Parish nursing is vastly different from a standard registered nursing position. You will have less hands-on medical roles and more guidance responsibilities. People who pursue this type of nursing are often deeply rooted in a religious organization of some kind, or they wish to be more involved in religion.
Parish Nursing Job Details
Parish nursing brings balance to people’s everyday health and their spiritual health. You may spend much of your day educating people in various aspects of health such as the value of caring for your mind, body, and soul, as well as the benefits of a positive attitude toward all health issues in one’s life. You might also be responsible for providing health counseling. In a religious community, people are seeking guidance in a number of areas. Providing support during health complications is one of the greatest attributes to this nursing position. You will be there for people while they learn to cope with illness or disease. You may provide them with medical advice, suggest holistic approaches, or simply to listen to their fears and concerns. It is important to note you will not be allowed to practice medicine while you are a parish nurse due to the insurance liability policies of most faith-based employers. You are allowed to give advice and make recommendations; however, it is unlikely you will be able to perform any sort of medical procedures on the location of the religious facility.
You will also be responsible for the congregation in a larger sense. You will be responsible for developing and implementing health-related programs for the congregation. You may even be asked to expand your vision to include the entire community. You may also create a referral system to have readily available for members of your congregation when they come to you with specific health questions. You will encourage people to utilize all health resources available regardless of your personal feelings. You may also be responsible for administering a volunteer system to ensure all members of the congregation with health issues or complications receive a visitor as frequently as possible. Even though these positions are employed by religious organizations, you will still be required to have a significant amount of education and training.
Parish Nursing Education Requirements
Parish nursing does require you to be an active Registered Nurse. To be considered a Registered Nurse, you must complete an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. You will also be required to pass the state licensure exam and become a Registered Nurse. You will also require several years of work experience. Many people are choosing to change careers into the medical field because of the projected growth and potential for job security. Online courses allow you to keep your current position while you prepare for a stable future.
If parish nursing interests you, do not forget about your education and training. You might consider becoming a volunteer at your congregation while you complete your work experience. It only takes one online course to begin.