dcsimg

How to Become A Parish Nurse

A parish nurse is a nursing professional, typically a registered nurse (RN), who focuses on the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of individuals as they try to achieve wellness and manage their illnesses. A parish nurse focuses on the whole person rather than just the physical. Because of this, the spiritual and emotional components of an individual's well being are equally important to a parish nurse.

Nursing

 

Parish Nurse: Not Your Typical RN

Parish nursing is not typical medical nursing with the administering of medications, injections, and monitoring vital signs. It is the integration of the practice of faith with the practice of nursing. The parish nurse works in conjunction with the pastoral staff of a faith community and the congregation. The parish nurse works as an educator, counselor, referral agent, and advocate. Functions that may be performed by a parish nurse include:

  • Providing a faith-based perspective on health and wellness.
  • Helping members to understand the relationships between the body, mind, and spirit.
  • Visiting church members in their homes or hospitals.
  • Providing individuals with counseling on health-related issues.
  • Making referrals to other community resources and assisting people in obtaining needed health services.
  • Assisting members in adapting to changes in their lives.
  • Teaching classes on wellness.
  • Providing nursing services.
  • Providing health screenings.
  • Developing support groups within the church.
  • Training and coordinating congregational volunteers.
  • Acting as an advocate for health and wellness issues.

The Skills a Parish Nurse Will Need

Parish nursing can be an emotionally demanding job. It can also be immensely rewarding. Parish nurses need to be caring, sympathetic, and able to empathize with their parishioners. They also need to be able to deal with the stress and the emotional strain of dealing with troubled, sick, injured, and even dying parishioners. Parish nurses require good observational skills, listening skills, communication skills, and the ability to make decisions based on the assimilation and evaluation of information. They also need to be able to relate and communicate health and wellness topics, along with spiritual and emotional topics.

Parish nurses also need to be able to work with many different constituencies. They need to cooperate and coordinate with the ministerial staff of their parish. They need to work with parishioners and volunteers. They also regularly interface with health, counseling and wellness organizations outside the faith community.

Income of a Parish Nurse

Most parish nurses would probably describe the rewards of the job as intrinsic and spiritual in nature, rather than monetary. Many parish nurses are unpaid volunteers. Others, however, are paid by the church or the congregation. There are few published reports of parish nurses' salaries, but those that exist indicate that a typical half-time parish nurse might expect to make about $15,000 a year.

Training and Education Required to Become a Parish Nurse

According to Marquette University, most parish nurses are registered nurses who have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. Many have advanced degrees. RNs with BSN degrees are qualified to make independent nursing decisions and take independent nursing actions. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) would have significant limitations on the nursing functions that they can perform.

The requirements to become a registered nurse with a BSN degree are quite rigorous. All 50 States and the District of Columbia require that registered nurse candidates obtain a nursing degree from an approved nursing program. The bachelor's degree program in nursing typically takes four years to complete.

All registered nurse programs require both classroom study and supervised clinical experience in hospital departments. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require that RNs pass a licensing examination (NCLEX-RN from The National Council of State Boards of Nursing or NCSBN). States require that registered nurse licenses be renewed. The time frame for renewal varies by state. Many states also have continuing education requirements as a requirement for license renewal. States may also have other state-specific requirements. Individuals interested in becoming a registered nurse should contact the Board of Nursing for their state to better understand the licensing requirements.

While there are no specific educational requirements necessary to become a parish nurse, most parishes and congregations look for nurse candidates who have additional training in parish nursing. Most nurses are not familiar with working with and for a congregation, nor are they familiar with the theological perspectives on health, healing, and wellness. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has recognized parish nursing as a specialty practice since 1998. The International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) has developed a standardized core curriculum including content on the theology of health as well as prayer and worship. The IPNRC indicates that over sixty educational institutions provide such content.

Click here for information on schools offering Parish Nursing Training and the programs that they offer.

Employment for parish nurses

Parish nurses practice in congregations or faith communities of every denomination. Current estimates indicate that there are about 6,000 practicing parish nurses in the United States. The International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) indicates that over 7000 nurses have been prepared as parish nurses using their standardized core curriculum.

Outlook

There are no published statistics on the job outlook for parish nurses, but anecdotal information indicates that the outlook for parish nurses should be favorable. The estimated 6,000 practicing parish nurses cover only a small percentage of the total number of parishes in the United States. The majority of parishes are, however, small parishes, so the prospects of making a substantial income from parish nursing are probably limited.


Parish Nurse Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner

            Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

            You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

            • Online Courses
            Medical Assistant Program
            • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
            • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
            • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
            • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
            • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Fitness & Nutrition
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Public Health
            • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Science in Nursing - Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
            • Ranked 23rd among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A public research university with an enrollment of more than 42,000 students.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 16:1, and 43.1% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has been the source of many discoveries creating positive change for society including co-op education and the oral polio vaccine since its founding in 1819.
            • Provides distance learning advisors to assist students.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Vocational Nursing
            Unitek College , San Jose
            • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
            • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.S. in Nursing: RN to BSN
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Nursing (RN to BSN)
            • Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899.
            • Provides a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services.
            • Offers counseling services and a 24/7 crisis hotline to students at no extra charge.
            • Gives students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Science in Nursing Online
            • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
            • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
            • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
            • Take advantage of four start dates per year
            • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
            • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
            • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
            • Ranked #4 among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as 2015 Military Friendly School by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with an average class size of 21.
            • 85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses