HealthEast's Faith Community Nurse Network is a blending of nursing and ministry roles. Our faith community nurses work in community programs, churches (parish nurses) or in senior care (pastoral nurses). Our goal is intentional care of the spirit and holistic care of a person.
The Parish Nurse Network began as a pilot project in 1995 with funding from the HealthEast Foundation. In 2008, we became the HealthEast Faith Community Nurse Network to better reflect our work in the broader community with a focus on health promotion, wellness and disease prevention.
The Faith Community Nurse’s Role
Faith community nurses are experienced registered nurses (RNs) with added education in faith community nursing. They empower others to take responsibility for their own health by providing support to individuals and families — through all stages of life.
Faith community nurses do not perform invasive procedures such as blood drawing, medical treatments or direct, hands-on care. They do work with home care, public health, and other professionals to ensure those needing hands-on care receive an appropriate referral.
There are currently more than 10 faith community nurses working in East Metro faith communities. They work in either their home congregation or an assigned congregation or community program and they promote wellness through seven roles:
- Health educator
Faith community nurses offer classes and support groups on a variety of health-related topics.
- Personal health counselor
Faith community nurses meet with individuals and families — at church, home, hospitals or other facilities — to discuss health concerns.
- Referral agent and liaison
Faith community nurses provide referrals to both congregational and community resources.
- Volunteer facilitator
Faith community nurses coordinate volunteers and other resources within the congregation to serve in various health ministries.
- Health advocate
Faith community nurses listen to and support individuals and families who need health care resources. When necessary, faith community nurses connect people with appropriate services and serve as their voice when they need help.
- Support group developer
Faith community nurses develop support groups for the congregation and the local community when needed. The congregational needs assessment helps determine if support groups are needed.
- Faith/health relationship integrator
Faith community nurses help individuals understand how body, mind and spirit are closely related.
Did you know?
- 30.2 percent of parishioners who use the parish nurse program are male.
- 2,057 blood pressure checks were done this year throughout all churches.
- 20.8 percent of parish nurses are devoting their time to personal health counseling.
- 55.8 percent of married couples who have access to a parish nurse use their church's parish nurse services.
- 91.6 percent of people who use the parish nurse service are parishioners.
- 36.8 percent of parish nurses are devoting time to being a faith/health integrator.
- 61.6 percent of parishioners are 61 years of age or older.
- 1,734 parishioners have used the parish nurse program in the last 11 months.
The Faith Community Nurse Network serves:
- Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, St. Paul
- Cerenity Residence; Marian of St. Paul (Pastoral Nurse)
- Church of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Paul Park
- Fairmount Avenue United Methodist Church, St. Paul
- St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, St. Paul
- St. Paul's United Church of Christ, St. Paul
- Scandia Shores, Shoreview (Pastoral Nurse)
- Woodbury Baptist Church
- Woodbury/Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church