What is Parish Nursing?

Parish nursing is a health and healing ministry of faith communities which emphasizes the wholeness of body, mind and spirit. Rooted in the vision of Christ as Healer, this ministry grows out of the belief that all faith communities are places of health and healing and have a role in promoting wholeness through the integration of faith and health.

A parish nurse is a RN with specialized knowledge, who is called to ministry and affirmed by a faith community to promote health, healing and wholeness. Parish nurses demonstrate competence in a defined set of attitudes, knowledge and skills which are incorporated in the Standards of Practice and Core Competencies of The Canadian Association For Parish Nursing Ministry (CAPNM).

What is a Faith Community Nurse?

Many Canadian Nurses and churches have used the term Parish Nurse historically however the term Faith Community nurse is now becoming more common and widely used in many faith communities. In this website, we use the term Parish Nurse to represent both Parish Nurse and Faith Community Nurse; both masculine and feminine.

Roles of The Parish Nurse

  • A Parish Nurse is an Integrator of faith and health, reminding people to care for their body, mind and spirit. Examples include: praying with members in need, offering help in a medical/mental crisis.
  • A Parish Nurse is a Health Educator.  The nurse educates in all formats, one on one to group seminars. Examples include: arranging adult forums on various health topics, teaching with school classrooms/small groups, giving classes on diet and/or exercise.
  • A Parish Nurse is a Personal Health Counselor.  The nurse discusses health problems with parishioners, giving clarity and support. The nurse makes home, hospital and nursing home visits as needed.
  • The Parish Nurse is a Referral Agent.  The nurse assists with the network of the health care system, making referrals when necessary. The nurse works with community agencies, establishing resources and networks that assist with the well-being of the congregation.
  • The Parish Nurse is a Health Advocate. The nurse assists with healthcare assessments and decisions when requested or needed. This may include empowering clients or attending appointments.
  • The Parish Nurse Supports Volunteers. Christ called all to be his disciples of His ministry. The nurse utilizes volunteers to assist in the ministry of health and wholeness.