Philosophy of Parish Nursing

The Philosophy of Parish Nursing from the International Parish Nurse Resource Center states:

Parish nursing is a specialty practice and professional model of health ministry distinguished by the following beliefs: 

The parish nurse role reclaims the historic roots of health and healing found in many religious traditions.  Parish nurses live out the early work of monks, nuns, deacons and deaconesses, church nurses, traditional healers and the nursing profession itself. 

The spiritual dimension is central to parish nursing practice.  Personal spiritual formation is essential for the parish nurse.  The practice holds that all persons are sacred and must be treated with respect and dignity.  Compelled by these beliefs the parish nurse serves, advocating with compassion, mercy and justice.  The parish nurse assists and supports individuals, families and communities in becoming more active partners in the stewardship of personal and communal health resources.   

The parish nurse understands health to be a dynamic process, which embodies the spiritual, psychological, physical and social dimensions of the person.  Spiritual health is central to well being and influences a person’s entire being.  A sense of well being can exist in the presence of disease and healing can exist in absence of cure. 

The focus of practice is the faith community and its ministry.  The parish nurse, in collaboration with the pastoral staff and congregants, participates in the ongoing transformation of the faith community into a source of health and healing.  Through partnership with other community health resources, parish nursing fosters new and creative responses to health and wellness concerns. 


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