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PARISH NURSE - Faith Community Nurse


*  A Health Educator

*  A Personal Health Counselor

*  A Coordinator of Volunteers

*  A Liaison with Community Health Organizations (collaboration/referral)

*  A Clarifier of the Relationship between Faith and Health




About Parish Nursing ....


In 1985, Granger E. Westberg of Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois, envisioned a need to bring the expertise of a nurse into a congregation to enhance well-being.  Since then, congregations across the country have implemented parish nurse programs,, realizing significant benefits for their members, clergy, health care providers and communities.


Parish Nurses are actively licensed registered nurses with additional training in holistic ministry.  They typically:


*  Counsel members on health-related issues

*  Visit church members in their homes or hospitals

*  Help members understand the relationship between body, mind and spirit

*  Refer members to appropriate community resources for health services

*  Assist members in implementing important lifestyle changes

*  Teach classes about maintaining good health

*  Administer health screenings, such as blood pressure checks

*  Develop support groups in the congregation

*  Train and coordinate congregation volunteers

*  Coordinate existing community services and supplement them with wholistic dimension to health caring


Parish Nurses do not provide hands-on nursing care, but rather help direct members to the best and most appropriate health care providers.  They do not replace the ministerial mission, but rather enhance its reach and effectiveness. 


The helping hand of the parish nurse:  How does it benefit the clergy?


The Parish Nurse is a registered nurse with additional preparation in holistic ministry.  Much like the physician's assistant is to the physician, the parish nurse assists the clergy in tending to all of the diverse holistic needs of each member of the congregation.  The Parish Nurse also alerts ministers to members who need spiritual assistance that might have been overlooked without the nurse's one-on-one contact.




Twelve Beatitudes for Parish Nurses


Nurses are "blessed" with a variety of gifts that make them uniquely attractive to church congregations striving toward holistic health.  However, these blessings, not unlike other talents have the "dark or shadow" side.  The following beatitudes should be understood acknowledging that caveat:


1.   Blessed by the parish nurse for she is caring!

2.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she is available and accessible to most congregations!

3.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she is knowledgable about community resources and the process of referral!

4.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she is cost effective!

5.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she has a high tolerance for ambiguity!

6.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she has had a generalist education and previous employement that have resulted in  a broad variety of skills!

7.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she is process oriented!

8.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she is possessed with a generosity of spirit, both of time and talent!

9.   Blessed be the parish nurse for she focuses on priorities!

10. Blessed be the parish nurse for she is committed, dependable and persevering!

11. Blessed be the parish nurse for she has a heritage and tradition of pioneering!

12. Blessed be the parish nurse for she is a believer ... in God, clients, nursing, herself and in a better world; here and in the herafter!




For more information, please contact Betsy Raymer, RN at  402-340-4123 or call West Holt Health Ministries.

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