I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to respond to this question anyway. In many respects, parish nursing is a form of advanced practice nursing. When I started up a parish nurse program, I used skills that hadn't been taught in my basic nursing education (BSN). I had to analyze the demographics of the faith community, mostly to see what the age ranges were of the members of the congregation to better predict what health needs might be presented. I also found that it was helpful to be well-versed in nursing theories, particularly those of Jean Watson. Additionally, I utilized research as a parish nurse because I often needed to relate research findings to my parishioners in a manner that non-health professionals could understand.
Ironically, I decided to go to graduate school because an instructor in my parish nurse preparation class had set up a parish nurse program in her church for her master's project. But because I set my program up before I started grad school, I was unable to use it as a master's project.
I was able, however, to combine some of my parish nurse activities with my community health nursing coursework. Received a tremendous amount of support from most of the faculty though there were some who disparaged the role of parish nursing, particularly the volunteer aspect.
The biggest barrier to parish nursing as an advanced practice is the fact that many faith communities are financially struggling. Many churches cannot afford to pay the pastor a living wage, much less pay for parish nurses. I had one grad school professor argue with me that institutions pay for what they value; thus, if the church wasn't paying a parish nurse, it "obviously" didn't value the services of a parish nurse. I argued that the reality was that church budgets are tight and value had little to do with getting paid or not.
Would love, love, LOVE to do parish nursing full time but cannot afford to do so.