Parish Nurse

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Basic description

A parish nurse is a registered nurse who facilitates the holistic health of a congregation by focusing on spiritual, emotional, and physical dimensions of a person. Parish nurses act as liaison and facilitator among church, community, and hospital, and work with clergy in meeting the physical and spiritual needs of members of a particular congregation. Activities of parish nurses include community screenings (e.g., taking blood pressures, patient teaching, making home visits, and counseling and patient advocacy).

Educational requirements

Registered nurse preparation is required.

Core competencies/skills needed

■ Interest in helping members of a congregation maintain optimum levels of health and independent living
■ Excellent communication skills
■ Caring and compassionate
■ Strong religious affiliation
■ Patient and family education
■ Excellent assessment skills
■ Advocacy skills

Related Web sites and professional organizations

■ Health Ministries USA (www.pcusa.org/health/usa/parishnursing/parishnursing.htm)
■ International Parish Nurse Resource Center (http://ipnrc.parishnurses.org/index.phtml)
■ North Central Region Health Ministries Network: About Parish Nurses and Health Ministries; Frequently Asked Questions (www.healthministries.net/FAQs.htm)

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