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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).
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)