Community Parish Nurse Program: A Nursing Resource for the Body, Mind and Spirit





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"Parish Nursing has provided an opportunity to serve the members of our church family by providing health education and support to maintain physical, emotional and spiritual health.  It has been a privilege to serve in this capacity"

Shirley Walker, Community Parish Nurse
First Presbyterian Church
Urbana, Illinois

he concept of parish nursing was introduced by Reverend Granger Westberg in 1984. The idea was simple, to help a congregation live a healthy life. His goal was to provide non-physical nursing services to church congregations and help people of faith understand the importance of caring for their physical as well as their spiritual health.

Today, the spirit of this program has grown throughout the United States and central Illinois is fortunate to have one of the strongest programs in the country. The Community Parish Nurse Program, through grants and support from the Carle Foundation, educates and supports more that 500 nurses in more than 32 counties and 233 congregations.

As the leader of a faith family, it is almost certain that you are responsible for the spiritual development of individuals and families in a variety of age groups, life stages, and social and economic circumstances. By having one or more parish nurses in your congregation, you can provide more support and education to families, more care and resources to the ill and elderly.

A parish nurse will provide emotional support and information for members in times of illness. She will visit those in the hospital or at home, helping them understand their situation and progress. She may provide health screenings like blood pressure checks or information about prenatal services and community resources to young families. Parish nurses are equipped with the knowledge of their profession and access to health providers and community resources, empowering them to add a new dimension to ministry. Read About the Community Parish Nurse Program to discover more services a parish nurse could provide in your faith community.

Sponsored by
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Carle Center for Philanthropy