A Parish Nurse is a Registered Nurse who is called to ministry and affirmed by a faith community to assist individuals and groups on their life journeys towards health, healing and wholeness.
Those who share in this ministry offer a unique blend of specialized spiritual and scientific knowledge; they are able to offer care within a congregation and beyond, to the neighbourhood. The Church is called to be a place of healing, health-seeking and faith-seeking. These are parallel processes, and the Church must identify them both as relevant and integrated processes.
A Parish Nurse integrates faith-seeking and health-seeking. They are the key person on a ministry team who facilitates the whole-person health of a congregation and in doing so, helps to reclaim and vitalize the healing ministry of the Church.
In their local neighbourhood, they are a unique link, medical missionaries in a sense, since their nursing knowledge offers access to people who otherwise are not part of a church community.
A Parish Nurse promotes the integration of faith and health in a variety of ways, including health advocacy, health counselling, and health education. They also act as a referral agent to local and federal services and resources, such as the Public Health Nursing Department, Community Care Access Centres, Department of Veteran Affairs, Legal Aid, and other government departments and support agencies.
Demographic changes in society point to a rising need for compassionate care. The church has an open door to offer ministries of mercy for the elderly, the chronically-ill, those suffering sudden loss or those who have special needs.
The Parish Nursing Institute will help ensure that churches can confidently offer these services to their parishioners and to the neighbourhood, adhering to best practices as well as the professional and ethical standards of the nursing profession while offering a faithful witness to the mercy of Christ.