Individual Care that is Right For You

parish nurse

About Parish Nursing

History:

In October, 1997 the Parish Nurse Program began its development and was acknowledged by Lee Health as an important health and spiritual initiative to connect the health system with the community. A steering committee was developed and a coordinator was hired to educate nurses and to provide leadership. The name Parish Nurse, Faith Community Nurse (FCN) and Congregational Nurse is used inter-changeably. Registered Nurses with active licenses complete a Foundations Curriculum which follows the Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing as set by the American Nurses Association. About 50% of FCN's are in a paid model and 50% are in a volunteer model of ministry. The decision regarding paid vs volunteer is at the discretion of the faith community leadership and the nurse.

Current Program

Faith Community Nurses who are partnered with Lee Health meet monthly for a collegial, educational, and spiritual connection. Currently, Lee Health has 28 nurses in an ecumenical group of many denominations.

Community Outreach and Congregational Health and Wellness is a primary function of the group. This is accomplished through hosting community health fairs, various health programming, and direct health counseling and education. Parish Nursing continues to grow in importance as part of the continuum of care between Lee Health and the community. "Bringing a spiritual component to the encouragement of health and wellness makes for a successful plan to focus on whole person health," shares Manager Nancy Roberts.


Our Roles

Parish Nursing is a specialized practice of professional nursing and its primary focus is the intentional care of the spirit. Faith and healthcare are clearly linked and spiritual care is central in promoting holistic health. Parish Nurse's provide holistic health services addressing the needs of the body, mind and spirit in the individual faith community. In unity with the mission of both the faith community and LMHS Parish Nurse Program, the parish nurse roll provides a unique alliance between faith and health and is an important liaison between pastor, parishioners, healthcare system, physician, and community resources.

There is a difference between a nurse in a church and a parish nurse--not every person is called or qualified. The parish nurse bridges two disciplines, nursing and ministry, and must be prepared in and responsible to both. Qualities needed for this role include a deep commitment to their own spirituality as well as the healing mission of the church. Determination of spiritual maturity is evidenced through the completion of a spiritual autobiography and interview process with the pastor, parish nurse director, and other faith community members.

Completion of the endorsed Basic Parish Nurse Preparation Course is required, in addition to attending monthly PN meetings to share worship, experiences, resources, encouragement, and organizational issues. The new "Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing" states that the preferred minimum preparation for an RN or ARNP entering this specialty of nursing is a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing, experience in using the nursing process and knowledge of community resources.

The majority of Parish Nurses are BSN prepared and several have Masters with degrees in nursing and business administration. In addition, all of our Parish Nurses have taken the Basic Parish Nurse Preparation Course that is endorsed by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center.

Our Functions

The functions of the Parish Nurse are:

Counselor

Parish Nurses provide personal and confidential counseling regarding health concerns, and they make home, hospital or nursing home visits whenever needed. They encourage clients to participate in their own healthcare decisions, offering suggestions on modifying life styles and linking personal habits of faith and health.

Health Educator

Parish Nurses offer education in various ways: health education programs, articles in their faith community's weekly bulletins and monthly newsletters, literature racks and support groups. They also offer diet and exercise classes, health fairs and screenings.

Health Advocate

The Parish Nurse works with the client, faith community and primary health resources to provide the best care to the client, and is their voice when they seem to have none.

Resource Agent

Parish Nurses serve as a liaison by making the appropriate referrals to community, hospital and faith community resources when the assessed faith/healthcare needs are beyond the scope and practice of the parish nurse.

Coordinator of Volunteers

Parish Nurses recruit and train volunteers to assist with programs and client care.

Developer of Support Groups

Parish Nurses assess the needs of the faith community and when appropriate assist to establish needed groups for support.

Integrator of Faith and Health

Parish Nurses assess the needs of the human spirit within the presenting health concern and incorporates the client's values, beliefs and practices into the plan of care focusing on whole person health; body, mind and spirit.

Parish Nurse Education

Lee Memorial Health System has sponsored the Foundations for Faith Community Nurse Course since year 2000 and is an educational partner with the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, at The Church Health Center in Memphis, TN.

The content of this curriculum is core to the educational preparation of Parish Nurses comprising 40 credit hours. It focuses on the concepts of spiritual formation, professionalism, leadership and community. It also emphasizes theological concepts to reclaim the spiritual dimension of nursing.

Participants attending this course will be able to:

  • Embrace the integration of faith and health as central to the parish nurse role.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, attitude and skills to practice as a beginning parish nurse.
  • Value and inter-collegial peer system of support.
  • Identify a network for continuing development and support.
  • Commit to continued spiritual formation to more effectively understand and carry out the parish nurse role.

Since 2000, we have offered this course annually in beautiful Southwest Florida. The RN's who took our course are now serving as Parish Nurses in their home states including: Florida, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Washington and Georgia.

Parish Nurse Course Schedule

BASIC FAITH COMMUNITY NURSE FOUNDATIONS COURSE

This Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course is based on the revised 2nd Edition curriculum developed through the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, Memphis, Tennessee.

You must be a Registered Nurse with an active nursing license to attend this program.

Register early, attendance is limited! Registration deadline: July 23rd, 2018.

Dates:

2018 IPNRC Foundations Course:
August 3, 4, 5
Fri, Sat &amo; Sun
9 am - 6:00 pm
August 10
Friday
9 am - 7:00 pm
August 11
Satuday
9 am - 6:00 pm
August 12
Sunday
9 am - 4:30 pm

Must attend all dates to receive full CEUs and pin.

Casual clothes recommended.

Location:

Zion Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall
7401 Winkler Ave
Fort Myers, Florida

Cost:

$425 for 40 CEU and Parish Nurse Pin

Download course brochure and registration form

Partnering Faith Communities/Parish Nurses

Fort Myers
Pat Epifanio, RN
St. Luke Episcopal Church
239-334-2479
Jeri Titsworth, RN
Thomas A. Edison UCC
239-334-4978
Ann Sluiter, RN
St. Michaels Lutheran Church
239-939-4711
Diane Spears, RN, MSA
Mount Herman Ministires
239-334-8075
Cindy Romeis, RN, ARNP
First Christian Church, Fort Myers
239-334-0316
Karen Reed, RN
Unity Church of Ft. Myers
239-278-1511
Lori Uhrig, RN, BSN
St. Hillary Episcopal Church
239-936-1000
Sharon Wilson, RN
City Gate Ministries
239-334-7747
Pine Island
Caryle Regan, RN, BA
St. John Episcopal Church
239-283-1820
South Fort Myers
Marilyn Kranich, RN, MS
Peace Lutheran Church
239-437-2599
Lynda Hagman, RN, BSN, PhD.ed
Zion Lutheran Church
239-481-4040
Helen Tuffy, RN
St. John XXIII Catholic Church
561-2245
Judy Bayleat, RN
St. John XXIII Catholic Church
561-2245
Nancie Burke, RN
St. John XXIII Catholic Church
561-2245
Joann Andrews, RN
St. John XXIII Catholic Church
561-2245
North Ft. Myers/ East Ft. Myers/ Alva
Pat Epifanio, BSN, MS
All Souls Episcopal Church
239-997-7685
Judy Greenstreet, RN
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
239-543-2686
Gwen Wilkinson, RN
Grace Shores Methodist Church
239-694-2797
Barb Kilbride, MS, BSN, RN
Alva Countryside Wesleyn
239-368-3270
Deb Carney, RN
Alva United Methodist Church
728-2277
Cape Coral
Nancy Roberts, RN, BSN
Christ Lutheran Church
239-542-2709
Joanne Sanford, RN
Christ Lutheran Church
239-542-2709
Yolette Osselin, RN
Kings Way Christian Center
Haitian Faith Community Outreach
239-458-2700
Kathy Herrick, RN
Cape Coral Community Church
239-574-1148
Cathy Bogar, RN, BSN, MSN
Faith Presbyterian Church
Fort Myers Beach
Ann Fossum, RN, BSN
Chapel by the Sea Presbyterian Church
239-463-3173
Bonita Springs/ Sanibel Island/ Naples
Sheila Morales, RN, BSN, MS
Hope Lutheran & Amigos En Christo
992-6952
Rosanne Rechlin, RN, MSN
St. William Catholic Church
239-262-0338
Linda Convertine, RN, BSN
Sanibel UCC
239-472-2664
Deborah Stephens, RN, MBA
Sanibel Community Church
239-472-2763

Call us today to schedule a spititual consultation or to make an appointment. Our main phone number is 239-343-5199.

Chaplains are located at each campus:

  • Cape Coral Hospital: 239-424-2383
  • Gulf Coast Medical Center: 239-343-1130
  • HealthPark Medical Center: 239-343-5199
  • Lee Memorial Hospital: 239-343-2467
  • Parish Nurse Program 239-343-5182
  • Bereavement Coordinator 239-343-6812

You may email the Spiritual Services Department at:

SpiritualServices@LeeHealth.org. Lee Health Parish Nurse Program Manager is located at HealthPark Medical Center in the Spiritual Services Department 1st floor.
You may email the Parish Nurse Manager at ParishNurse@LeeHealth.org.
Lee Health Pediatric/Pregnancy Bereavement Program is located at HealthPark Medical Center - 4th floor. You may email the Bereavement Coordinator at: SpiritualServices@LeeHealth.org.