Parish Nursing is rooted… in all faith traditions, consistent with
the basic assumptions that we care for self and others as an expression of
Mission of Parish Nursing
The mission of parish nursing is the intentional integration of the practice
of faith with the practice of nursing so that people can achieve wholeness
in, with, and through the community of faith in which parish nurses work.
Purpose of Parish Nursing
1. Challenge the nursing profession to reclaim the spiritual dimension
of nursing care
the health care system to provide whole person
the faith community to restore its healing mission
Strategic Vision of Parish Nursing
Access to a parish nurse ministry in every faith community
above statements were developed at the Fourteenth Annual Westberg Symposium, “Weaving
Parish Nursing into the New Millennium” presented by the
International parish Nurse Resource Center, 2000.
Faith Community Nursing
Faith Community Nursing practice is also known as parish or congregational nursing. Regardless of the name used by a faith community to identify the
nurse who serves on its ministry staff, the nurse and the practice are guided
by the Faith Community Nursing Scope & Standards of Practice published by the American
Nurses Association (ANA) . The American Nurses Association
is the recognized professional organization for nurses in the United States.
ANA sets universal standard for nursing care and professional performance common
to all nurses engaged in clinical practice – Standards of Clinical
Nursing Practice. Based on the generic standards, the American Nurses Association
recognizes specialty nursing practice by identifying the specialty and delineating
its unique scope and standards of practice. The Faith Community Nursing
Scope & Standards
of Practice were developed from the generic standards in cooperation with
Ministries Association, Inc., adopted
and officially recognized by the ANA in 1998.
Faith Community Nursing practice is an independent
professional nursing. It is defined by the jurisdiction’s (Florida)
nursing practice act, and
focuses on health promotion within the
context of the client’s (faith
community, family or individual) values, beliefs and faith practices. Based
on the Scope and Standards of Parish Nursing Practice, the faith-based nurse
maintains standards of care as demonstrated by the nursing process – assessment,
diagnosis, planning (outcomes), implementation, and evaluation – to all
members of the faith and extended community. And, s/he practices according
to the standards of professional performance that describe competencies in
a variety of behaviors within the parish nurse role: quality of care, performance
appraisal, education, collegiality, ethics, collaboration, research, and resource
utilization. Together the standard of care and professional practice define
faith-based nursing practice.
Community Nursing is a part of a broader outreach - health ministry. A health
ministry focuses on the health and healing needs of the members of a particular
faith community and its extended community. In faith communities people find
continuing connectedness, encouragement, hope and love. Health ministries
continue this tradition by centering on personal presence, listening and
teaching. Examples of health ministries include: visiting the homebound or
sick; encouraging healthy lifestyles; providing support – individually
or in groups; presenting information on health promotion and disease prevention;
monitoring individual concerns/needs; connecting through written or telephone
communications; etc. Health ministry is any extension of the faith community
that is perceived as caring. It does not require a medical background. Any
person can be involved in health ministry. It merely requires a heart for
caring, time and training directed toward improved listening skills, therapeutic
communications and spiritual presence. Health ministry and parish nursing
frequently coexist and sometimes the parish nurse is the staff person responsible
for the health ministry outreach.
Faith Community Nursing
Since Faith Community Nursing is an independent practice, the International
Parish Nurse Resource Center specifies that the requirements for parish
a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing
five (5) plus years experience in medical surgical nursing
community assessment skills
health counseling skills
Community health experience (preferred)
- Completion of the “standard curriculum for parish nursing” developed
by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center. (Programs)
Roles: Parish nurses function within the parameters of seven (7) major roles.
Educator – focusing on a variety of educational
activities for all ages that explore the relationship between values, attitudes,
faith and health.
Health Counselor – assisting individuals to
deal with health issues and problems and may include hospital, home, nursing
home, etc. visits.
Agent – providing congregational and community
resources for healing and wellness.
Advocate – encouraging all systems (congregant,
faith community, primary health resources) to find the best solution for
healing and wholeness
- body, mind and spirit.
of Volunteers – recruiting and coordinating
resources within the faith community to serve in its various health ministries.
of Support Groups – facilitating the development
of support groups to meet member needs and those of the external community.
of Faith and Health – seeking, in all activities
and contacts, to promote the understanding of the relationship between faith
Description: The job description for the faith-based nurse, although common
in functions, is fashioned within the parameters of the denomination or faith
community it serves. This position is designed to provide whole person health
promotion and disease prevention services and spiritual care. The major accountabilities
and position activities are listed below. For a more complete description of
the accountabilities access the
Parish Nurse Resource Center Information for Parish Nurses.
A. Health Educator
B. Personal Health Counselor
C. Referral Agent
D. Health Advocate
E. Trainer of Volunteers
F. Developer of Support Groups
G. Integrator of Faith and Health
B. Professional Development
C. Professional Education
A. Hours/week (minimum is 10)
B. Salary (not less than $25/hour)
C. Benefits (may include: holidays, vacation, health insurances, retirement
plan, continuing education funds, travel re-imbursement, etc.)
D. Liability Insurance
E. Office environment
F. Budget for program
G. Confidentiality statement