Parish Nursing Enriches Faith Communities
A Faith Community Nurse or Parish Nurse is an experienced registered nurse who has additional education in parish nursing and a strong desire to use their faith and training to benefit their faith community and health ministries. A parish nurse uses their experience and education within a faith community to further the whole-person health of that faith community through education, counseling and referrals. These programs can be in any faith denomination.
Common tasks of Parish Nursing
Parish Nursing or Faith Community Nursing is a designated specialty practice through the American Nursing Association. Parish nurses combine their nursing training with spiritual care to make a positive impact in a faith community, congregation and overall community. With an intentional focus on spiritual health and well-being, the parish nurse promotes holistic health within a faith community through the practice of nursing. The parish nurse functions as a member of the congregation's health ministry team, caring for the body, mind and spirit.
Parish nurses are called upon to minister through:
- Wellness screenings such as blood pressure and cholesterol checks
- Health fairs and seminars
- Collaborations and partnerships with Franciscan Health and local health departments and agencies
- One-on-one counseling about individual healthcare issues
- Giving referrals to local health system partners and resources
- Visits to hospitals, nursing homes and patient homes
- Interacting with local healthcare agencies on behalf of faith community members
- Developing and overseeing support groups for various health issues
- Overseeing a team of healthcare volunteers
- Coordinating wellness and health-related activities
Parish Nursing Educational Partners
Franciscan Health offers parish nursing courses in Lafayette. This course presents the theoretical foundation for Parish Nursing/Faith Community Nursing (PN/FCN), integrating faith and health practices for faith communities. Participants establish the knowledge base to meet the Scope and Standards of Practice for Faith Community Nursing, a designated ANA specialty.
The content includes an introduction to Parish Nursing/Faith Community Nursing, spiritual care giving, scriptural foundations, legal issues and working with congregations. This course is based on the 2014 standardized Basic Curriculum developed through the Westberg Institute (formerly the International Parish Nurse Resource Center), in consultation with the ANA and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.