Nursing News: Parish Nursing Promotes Wellness and Community

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 14th, 2012

Faith community nursing, or parish nursing, is a specialty of nursing focusing on helping patients achieve health, healing and wholeness through health promotion and disease prevention. Parish nurses serve their congregations and communities by providing referrals to health resources; doing home visits; leading classes on topics such as nutrition, fitness or bereavement, or just providing a listening ear. Some provide blood pressure checks after church services, and write articles on current health topics for newsletters and bulletins.Parish Nursing

Long before there were retirement homes, community clinics and private hospitals, religious organizations took care of the ill and elderly in their communities. But it wasn’t until the 1980s when the model for parish nursing was developed by a Lutheran chaplain named Granger Westberg. He believed health care transcends physical care, because true healing involves the whole person, mind body and spirit, in the context of their community. He founded the International Parish Nurse Resource Center in 1986. Since then, faith community nursing has become an international movement.

Having a nurse on the staff of a congregation provides a unique forum for health promotion and disease prevention. Members of a church can discuss health concerns with a nurse before it becomes a chronic or serious condition.

Just one more way nurses serve so selflessly.

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