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Start a Faith Community Nurse Ministry

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)
    1. Read books , journal articles, newspaper articles on both topics
    2. She this information with other interested people and arrange for discussion
    3. Brainstorm how this might work in the parish
    4. 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.
    1. Presentations at the parish council, parish committees, sermons etc.
    2. Post flyers in parish bulletins and newsletters.
    3. 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).
    1. Membership of this committee should include other health professionals and persons involved in some aspect of the health ministry.
    2. 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.
    1. Supervision
    2. Relationships and communication with other staff members and committees.
  6. Secure Funding
    1. Determine budget needs for this ministry (view a sample budget (PDF))
    2. Seek additional outside resources to support parish nurse basic education i.e. Catholic Education Ministries and other grant providers that support religious activities.
    3. Determine if the parish nurse will be paid or a volunteer staff member.
  7. Select a Parish Nurse.
    1. Begin the parish nurse ministry with a blessing in the presence of the parish community.
    2. 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 Stronger Together Starting a Health Team in Your Congregation by Jill Westberg McNamara, Church Health Center, 2014