Faith Community Nursing
The Catholic Charities Interfaith Health and Wellness program is committed to wholistic care of the body, mind and spirit through Faith Community Nursing, also known as parish nursing. Regardless of the name used by a faith community to identify the nurse who serves on its ministry staff, the nurse and the practice comply with the American Nurses Association (ANA) specialty practice of nursing abiding by the Faith Community Nursing Scope & Standards of Practice.
The Faith Community Nursing program provides valuable health promotion and maintenance within the context of the values, beliefs and practices of a faith community, and healthcare assistance by assisting individuals who might not be receiving the care they need. A parish nurse serves as health educator, health counselor, resource for church and community services, advocate for those in need, and facilitator of health ministries.
What is a Faith Community Nurse?
A Faith Community Nurse must meet the following qualifications:
- Current License - Registered Nurse (RN)
- Baccalaureate degree in nursing
- Three or more years of nursing experience
- Excellent listening skills, assessment, communication & problem solving
- Completion of Foundations of Faith Community Nursing (hyper link)
- Liability Insurance (NSO.org)
- Background screening/fingerprinting, Virtus Protecting Vulnerable Adults
- View the Roles/Functions and sample Job Description of a Faith Community Nurse
THE PARISH NURSE DOES:
- Promote the understanding of the relationship between faith and health and how living in healthy relationships with God, others, and ourselves effects our health and families.
- Assess physical, emotional and spiritual needs and provides resources for care and/or care transitions.
- Provides pertinent health information, answers concerns and questions, and navigation to health care services.
- Makes telephone, home, nursing home and hospital visits keeping people connected to their faith community.
- Refers to physicians, home care agencies, pastor, social service, support group or respite care.
- Coordinates blood pressure and other group health screenings.
- Facilitates volunteers and new ministries to meet the needs of the congregation.
THE PARISH NURSE DOES NOT:
- Provide care that requires a physician’s order. By definition a parish nurse does not give hands-on or invasive care. This means the following:
- No diagnosis, prescription or dispensing of medications nor gives injections or administering IVs but can teach medication management.
- Does not change dressings, provide wound care, nor administers catheter care but can refer to a minimum of three home health providers to help the person make an informed decision regarding care.
- The parish nurse is not a substitute for home health care or a public health nurse.
- Faith Community Nursing is “a valuable asset for a broadly integrated parish plan for stewardship and evangelization” and help builds a healthy community through this specialized practice of nursing.