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What is Parish Nursing

Parish Article   (18,575 Views 3 Comments 420 Words)
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Parish nursing is a relatively new nursing specialty that focuses on promoting health within faith communities, ministering to the parishioners' physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This article focuses on the 6 roles of the Parish Nurse.

What is Parish Nursing

 

Parish nursing is a relatively new nursing specialty that focuses on promoting health within faith communities, ministering to the parishioners' physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Far more than just "a nurse in the church", the parish nurse is an experienced registered nurse with additional training who serves as part of the ministerial team to promote wellness and spiritual care within the congregation and community.

A parish nurse is not a primary care giver, but serves more as a bridge between the church and healthcare system. The parish nurse does not replace the doctor or the pastor, but assists both.

Unlike the doctor, the parish nurse recognizes the importance of spiritual health; unlike the pastor, the parish nurse can provide medical support and assistance.

In 1997, the ANA recognized parish nursing as a specialty practice. The Standards and Scope of Parish Nursing was published in 1998, and revised in 2005.

Parish nursing is a professional model of health ministry because the nurse is a registered professional nurse working according to the nurse practice act of the state in which he/she is practicing, while also complying with the identified standards of the practice.

Since most nurses are not familiar with working in a congregation or the theological perspectives on health and healing, additional training is required.

Although parish nurses share the common goal of integrating faith and health, no two congregational ministries function the same way. Each ministry is dependent upon the demographics and needs of the congregation. Typically, the roles of the parish nurse will include the following areas:

Health Educator 

Raises the health awareness level and promotes healthy lifestyles within the congregation through a variety of formats, seminars, conferences, and classes.

Personal Health Counselor 

Discusses personal health problems, recommends medical intervention, answers questions regarding medications and medical tests, offers blood pressure screenings, etc.

Visitation Minister/Integrator of Faith and Health 

Visits in the home, hospital, nursing home providing spiritual care.

Referral Agent  

Helps members obtain needed services from church or community agencies or support groups.

Volunteer Coordinator 

Recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers to respond to physical, mental, and spiritual needs in the church.

Client Advocate/Navigator

Intervenes for the patient as necessary in the hospital or office setting by talking to the nursing/medical staff.

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256 Likes, 12 Followers, 107 Articles, 191,550 Visitors, and 5,264 Posts.

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The parish nurse plays an important role in spiritual care in the healthcare setting as well as in the home and community. Parish nursing, a relatively new nursing specialty, focuses on promoting health within faith communities, ministering to the parishioners' physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Far more than just "a nurse in the church", the parish nurse is an experienced registered nurse with additional training who serves as part of the ministerial team to promote wellness and spiritual care within the congregation and community.

A parish nurse is not a primary care giver, but serves more as a bridge between the church and healthcare system. The parish nurse does not replace the doctor or the pastor, but assists both. Unlike the doctor, the parish nurse recognizes the importance of spiritual health; unlike the pastor, the parish nurse can provide medical support and assistance.

In 1997, the ana recognized parish nursing as a specialty practice. The Standards and Scope of Parish Nursing was published in 1998, and revised in 2005. Parish nursing is a professional model of health ministry because the nurse is a registered professional nurse working according to the nurse practice act of the state in which he/she is practicing, while also complying with the identified standards of the practice. Since most nurses are not familiar with working in a congregation or the theological perspectives on health and healing, additional training is required.

Although parish nurses share the common goal of integrating faith and health, no two congregational ministries function the same way. Each ministry is dependent upon the demographics and needs of the congregation. Typically, the roles of the parish nurse will include the following areas:

  • Health Educator - raises the health awareness level and promotes healthy lifestyles within the congregation through a variety of formats, seminars, conferences, and classes.
  • Personal Health Counselor - discusses personal health problems, recommends medical intervention, answers questions regarding medications and medical tests, offers blood pressure screenings, etc.
  • Visitation Minister - visits in the home, hospital, nursing home.
  • Referral Source - helps members obtain needed services from church or community agencies or support groups.
  • Volunteer Coordinator - recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers to respond to physical, mental, and spiritual needs in the church.
  • Client Advocate - intervenes for the patient as necessary in the hospital or office setting by talking to the nursing/medical staff.

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Thank you for this.  Parish nursing was mentioned in my public health nursing class, but I don't think anyone in my class did any practicum hours with a parish nurse.  Are these typically full time, part time, per diem or volunteer positions?  How do parish nurses get paid?  Are there particular religions that usually hire parish nurses?  I appreciate any more knowledge you have on the subject!

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