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.

 

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
            Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
            • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
            • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
            • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
            • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
            • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Legal Nurse Consulting Program

            Brighton College and the former Paralegal Institute share a long history of providing excellent, affordable, career-oriented education that positions students for success in the workforce! Brighton College was founded in 1961 in Hudson, Ohio and offers programs in allied health professions, including medical coding, medical billing, medical records, medical office specialist, health services management, pharmacy technician.

            • Online Courses
            Vocational Nursing Program*
            Platt College , Alhambra
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MSN - Informatics (Online)
            • Began in 1909 as a single classroom in Los Angeles.
            • Offers no-cost dental clinic in Anaheim, where students gain experience by offering a selection of free dental services.
            • Involved in philanthropy, through partnerships with several organizations, such as the California Institute for Nursing and Healthcare (CINHC) and Shriner’s Hospital.
            • Accredited by The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.
            • Has 4 California campuses and 2 other campuses in Florida and Texas.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Vocational Nursing
            • Offers medical and cosmetic programs, including dental assisting, massage therapy, cosmetology, esthetics, and more.
            • Features a public salon and spa where students may get real-world experience.
            • Offers scholarship opportunities for students wo qualify.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 separate Vacaville campuses, one is for medical careers and the other is the beauty academy.
            Show more [+]
            Nursing

            About Brightwood College

            Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

            About Education Corporation of America

            Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

            BS/Nursing (RN to BSN)
            • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
            • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
            • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
            • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
            • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
            • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            RN to BS
            • As a CCNE-accredited school of nursing, Wilkes University is fully committed to preparing our students for a career of lifelong learning and success in a constantly evolving, dynamic profession.
            • We offer online programs for nurses at any stage in their career. From our R.N. to M.S.N., to our Ph.D. in Nursing, choose the program that is right for you.
            • Learn from doctorally-prepared, highly qualified instructors. Our faculty are true "scholar-practitioners," and bring real-world experience to every subject.
            • Receive a supportive, student-focused online education. Our programs are designed so that you can complete coursework when and where it's convenient for you.
            • We offer accelerated completion options for qualified students in our R.N. to M.S.N. and M.S.N. programs – earn your master’s degree fully online and finish faster.
            • Our net tuition cost for nursing programs is among the most competitive for regionally accredited universities.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            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