I am a currently licensed RN who has been inactive for 8 years. During that time I was raising 3 children and remained very active in my community. Recently I have taken C.E.U. courses in physical assessment, IV therapy, and Health care CPR at the area community college. I am interested in returning to nursing, with the eventual goal of Parish Nursing. Any advice or suggestions on my re-entry into the field?
Thanks in advance
Jul 6, '99
Good luck in your return to nursing. I consider parish nursing a community health nursing role. To that end, I would attempt to work in a home health agency or a public health department that served the needs of seniors and young families. In a work setting you will see what needs agencies serve and what needs are falling through the cracks (which maybe a parish nurse could design programs to serve).
Think critically about the "parish" you hope to serve. (This is like doing a mini-community assessment): what are its' demographics? Primarily seniors, primarily young families, foreign emmigrants, college students, HIV + populations, poverty level families??? This might help you to target what you need to learn about, too.
Excellent areas for parish nurse intervention include church based meetings about advance directives and blood pressure screening clinics and church based sexuality education programs. (Your role might have to "mature" some before you could attack some of these...) Know your community well enough that you will not offer duplicative services (so make an effort to know your community resources; this will also help you with your referrals).
I am not a parish nurse, I am a community health nurse, but I think parish nursing is an exciting new role in nursing. Good luck.
Dec 18, '01
Sounds like you and I have a lot in common. I have 3 kids and am returning to nursing after a 15 year hiatus. I am now in a reentry course, which has been extremely helpful and a great confidence-builder (a lot has changed but a LOT hasn't!). I, too, would like to become a parish nurse. As a matter of fact, my church would like to eventually start a parish nurse program, and I will probably be helping out with that process. Let me know how it goes for you. Blessings to you!