Certification for Parish Nurses

For those who are interested in the intersection of nursing and the spiritual aspects of healing, becoming a parish nurse may be a suitable career path. Read on to learn what parish nursing is, requirements, and certification program options in the field. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Parish Nursing?

The International Parish Nurse Resource Center recognizes parish nursing to be a specialized practice that considers spirituality a part of the healing process. This holistic specialty is referred to as Faith Community Nursing by the American Nurses Association (ANA). Parish nurses are RNs employed by faith communities to serve their members. They have specialized training in the area of parish nursing and are involved in health advocacy, health promotion programs, individual care and management of support groups.

Job Overview Utilizing spirituality as a portion of treatment for patients and community service.
Parish Nurse Requirements Obtaining a baccalaureate or associate degree in nursing as well as RN license
Program Options There is currently one parish nursing certification program available through the ANCC, as well as individual courses and certificate programs.

What Kind of Training and License Do I Need?

In order to become a parish nurse, you must first become a registered nurse. This involves graduating from a degree program in nursing, generally available at the baccalaureate and associate degree levels. Associate degrees take two years to complete, while bachelor's degrees take four. After completing your degree, you'll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to obtain your nursing license.

Are There Specific Programs Available for Parish Nursing?

According to the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, in order to be qualified as a parish nurse, you must have completed your nursing degree, possess an active nursing license, have experience in community nursing and have completed an additional educational course to prepare for parish nursing.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) currently offers parish nursing as a professional certification. In addition, individual parish nursing courses and 15-30-hour parish nursing certificate programs may be offered on campus or online by some nursing schools, especially those with religious affiliations. Curriculum includes counseling and ways of implementing healing through spiritual care. Topics range from the therapeutic role of prayer in healing, legal concerns and Biblical healing to self-care, ethics, violence, grief and care coordination. Clinical experience is sometimes required.

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