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Parish Nursing Program

Started in 1995 as part of the Decatur Memorial Foundation’s Create A Healthier Community grant program, the DMH Parish Nurse Program welcomes nurses of all faiths to become a part of this important link between churches and healthcare communities.

The concept of Parish Nursing was created by nurses and faith-based organizations as a way to integrate a holistic view of healthcare into their congregations. A parish nurse focuses on the whole person to emphasize wellness, disease prevention and health promotion, including healthy spirituality. Care is based on the belief that health is growth toward well being and emphasizes the interrelationship of body, mind and spirit.

Parish Nursing is a growing specialty practice of nursing, recognized by the American Nursing Association. It is also a ministry that is embraced by many different Christian denominations. Registered nurses also serve in similar capacities in several other faith traditions.

The Parish Nurse Program is open to all registered nurses. The program provides each participant with 44 contact hours of continuing education credits and the opportunity to implement a Parish Nurse program within his or her own church community.

Services that Parish Nurses may provide:

  • Help in accessing and navigating the health system
  • Programs to promote healthy exercise and nutrition
  • Education on health issues
  • Support groups
  • Health screenings
  • Assistance to new parents
  • Support for hospitalized or homebound family members

The Foundation administers a Parish Nursing Fund. Contributions to this fund support the activities of the Parish Nurse Program including education, conference/workshop, literature and health fairs.

For more information on Parish Nursing, call Carol Smith, RN, Community Parish Nurse Coordinator, at 217-422-1877.