Professional Liability

A parish nurse within in the Diocese of Saint Cloud is covered through Catholic Mutual Group. “The parish nurse is defined as a professional registered nurse who has completed additional studies in the areas of Parish Nursing or Health Ministry Nursing and spiritual formation.”

(Catholic Mutual Group – confirmed 6-20-15)

Other Denominations: Please check with your church Administrator for insurance coverage option.

The parish nurse is covered by Catholic Mutual during the time that he/she are functioning in the role of parish nurse.

Parish nurses do not perform “hands on” type nursing activities. See samples of nursing activities performed by parish nurses. (in About Parish Nursing Section).

Employed and volunteer parish nurses are subject to credential verification and back group checks. According to Catholic Mutual the credential check must:

  • Verify that the nurse has a valid license as a registered profession nurse in the state in which the nurse practices.
  • Beginning June 1, 2012 the Minnesota Board of Nursing no longer issues paper registration cards at the time of license renewal. Verification of licensure must be obtained from the Board’s website at: Minnesota Board of Nursing License Verification.
  • It is recommended that the employed or volunteer Faith Community (Parish) Nurse’s Registered Nursing license be verified at the time of annual review and the church keep some evidence of licensure on file.

The background check must include the following:

  • Both employment references and personal references.
  • A criminal background check.
  • Driver record check.

Reduce Liabilities & Risks

To reduce the risk and liability concerns, Catholic Mutual Group recommends the following:

  • All nurses should be licensed as registered nurses, be a graduate of a credited nursing program and a graduate of a Parish Nurse or Health Ministry Preparation Program.
  • Nurses must keep records on all clients. The records are to remain confidential between the client and the nurse and should be kept in a locked cabinet. Even though a nurse may be reporting to a pastor or parish director, the records are to remain confidential unless otherwise released with the client’s written permission.
  • Medical information provided to the nurse by a client must be protected as required by HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rule).
  • A nurse cannot provide a medical diagnosis. Appropriate procedures should be followed for referral to physicians and other healthcare providers as needed.
  • A (parish nurse) cannot administer medication and should not dispense non-prescription or over-the-counter medication. Clients should be referred to their physician or other healthcare providers as needed.
  • All abuse involving minors and/or adults must be reported to the appropriate governmental agency.
  • All acts delegated within the scope of professional nursing to a LPN or less skilled assistant must be in compliance with State requirements.
  • All non-RN employees/volunteers should have professional experience in the ministry to which they are participating.
  • As required under the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Article 12, all personnel, including volunteers must comply with the “Safe Environment” program and policy for the protection of children and young people.”

(Catholic Mutual Group, confirmed 6-20-15)


Catholic Mutual Group provides an excellent liability policy over and above a nurse’s personal automobile liability policy. It is important for employed and volunteer nurse to maintain liability coverage levels of 100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident in order to provide adequate protection.

For more in-depth information or further questions re: Parish Nurse Programs, contact Catholic Mutual Group at 1-800-228-6108.


There are a variety of types and reasons for documentation in nursing practice. The recommended types of documentation include:

  • Client interactions
  • Activities of the Parish Nurse Program

The purposes for these types of documentation are:

  • Professional accountability
  • Professional standards
  • Liability
  • Measurement of client benefit and overall program benefit to the parish.

Establishing policies and procedures for client documentation will help assure that minimal documentation practices are maintained and the documentation is managed to protect the privacy of the client.

Documentation records are released in accordance with federal and state law.

Client documentation must be maintained in a locked cabinet/drawer to assure the client’s information remains confidential.

Tracking of activities of the program will provide information for the Parish Health and Wellness Committee, and Parish Council. This documentation will further define the role for the parish and assist in writing grants to support the parish nurse ministry. Parish nurse resources suggest the use of weekly, monthly and annual reports be developed. All reports should be in terms of numbers to assure confidentiality of clients.

Westberg Institute for FCN Liability Information Link

Questions? Please e-mail Bethany at