Parish Nursing

EMU’s online course on “Basics of Parish Nursing,” sponsored by ADCP, is offered to any registered nurse or upper-level nursing student in an RN nursing education program.

Download the course description (PDF)

About parish nursing

Many congregations are making strides to address the health and well-being of their members, with some having “parish nurses” to promote efforts in this arena. Parish nursing is one way to have a vital health ministry in a faith community.

Parish nursing in the United States is recognized as a specialty practice by the American Nurses Association.

According to the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, “Parish nurses are licensed, registered nurses who practice under the guidelines set forth by their State or Provincial Boards of Nursing and the standards of care and professional performance identified in the Scope and Standards for Parish Nursing Practice developed in their country of employment. In the United States, this document is Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (ANA/HMA, 2005).”

Become an educator, counselor and advocate

“I loved this course! I had the feeling of ‘hands on’ training even though we didn’t do clinicals. Thank you for a wonderful and useful course!

-Lenore Arbaugh, parish nursing student

Dr. Arlene G. Wiens, former chair of EMUs nursing department, said parish nursing “sees the roles of the community health nurse as health educator, counselor and advocate and referral agent in a faith-based setting.”

Aspects unique to the parish nurse role are “an emphasis on health within a faith community and the emphasis on coordination of services and volunteers rather than as provider of direct care. The parish nurse functions within the ministerial team,” she said.

Wiens said that the course “is based on the accepted philosophy and practice of parish nursing and examines the roots of health and healing found in many religious traditions.” She noted that “critical thinking strategies, such as Socratic questioning, will be used to analyze the spiritual dimension of health and healing for the practitioner as well as clients being served.”

More info

For more information contact Tammy Kiser, RN directly at or (540) 432-4166.