Mission for Parish Nursing at St. John
The Parish Nursing Ministry reflects the compassionate healing love of Jesus Christ by promoting health and wholeness of body, mind, and soul for all of God’s people through education and advocacy by nurses and other health ministers.
Health from a Faith Perspective
Parish nursing is a recognized specialty practice that combines professional nursing and health ministry. Parish nursing emphasizes health and healing within a faith community. The philosophy of parish nursing embraces four major concepts: spiritual formation; professionalism; shalom as health and wholeness; and community, incorporating culture and diversity.
- The spiritual dimension is central to parish nursing practice. Personal spiritual formation is an ongoing, essential component of practice for the parish nurse and includes both self-care and hospitality, through opening the heart to self and others. Spiritual formation is an intentional process of intimacy with God to foster spiritual growth.
- The parish nurse role reclaims the historic roots of professional nursing. Aspects of health and healing found in many faith traditions are embodied in the role of the parish nurse. The parish nurse practices under the scope and standards of practice and the ethical code of nursing as set forth in his/her country.
- The parish nurse understands health to be a dynamic process that embodies the spiritual, psychological, physical, and social dimensions of the person. Shalom, God’s intent for harmony and wholeness, serves as a foundation for understanding health. A sense of well being can exist in the presence of imbalance, and healing can exist in the absence of cure, Brueggemann (1976).
- The practice of parish nursing focuses on a faith community. The parish nurse, in collaboration with the pastoral staff and congregants, participates in the ongoing transformation of the faith community into sources of health and healing. Through partnership with other community health resources, parish nursing fosters new and creative responses to health and wellness concerns. Parish nurses appreciate that all persons are sacred and must be treated with respect and dignity. The parish nurse serves the faith community, creates safe and sacred places for healing, and advocates with compassion, mercy, and dignity.
Roles and Functions of the Parish Nurse
- Integrator of Faith and Health
– Promotes the relationship between faith and health to improve body, mind, and spirit.
- Health Educator
– Provides opportunities to learn about health issues.
- Personal Health Counselor
– Discusses health concerns emphasizing early response to problems and encouraging healthy lifestyles.
- Health Advocate
– Speaks out to help others obtain needed health services. Empowers individuals and families to obtain appropriate health care and health.
- Referral Agent
– Provides referral to healthcare and social services.
- Facilitator of Volunteers
– Coordinates volunteers to help those in need.
- Developer of Support Groups
– Facilitates support groups for the community.