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How to Start a Faith Community Nurse Ministry

Starting a Faith Community Nurse Ministry is often times intertwined with starting a Health and Wellness Committee.

1. Learn all you can about Health Ministry and Faith Community Nurse Ministry (Pastor & Parish Council)

  • Read books , journal articles, newspaper articles on both topics
  • She this information with other interested people and arrange for discussion
  • Brainstorm how this might work in the parish
  • Begin to think about the kind of nurse who could minister in your parish

2. Share the information found with other interested persons and arrange for on-going discussion. The efforts to creation must be a team effort.

3. Educate the parish members.

  • Presentations at the parish council, parish committees, sermons etc.
  • Post flyers in parish bulletins and newsletters.
  • Provide small brochures such as CareNotes “What a Parish Nurse Can do for you.”

4. Form a “Health and Wellness Committee (an umbrella group that addresses health needs in a parish. This committee may or may not be a committee of the Parish Council).

  • Membership of this committee should include other health professionals and persons involved in some aspect of the health ministry.
  • The parish nurse becomes a part of this committee that will provide support and guidance for the parish nurse

5. Determine how the parish nurse will fit into the staff structure for.

  • Supervision
  • Relationships and communication with other staff members and committees.

6. Secure Funding

  • Determine budget needs for this ministry (view a sample budget (PDF))
  • Seek additional outside resources to support parish nurse basic education i.e. Catholic Education Ministries and other grant providers that support religious activities.
  • Determine if the parish nurse will be paid or a volunteer staff member.

7. Select a Parish Nurse.

  • Begin the parish nurse ministry with a blessing in the presence of the parish community.
  • The parish nurse will complete a Parish Needs Assessment to move forward in the ministry.

* A full description of the organization and purposes of a Health and Wellness Committee can be obtained in How to Start a Wellness Committee in Your Church by Jill Westberg McNamara, IPRNC, 2002.


Email the St. Cloud Hospital Parish Health Ministries Program.