What is Parish Nursing?
Faith and health care are clearly linked, and spiritual care is central in promoting holistic health.
Parish Nurses 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, parish nurses provide a unique alliance between faith and health and is an important liaison between pastor, parishioners, health care system, physician, and community resources.
The parish nurse bridges two disciplines, nursing and ministry, and must be prepared in and responsible to both.
Qualities 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 majority of Parish Nurses are BSN prepared and several have masters degrees or and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.