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Public Health Nurs. 2003 Mar-Apr;20(2):85-94.

Parish nursing: nurturing body, mind, spirit, and community.

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Department of Nursing, Boise State University, Idaho 83275, USA.


Parish nursing is a model of nursing care that focuses on health promotion and disease prevention within a faith community. A descriptive study was conducted in the intermountain West to determine how faith communities form parish nursing programs and what their effect is. Thirteen congregations representing eight denominations with parish nurse/health ministries participated. Parish nurses, parish nurse coordinators from two medical centers, pastors, and hospital chaplains (n = 24) were interviewed and provided documents from their programs. Over time, congregations formed parish nursing/health ministries using strategies in a developmental process. The process involved significant support from the pastor, congregation members, and the parish nurses. Collaboration between faith communities and health organizations were successful using a limited domain approach to attain specific health goals. Parish nursing is making a contribution to integrating faith and health practices, promoting health, and increasing accessibility to health care and congregational activities. Conclusions and recommendations are included for future research, practice, and education.

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