Parish nursing is defined as “a unique, specialized practice of professional nursing which focuses on the promotion of health within the context of the values, beliefs, and practices of a faith community.. . . Health is viewed as not only the absence of disease but (also as) . . . harmony with self, others, the environment, and with God.” (Scope and Standards of Parish Nursing Practice; acknowledged and published by ANA, 1998.)

Roles of the Congregational or Parish Nurse

  • Health Counselor
  • Advocate and referral agent to community resources
  • Health educator for congregation and community
  • Coordinator of volunteers for the Health Ministry
  • Coordinator of health promotion programs, health fairs, screenings, flu shots, cards, meals, etc.
  • Developer of support groups

Root Assumptions
Parish Nursing is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, consistent with the basic assumptions of all faiths that we care for self and others as an expression of God's Love.

Philosophy of Parish Nursing
Parish nursing is a specialty practice distinguished by the following beliefs:

The parish nurse role reclaims the historic roots of health and healing found in many religious traditions.

The practice holds that all persons are sacred and must be treated with respect and dignity. Compelled by these beliefs the parish nurse serves, advocating with compassion, mercy and justice. The parish nurse assists and supports individuals, families, and communities in becoming more active partners in the stewardship of personal and communal health resources.

The parish nurse understands health to be a dynamic process, which embodies the spiritual, psychological, physical, and social dimensions of the person. Spiritual health is central to well being. A sense of well being can exist in the presence of disease, and healing can exist in absence of cure.

The focus of practice is the faith community and its ministry. The parish nurse, in collaboration with the pastoral staff and congregants, participates in the ongoing transformation of the faith community into a source of health and healing. Through partnership with other community health resources, parish nursing fosters new and creative responses to health and wellness concerns.

Read about the Gwinnett Hospital System Parish Nurse Congregational Ministry for Health and Wellness