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Parish Nurse Ministry
Since 1991, Concordia College has prepared over 1,600 parish nurses and health ministers to serve in faith communities across the country. As parish nurses, these professionals are called and committed to the healing ministry of the church, helping meet the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the members. This ministry is grounded in the tradition of the church, “to preach the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:2). The parish nurse program within a congregation also recognizes that the ministry of the church community is to proclaim God's desire that we strive toward an abundant, healthful life.
Parish nurses can play a vital role in health care delivery. As healthcare has become increasingly segmented and complex, people often have difficulty sorting out and receiving the services they need. Fortunately, within the past 25 years both health professions and the church have recognized the need for a healthcare ministry, and a new concept was born – parish nursing. Parish nurses are registered nurses prepared in holistic ministry. They may use other titles such as: faith community nurse, health ministry nurse or health and wellness nurse.
Parish nurses work with members of faith communities in many ways:
• Visit members in homes, care centers or hospitals
• Talk with members on health-related issues
• Assist in obtaining needed health services
• Help members understand the relationship between body, mind and spirit
• Assist in adapting important lifestyle changes
• Promote wellness through education and activities
• Provide basic health screenings
• Develop support groups within the faith community
• Coordinate congregational volunteers
Concordia’s Parish Nurse Ministry program offers educational preparation programs. Churches are encouraged to sponsor nurses and provide the program fee.
• Registered nurse with a current unencumbered license to practice in the state(s) in which one will practice in the role. There is no specific educational level requirement beyond the basic registered nurse preparation.
• Commitment to the holistic concept of health care, including the spiritual dimension of healing and health
• Good communication skills
• Active involvement with a local faith community
• Commitment to completion of the entire basic parish nurse preparation program
• Lay and professional faith community leaders may complete the course in the role as "participant observers". These situations will be reviewed on an individual basis.