Parish nursing, a specialized field in the profession of nursing, takes place within a faith community to achieve spiritual health by promoting the wholeness of mind, body and spirit. Faith and health are combined and integrated to promote this wholeness. The faith ministry of parish nursing contends that health and healing are part of the faith community.
Within parish nursing, health is seen as a dynamic process that combines the physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional dimensions of a patient. Parish nursing is consistent with the basic assumptions of all faiths rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The values, beliefs and practices of the faith community are essential in the spiritual dimension that is a key part of parish nursing. Mercy, justice, and compassion are a few of the values that parish nursing brings to its faith community.
Individuals and families within the faith community are assisted and supported by parish nursing. This assistance is achieved through health counseling, education, advocacy and referrals to other resources within the community at large as well as other congregational resources. Patients can receive the benefit of a sense of well-being in the face of a disease and healing in spite of the absence of a cure within support groups and the faith ministry of parish nursing. Parish nursing often involves working in home environments, hospitals or long-term care facilities.
It is important in parish nursing for the relationship between health and faith to be understood. Parish nursing encourages a spiritual dimension in professional nursing care and for medical care that encompasses the spiritual and as well as the physical health to be provided by the health care system. Parish nursing also encourages the faith community to uphold a healing mission. This can be achieved by coordinating and recruiting volunteers to serve in health ministries.
Want to become involved in parish nursing? You will need an advanced nursing degree, RN to BSN degree, or LPN to BSN degree. Or you can learn more about these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing
» Master of Science in Nursing