation are able to put their spiritual gifts to work.
A Parish Nurse is a licensed registered nurse (RN) who practices in a faith community and offers health and wellness services. Parish nurses assist congregational members to gain and/or maintain optimal mental, physical, and spiritual health by serving as a:
Parish nurses are usually volunteers in a church, but some are members of a paid church staff. All work closely with the pastoral staff and under the general direction of a congregational Health Council. Parish nurses promote the faith community as a source of health and healing. Building relationships and friendships, parish nurses regularly engage in activities that teach prevention and encourage health lifestyles. Some activities that parish nurses perform include:
The Parish Nurse Ministry at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) offers the Basic Parish Nurse Preparation Course 2-3 times per year. The basic course includes the history, philosophy, roles and function of the parish nurse, the role of the church in health, how to function as a member of the pastoral team, health promotion and maintenance, documentation, accountability, confidentiality, legal considerations, spiritual care, working with volunteers, how to access community resources, and self-care for the parish nurse. The course is endorsed by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center. Interested nurses should contact Colleen Klamar, Parish Nurse Coordinator at LifeCare Medical Center for more information on registration. Call (218) 463-4751, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.