Do You Know a Parish Nurse?

Meet Parish Nurses

Do you know a Parish Nurse? Do you know what a Parish Nurse does? MaryJean Tague, Parish Nurse Coordinator with St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, CT met with Dennis and Dawn to discuss this growing trend in health and wellness.
Parish nurses tend to work with one large congregation or several small ones to help provide connections between faith and health. They may offer education services, work with people trying to understand complicated health care issues, and emphasize preventative health care measures in keeping with the teaching of the particular church they work for.

A Parish Nurse is a registered nurse who provides healthcare services to members of a religious community or congregation. These nurses are typically employed by churches or religious organizations and work closely with pastors, social workers, and other healthcare professionals to provide holistic care to their patients.

The role of a Parish Nurse may vary depending on the specific needs of their community, but typically involves health education, counseling, and advocacy. They may provide regular health screenings and check-ups, manage chronic conditions, and offer support to patients and their families.

To become a Parish Nurse, one must first obtain a degree in nursing and become a registered nurse (RN). After obtaining the RN license, one can complete additional coursework or obtain certification in faith community nursing, which prepares nurses to work in faith-based communities. Some religious organizations may also require additional training or certification in areas such as theology or pastoral care.

One can also join organizations such as the Parish Nurse Resource Center or the International Parish Nurse Resource Center to access resources and networking opportunities in the field of faith community nursing. Ultimately, becoming a Parish Nurse requires a deep commitment to serving others and a willingness to work closely with community members and leaders to provide compassionate and holistic care.

Are parish nurses only in certain denominations?

No, parish nurses are not limited to specific denominations or religions. Parish nursing is a concept that is open to all faiths and is not exclusive to any one religion or denomination. The role of the Parish Nurse is to provide healthcare services and promote wellness within a religious community or congregation, regardless of the specific faith tradition. In fact, many different religious organizations have incorporated Parish Nursing programs into their ministries to support the health and wellbeing of their members.

Is being a parish nurse a volunteer position or a paid job?

Both volunteer and paid Parish Nursing positions exist, and it can vary depending on the specific organization or church. Some churches may have volunteer Parish Nurses who offer their services as part of their ministry, while others may have paid Parish Nurses who are employed by the church or religious organization. Some Parish Nurses may also work as independent contractors or as part of a healthcare organization that partners with religious institutions. The compensation and benefits for Parish Nursing positions may also vary depending on the location, organization, and level of experience of the nurse.

Get to know a Parish Nurse, it may change your life.

Reading Links


How to Become a Parish Nurse, AdventHealth University