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Parish Nurse Ministry Program

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What is Parish Nursing?

Parish nursing, also known as faith community nursing, is a specialty practice recognized by the American Nursing Association that combines professional nursing and health ministry. Parish nursing promotes health and healing within a faith community, focusing on the whole person and emphasizing wellness, disease prevention and health promotion, and healthy spirituality.

Who does a parish nurse benefit?

  • The congregation, by recognizing the role of spirituality as a contributing factor to overall health and wellness.
  • The clergy, by providing support in the healing ministry of the church.
  • The community, by providing collaboration between faith communities and health care institutions.
  • The health care providers, by promoting continuity of care and timely referrals.

What does a parish nurse do?

  • Delivers holistic care, holding the spiritual dimension to be central to the practice while encompassing the physical, psychological, and social dimensions.
  • Feels compelled to answer the call to serve in the ministry of the church.
  • Connects to a network of parish nurses statewide to rely on for additional information and assistance.
  • Does not provide direct hands-on care.

What a parish nurse is not

  • A physician, and will not diagnose or treat illness
  • A home health nurse, and will not dispense medications or provide treatments prescribed by a physician
  • A therapist, and will not do physical therapy, occupational therapy, or psychotherapy
  • A clergyperson, however all parish nurses come to the field with a deep spiritual commitment
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