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10 Pros and Cons of Being a Parish Nurse + Steps to Become + Salary


Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN

Are you a person who feels a calling to serve your church community as a nurse? Then you should consider a career as a parish nurse. As a parish nurse, you wear many hats.

As a parish nurse, you will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your congregation. You can help people stay healthy, provide support during difficult times, and connect people with the resources they need. You are a counselor, a friend, and a support system to those in your community. But with great power comes great responsibility. Keep in mind being a parish nurse also comes with its own set of challenges.

Do you know what are the pros and cons of being a parish nurse? Do not worry if you do not. Below you will find the top 10 pros and cons of being a parish nurse + steps to become + salary so you can decide if this is the right career for you.


What Does A Parish Nurse Do?


So, let’s start with what does a parish nurse do? A parish nurse is a registered nurse who provides health care and counseling services to members of a church or other faith-based organizations. Parish nurses typically work with clergy and leaders to promote wellness within the faith community.

1.

Parish nurses conduct health screenings:

Health screenings are essential for parish nursing. They can help identify potential health problems early when they are most easily treated. Parish nurses conduct health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and other conditions.

2.

Parish nurses provide the congregation with essential Immunizations:

Parish nurses provide the congregation with necessary immunizations. Providing immunizations to the parishioners can help protect them from disease and illness and ensure that they are able to maintain their health and well-being. Some of the most common immunizations parish nurses provide are the seasonal flu vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine, the meningococcal vaccine, tetanus, and diphtheria vaccine.

3.

Parish nurses promote preventative care and health maintenance programs:

Parish nurses organize and promote preventive care and health maintenance programs for their community. These programs aim to keep people healthy and out of the hospital. They work with the clergy and other church staff to coordinate these programs. Some of these programs will be on-site at the church, while others will be offered in the community. Some examples of these programs include exercise classes and smoking cessation programs.

4.

A Parish nurse provides health education:

A Parish nurse provides health education to those within the Parish. They provide support and advice on a range of health-related topics. Parish nurses educate about smoking cessation, cancer screenings, cholesterol management, diabetes education and prevention, and hypertension education and management.

5.

Parish nurses offer support to families dealing with illness or loss:

Parish nurses provide support to families coping with illness or loss. They provide resources, referrals, and emotional support. Parish nurses typically have a background in nursing and are familiar with the health care system and course of an illness. They work closely with clergy and other parish staff to ensure that families receive the best possible care.

6.

A Parish nurse makes referrals for needed community resources:

A parish nurse makes referrals for needed community resources when it is indicated. Some of the referrals that a parish nurse might make are for financial assistance, social services, housing, and transportation. Parish nurses also maintain relationships with local agencies and organizations that can provide these services. By making referrals, parish nurses help ensure that their patients receive the care and resources they need.

7.

Parish nurses volunteer in community service:

Parish nurses volunteer for community service. You will see them in action at local schools, churches, and hospitals. They are a vital part of the community, and they make a difference in the lives of those they serve.


Where Does A Parish Nurse Work?


The parishes are a beautiful, diverse landscape that offers many work opportunities. You will find parish nurses working in a variety of settings.

1.

In the Parish:

As a parish nurse, one of the settings that you will be working in is the parish. Here you will be responsible for providing care and services to the parishioners. This may include health screenings, education, and counseling. Some parish nurses also provide direct patient care, such as wound care or blood pressure monitoring. You will also be working closely with the pastor to provide pastoral care and support. Parish nursing is a unique field that allows nurses to use their skills in a faith-based setting.

2.

In the hospital setting:

Parish nurses can also be found working in the hospital. They may be responsible for providing direct patient care, leading support groups, or coordinating discharge planning services in this capacity. Parish nurses who work in the hospital setting typically have a close working relationship with the chaplaincy department and other hospital staff.

3.

In long-term care facilities:

Parish nurses work in the long-term care facilities. In long-term care facilities, parish nurses provide care for residents and their families. They strive to meet residents' physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Parish nurses also seek to promote the development of a community of care within the facility.

4.

In clinics:

You can find parish nurses working in the clinic setting. Here, they work alongside other medical staff to provide care for patients. This may include tasks such as taking vital signs, providing health education, and assisting with doctor’s appointments. Parish nurses working in the clinic setting may also be responsible for coordinating care with outside agencies, such as home health or hospice.

5.

In patient’s homes:

Parish nurses work in the patient's homes. A parish nurse will work with patients in their homes to ensure that they receive the care they need and that their home environment is conducive to their health. Parish nurses may also make home visits to educate on healthy lifestyles and disease prevention.


What Is The Typical Work Schedule Of A Parish Nurse?


The hours that a parish nurse works will be highly dependent on the setting that he or she works in. You may find that some parish nurses will work Monday thru Friday, eight hours a day. Other parish nurses may not have set hours and may be ready to work when they are called upon.

Still, you will have some parish nurses who will work long hours. This seems more in a healthcare institution. Here, parish nurses will work anywhere from ten to twelve hours a day. They will work these hours three to four days a week.


What Are The Most Important Skills Required To Work As A Parish Nurse?


Before you become a parish nurse, you want to ensure that you have the proper skill set to do this job. This is a demanding job that requires specific skills in order to be successful. Let's take a look at some of the most essential skills necessary to work as a parish nurse.

1.

Communication Skills:

One of the most essential skills you need to have as a parish nurse is excellent communication skills. Parish nurses need to be good communicators because as healthcare professionals, their work often involves supporting members of their churches and communities to be healthy.

Parish nurses need good communication skills in order to interact effectively with members of their congregation who may be ill or elderly and so require more intensive care. Good communicators will ensure that parish nurse patients are able to understand how best they can take care of themselves, and their loved ones.

2.

Organizational Skills:

Another important skill you need to have are excellent organizational skills. As a parish nurse, you will be responsible for coordinating and organizing care for your patients. This includes keeping track of appointments, medication schedules, and other important information. Good organizational skills are essential to being successful in this role.

You will also be planning education sessions for your parishioners. This will require that you keep track of bookings, coordinate presenters, and other logistics. Additionally, parish nurses often have to coordinate with the church staff, volunteers, and community members. A good organizational system is vital to your success in this role.

3.

People skills:

As a parish nurse you need to have good people skills because you will be working closely with people and it is important to get along well. Good people skills involve listening, communication, empathy, and rapport building. Possessing good people skills is required for this job because you will be counseling and educating the parishioners.

You will also be working with different personalities, so it is important to be able to adjust your style accordingly. Lastly, you will need to be able to build trust with the parishioners in order for them to feel comfortable confiding in you and seeking your help.

4.

Nursing Skills:

Obviously, as a parish nurse, you will need to have excellent nursing skills. This job requires you to care for people who are sick or injured. You need to be able to provide them with the best possible care. You will need nursing skills when you are conducting health screenings. You will also need these skills when you are providing education to parishioners about health and wellness.

5.

Time Management Skills:

You also need to have excellent time management skills. This job requires you to juggle many different tasks. You need to be able to manage your time wisely. You need to be able to plan ahead. You need to be able to prioritize your tasks. You will often have to deal with last-minute changes and emergencies.

Remember one of your roles is a support system for your church. If you do not have good time management skills, you will quickly become overwhelmed and stressed out. This can lead to burnout. Burnout is very common in parish nursing. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why parish nurses leave the profession.

6.

Flexibility:

Being a parish nurse also requires you to be flexible. You need to be able to adapt to different situations. You never know what you will be faced with on any given day. You might have to deal with a sick parishioner one day and then help out at a community event the next. You need to be able to go with the flow and be flexible in your role.

7.

Spirituality:

Parish nurses need to have spirituality. Spirituality is an important part of the parish nursing profession, providing support for patients and forming a connection between the nurse and patient. Spiritual health is essential for parish nurses seeking to provide holistic care for their patients.

8.

Virtue:

As a parish nurse, you must have virtue. Having virtue is important because it allows you to be someone who can be trusted, who is compassionate, and who has integrity. These are all important qualities for a parish nurse.

Having virtue also allows you to be a role model for those in your parish. As a parish nurse, you are someone who people look up to. They see you as someone who is compassionate and caring. They see you as someone whom they can trust.

8.

Compassion:

Finally, you need to have a lot of compassion. This job can be emotionally demanding. You need to be able to care for your patients and their families. Compassion is important for parish nurses to have because they need to be able to help their patients and their families through difficult times.

This is an emotionally demanding job, and you need to have the ability to care for your patients and their families when they are going through challenging situations. Compassionate parish nurses can make a big difference in the lives of others.


How Much Does A Parish Nurse Make?


Some parish nurse jobs are on a voluntary basis, yet others are not. It is a paid position. When the position is not voluntary, and you are deciding if you want to become a parish nurse, I am sure you will want to know the answer to the question of how much does a parish nurse make?

Your salary as a parish nurse will increase the more time you dedicate to this profession. The average parish nurse's salary is $71,384 a year. This will break down to $34.32 an hour or $5,950 a month.

The entry-level salary for a parish nurse is $22.91 an hour. This hourly salary is equivalent to $3,970 a month or $47,650 a year.

Once you have been working for one to four years, you can expect your annual salary to increase to $54,990. This yearly salary will break down to $4,580 a month or $26.44 an hour.

A parish nurse with five to nine years of experience can earn $32.31 an hour or $5,600 a month. This will be an annual salary of $67,210.

Parish nurses who have been in the field for ten to nineteen years can expect their hourly wage to increase to $40.14 an hour. This will be a monthly income of $6,960 or an annual salary of $83,500.

At twenty years, your yearly salary as a parish nurse will be $103,700. This means your monthly income will be $8,640, $49.86 an hour.

Level of Experience HourlyMonthlyAnnual
Entry-Level $22.91$3,970$47,650
1-4 Years of Experience $26.44$4,580$54,990
5-9 Years of Experience $32.31$5,600$67,210
10-19 Years of Experience $40.14$6,960$83,500
20 Years or More Experience $49.86$8,640$103,700
Average Salary$34.32$5,950$71,384


Is There A Demand For Parish Nurses?


There is a growing demand for parish nurses across the country. This demand is driven by several factors, including an aging population, the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, and the need for health care services that are both comprehensive and convenient.

1. The first factor of an aging population increases the demand for parish nurses. As the population ages, more people over the age of 65 need health care services. At the same time, the number of young adults is decreasing. This means that there are fewer people in the workforce to care for the elderly. Parish nurses can provide much-needed care for older adults.

Parish nurses fill a role that is not filled by other medical professionals. They serve as a resource for the elderly, offering them guidance about their health and helping them to improve the quality of their lives. This type of nursing has recently become more popular as the American population ages.

2. The second factor of an increasing prevalence of chronic conditions also increases the demand for parish nurses. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are on the rise. These conditions often require more frequent and specialized care. Parish nurses are specially trained to provide this type of care.

Parish nurses also serve the role of educating those in the community they serve regarding these chronic diseases. Through the education they provide, parishioners may be able to learn to live with their chronic disease and in some cases prevent it.

3. The third factor is the need for health care services that are both comprehensive and convenient. Parish nurses can provide a wide range of services, from health screenings to immunizations to health education. They also often have flexible schedules that allow them to meet the needs of their patients.

These services can be offered in the community setting such as in the church after services. You may also find that the parish nurse could arrange these health services at a health fair. In certain circumstances, a parish nurse may have the ability to provide these services in the parishioner's home. I cannot really think of any other field of nursing that can provide this type of care.


5 Steps To Becoming A Parish Nurse


1. The first step to becoming a parish nurse is becoming a nurse. To become a nurse, you will need to complete either an associate's degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in nursing. Some schools and universities offer educational programs for those interested in Parish nursing. This curriculum can be obtained through the International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC)

2. Next, you will need to pass the National Certification Licensure Exam (NCLEX)

3. You will then need to apply to the state you intend to practice in for your license.

4. The next step is to obtain three to five years of general medical-surgical nursing experience.

5. Certification as a parish nurse is not required, but it is recommended. The Faith Community Nurse (FCN) Certification can be obtained and maintained every five years through American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) once you have met the eligibility requirements. These requirements are as follows:

a. Current, active professional nursing licensure
b. 2 or more years of practice as an RN
c. A minimum of 1000 hours of experience as a parish/faith community nurse within the past 3 years.
d. Meet two professional development categories, such as

Related academic credits
Presentations
Publication of research
Act as a preceptor
Professional service




TOP CONS OF BEING A PARISH NURSE


(The following are the top 10 disadvantages of being a Parish Nurse.)

1. Being a parish nurse is not the highest paying job in the world of nursing.

One of the biggest disadvantages of being a parish nurse is that the pay is not as high as it is in other nursing positions. This is because parish nursing is more of a volunteer position than a paid one. There are some paid positions for parish nurses, but they are usually minimal and do not come close to what nurses make in hospitals or other medical settings. This can be a big problem for parish nurses who have financial obligations that they need to meet.

2. Many positions you find will be voluntary.

Another one of the cons of being a parish nurse is that many of the job postings are for voluntary positions. This means that while you will be working in the field of nursing, you will not be getting paid for your services. Some parish nurses find this to be a rewarding experience, while others do not. If you are thinking about becoming a parish nurse, make sure that you are comfortable with the idea of working for free. Otherwise, you may want to consider another nursing specialty.

3. You must be flexible with your schedule.

As a parish nurse, you must be flexible with your schedule. You may find yourself working some pretty odd hours to accommodate the community you serve.

4. You must always be available.

One of your roles as a parish nurse is that you are there to support your community during important events in their life. Unfortunately, you cannot always predict when that will occur. For example, you may not be able to predict when one of your parishioners will need your assistance due to the passing of a loved one.

5. You may develop compassion fatigue.

One of the top cons of being a parish nurse is the possibility of developing compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue refers to the physical and emotional stress parish nurses can experience due to caring for people and their families with chronic conditions, terminal illnesses, or dying loved ones. Over time, accumulating these stressful situations can lead to exhaustion and burnout.

Signs of compassion fatigue can include developing feelings of cynicism or detachment from the individuals you are helping, feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you have, and losing your passion for your role.

6. Not many colleges offer parish nurse coursework.

As a parish nurse, not many colleges offer parish nurse coursework. Only a handful of colleges in the United States offer these programs. If you are interested in becoming a parish nurse, you will likely have to travel to one of these schools to get your training.

7. You may not be compensated for all the work you do

As a parish nurse, you may not be compensated for all the work you do. For example, you may only be compensated for running the education programs for your parishioners. The amount of time and energy to organize and create these educational programs is usually done unpaid on your own time.

8. You may have to work weekends.

Another one of the cons of being a parish nurse is having to work weekends. You may be called upon to cover for other parish nurses, or you may have to volunteer at church events that take place on Saturdays and Sundays. Either way, this can make it difficult for you to get your regular eight hours of sleep per night in order to be rested and ready when Monday morning comes around.

9. You will not be performing traditional nursing activities

As a parish nurse, you will not be performing traditional nursing activities. So basically, it is like your nursing school education just went out the window. You will not be caring for patients in the same capacity that you would be in a hospital setting. You will not be working with doctors or other nurses. Instead, you will be providing spiritual and emotional support to members of your congregation.

10. Your employer may require that you earn a higher degree.

One of the disadvantages of being a parish nurse is that your employer may require that you earn a higher degree. Parish nurses may be required to have a minimum of an associate's degree in nursing. Still, some employers may require a bachelor's or master's degree. This can be a financial burden for some parish nurses especially if they are making a minimum salary or worse, are voluntary. In addition, it can be challenging to find time to attend classes and complete clinical hours while working full-time as a parish nurse.



TOP PROS OF BEING A PARISH NURSE


(The following are the top 10 advantages of being a Parish Nurse.)

1. You will not be working in a high-stress environment.

One of the pros of being a parish nurse is that you will not be working in a high-stress environment. You will have the opportunity to focus on community health and wellness without being bogged down by the day-to-day stress of working in a hospital or other medical setting. This can be a huge plus if you are looking for a career change and want to find a role that focuses on helping others achieve optimum health rather than dealing with sick patients regularly.

2. You may not have to work in a healthcare institution setting.

As a parish nurse, you may not have to work in a healthcare institution. Instead, you could find employment in a church or even in the community at large. There are many different types of parish nursing, so you can find a specialization that interests you. For example, you could work with the elderly, the disabled, or children. You could also work in a rural area or an inner-city area.

3. You will not be micromanaged.

One of the top pros of being a parish nurse is that you will not be micromanaged. Instead, you will have the freedom and flexibility to work independently as needed. If you need additional support or guidance at any point, there are many resources available.

4. Your every day will be different.

As a parish nurse, your every day will be different. This means that you will not become bored with your job. You will always have something new to learn from your patients, and you will be constantly busy.

5. You are making a significant impact on people’s lives.

Another one of the biggest advantages of being a parish nurse is that you will make such a significant impact on people’s lives. You are the frontline of health care in the parish, and you have the opportunity to make a real difference in people's lives.

You are helping parishioners manage severe health conditions and cope with chronic illness. You are helping people learn how to take charge of their own health and become more proactive in preventing illness instead of merely reacting to it. You are also a vital resource for families as they try to manage the complex needs associated with caring for aging loved ones.

6. You can help others better themselves.

As a parish nurse, you can help others better themselves through education. Many people who attend churches and other religious or spiritual groups may not have access to healthcare education. You can offer educational programs for individuals, families, health professionals, and communities relevant to their needs.

These programs can help people learn about preventing common diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, better nutritional habits, ways to reduce stress in their lives, and the importance of regular exercise. Your work as a parish nurse can make a difference in the lives of those you serve!

7. You will be a part of special times in peoples' lives and deaths, creating unique relationships.

Another one of the pros of being a parish nurse is that you will be a part of special times in peoples' lives such as with marriages, births, and deaths. You will be forming special relationships. After all, you will be supporting people as they go through some of the most challenging and exciting times in their lives. This could include helping them prepare for a funeral or wake service, attending hospital and hospice visits with family members, consoling loved ones during times of grief, and more.

As you build a relationship with these families during this time, they will trust you and rely on you, which is a great feeling.

8. You will ensure that people have access to life-saving vaccines

As a parish nurse, you will ensure that people have access to life-saving vaccines. You will work with the church and community leaders to create awareness about the importance of vaccines and help people get vaccinated. You will also provide support to families who have been affected by vaccine-preventable diseases.

9. You will be ensuring the people receive health screenings that could save their lives.

Another advantage of being a parish nurse is that you will be ensuring that people receive health screenings that could save their lives. For example, you can administer blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar screenings to people in the Parish. These screenings can help catch health problems early when they are more treatable. As a result, parish nurses can make a real difference in the lives of the people they serve.

10. You will have flexibility in your life.

As a parish nurse, you will have flexibility in your life. You will be able to create your own schedule, and you can even work from home. Whether it is in the office or at church, you will be able to use your creativity as a nurse because of this flexibility. Sure, you will have to adapt when a parishioner needs you, but you will be in charge of your time for the most part. This job allows for some personal time when needed as well. It is an excellent job for someone looking to work in the church and wanting a flexible schedule.



BREAKING DOWN THE SALARY OF A PARISH NURSE


What Is The Starting Salary Of A Parish Nurse?


The starting salary of a parish nurse is $22.91 an hour. This is a weekly income of $916. This means you will be earning a monthly salary of $3,970, which is $47,650 a year.

Hourly$22.91
Weekly $916
Monthly$3,970
Annual$47,650


What Is The Average Salary Of A Parish Nurse?


The average parish nurse's salary is $71,384 a year. This will break down to $5,950 a month. You will be making a weekly income of $1,373 or an hourly salary of $34.32 an hour.

Hourly$34.32
Weekly $1,373
Monthly$5,950
Annual$71,384
(Source: Comparably.com)


What Is The Average Parish Nurse Salary In Your State?


As a parish nurse, there is only one constant. This constant is that your salary will differ in every state you work for doing the same job. For example, in California, you can earn $107,560 a year, yet your salary is less in Alabama. In Alabama, you will be making an annual income of $53,740 a year. This is a vast difference in salary for completing the same job.

State Hourly Monthly Annual
Alabama $25.84 $4,480 $53,740
Alaska $40.87 $7,080 $85,000
Arizona $34.48 $5,980 $71,710
Arkansas $27.30 $4,730 $56,780
California $51.71 $8,960 $107,560
Colorado $33.40 $5,790 $69,470
Connecticut $36.39 $6,310 $75,700
Delaware $31.88 $5,530 $66,320
Florida $29.82 $5,170 $62,020
Georgia $30.67 $5,320 $63,800
Hawaii $44.97 $7,790 $93,530
Idaho $30.73 $5,330 $63,920
Illinois $31.98 $5,540 $66,520
Indiana $28.95 $5,020 $60,210
Iowa $26.84 $4,650 $55,820
Kansas $27.54 $4,770 $57,280
Kentucky $27.76 $4,810 $57,750
Louisiana $29.17 $5,060 $60,680
Maine $30.47 $5,280 $63,380
Maryland $35.00 $6,070 $72,790
Massachusetts $41.28 $7,160 $85,870
Michigan $31.73 $5,500 $66,000
Minnesota $34.73 $6,020 $72,230
Mississippi $26.27 $4,550 $54,650
Missouri $28.27 $4,900 $58,800
Montana $30.25 $5,240 $62,930
Nebraska $29.80 $5,170 $61,990
Nevada $38.50 $6,670 $80,070
New Hampshire $32.59 $5,650 $67,780
New Jersey $36.77 $6,370 $76,480
New Mexico $32.47 $5,630 $67,540
New York $38.50 $6,670 $80,080
North Carolina $29.58 $5,130 $61,520
North Dakota $29.87 $5,180 $62,120
Ohio $29.92 $5,190 $62,230
Oklahoma $28.57 $4,950 $59,420
Oregon $41.28 $7,160 $85,860
Pennsylvania $31.81 $5,510 $66,170
Rhode Island $35.51 $6,160 $73,860
South Carolina $28.80 $4,990 $59,900
South Dakota $26.15 $4,530 $54,390
Tennessee $27.50 $4,770 $57,210
Texas $32.94 $5,710 $68,520
Utah $30.18 $5,230 $62,780
Vermont $30.94 $5,360 $64,360
Virginia $31.90 $5,530 $66,360
Washington $39.17 $6,790 $81,470
West Virginia $27.94 $4,840 $58,110
Wisconsin $32.07 $5,560 $66,700
Wyoming $31.14 $5,400 $64,770



HIGHEST PAID PARISH NURSES


What Are The 10 Highest Paying States For Parish Nurses?


So, now that you know that a parish nurse's salary is different in every state, let's look at the highest paying states for parish nurses. As we have already discussed, California is the highest paying state for Parish nurses. Here you will be earning $107,560. Hawaii is not far behind California in terms of salary. In Hawaii, you can earn $93,530 a year.

In states such as Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, New York, and Nevada, you can make a salary in the $80,000 range. In New Jersey and Connecticut, you will be earning a salary in the high $70,000s a year.

Rank State Average
Annual Salary
1 California $107,560
2 Hawaii $93,530
3 Massachusetts $85,870
4 Oregon $85,860
5 Alaska $85,000
6 Washington $81,470
7 New York $80,080
8 Nevada $80,070
9 New Jersey $76,480
10 Connecticut $75,700



What Are The 10 Highest Paying Metros For Parish Nurses?


As discussed, California is the highest paying state for parish nurses, but let's take a look at the highest paying metros for parish nurses in the nation. The highest paying metro in the nation for parish nurses is San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA. Here you will be earning $133,110 a year. The lowest paying metro out of the highest paying metros for parish nurses is Redding, CA, where you can earn $99,800.

Rank Metro Average
Annual Salary
1 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $133,110
2 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $131,040
3 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $126,820
4 Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $119,870
5 Salinas, CA $117,910
6 Santa Rosa, CA $111,380
7 Modesto, CA $108,040
8 Stockton-Lodi, CA $103,370
9 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $100,920
10 Redding, CA $99,800



Top Organizations And Associations For Parish Nurses


Catholic Health Association of the United States: The Catholic health care system is a ministry of the church comprised of 600 hospitals, 1 thousand long-term care facilities, plus more than 50 states of nonprofit health care providers in the nation. At the national level, these organizations join together in the Catholic Health Association of the United States, whose mission is compassionate care.

Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association: This organization strives to integrate faith and health in parish nursing ministry. Here you will find information about parish nursing, tools to assist you in your ministry, and updates on the progress and activities within the organizations.

Faith Community Nurses International: Faith Community Nurses International (FCNI) is an organization that represents the interests of faith community nurses through providing nursing education and practice resources. These resources include the online, peer-reviewed International Journal of FCN. The goal is to promote optimal health outcomes for the individuals and communities these nurses serve.


My Final Thoughts


Parish nursing is a unique and rewarding experience, but it is not for everyone. If you can see yourself thriving in this environment and have the necessary skills, then go for it! But if you are uncertain or hesitant, that is okay, too. It is essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons of being a parish nurse. The top 10 pros and cons of being a parish nurse + steps to become + salary have probably given you a lot to think about. Ultimately, only you can decide if parish nursing is proper for you. Have you made your decision yet?


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Is Parish Nursing A Good Career?

Yes, Parish nursing is a good career. It is a career that you can feel good about. You may not be making millions with this career choice, but it is a career of service to your community. You will be helping people in so many different ways.


2. On Average, How Much Does A Parish Nurse Make Per Hour?

The average parish nurse's salary per hour is $34.32. This hourly salary will have you earning more than the national average hourly salary.

$34.32


3. How Many Hours A Week Does A Parish Nurse Work?

The number of hours a week that a parish nurse will work depends on the type of environment you work for. Many parish nurses find that their hours will vary throughout the week and month. Some weeks you may work well over 40 hours, whereas other weeks you will only be working ten. This is because the hours you work will rely heavily on the community you serve and their needs.


4. Is Being A Parish Nurse Stressful?

In comparison to other careers in nursing, a career as a parish nurse is relatively low stress. You may feel stressors from time to time but rarely will you ever be dealing with life or death situations.


5. Do I Need To Be Certified To Work As A Parish Nurse?

You do not need to be certified to work as a parish nurse. It is, however, strongly encouraged.


6. What Certifications Are Required Or Recommended For A Parish Nurse?

It is recommended that you become certified as a parish nurse if you are a parish nurse. The Faith Community Nurse (FCN) certification can be obtained and maintained every five years through American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) once you have met the eligibility requirements.


7. How Long Does It Take To Become A Parish Nurse?


The amount of time to become a parish nurse will be dependent on the type of nursing degree you earn. Those who make an associate’s degree in nursing will need anywhere from five to seven years to become a parish nurse. Although the associate's degree in nursing should only take about two years to complete, you will need to obtain three to five years of experience in general medical-surgical nursing.

Suppose you choose to pursue your bachelor’s degree in nursing prior to general medical-surgical nursing experience. In that case, you are looking at it a bit longer. In this case, you are looking at becoming a parish nurse anywhere from seven to nine years.


8. How Much Does It Cost To Become A Parish Nurse?

The cost of a degree is hard to put into perspective based on the type because you also need to pay for your cost of living. An associate's nursing degree can be as low priced at $3,000-$10k, but if you go private institution you will end up spending $40-$80K+ just for one year of school. A bachelor will set someone back anywhere between $80-$200 grand.


9. What Kind Of Career Advancement Opportunities Are There For Parish Nurses?

The career advancement opportunities that would be available to you as a parish nurse would be in the form of your education. You could further your education by earning a master's degree in nursing or a doctorate degree in nursing. Furthering your education may increase your job and earning potential.


10. What Are The 5 Most Common Parish Nurse Interview Questions?

1. Why do you want to become a parish nurse?
2. What field experience do you have for a parish nurse position?
3. What do you find as your strengths and weakness?
4. How do you see you see yourself carrying out the role of the parish nurse?
5. Where do you see your career in the next five years?



11. Is It Hard To Become A Parish Nurse?

The answer to this question will vary from person to person. Some will find the curriculum to become a parish nurse quite difficult. Others will just sail through their studies.


12. Do Parish Nurses Make Good Money?

Parish nurses will make a modest living. You will not be rolling in money if you choose a career as a parish nurse. You will, though, be able to pay your bills. For some people, this is all they need.


13. How Did Parish Nursing Begin?

The origins of parish nursing can be traced back to the 19th century when Florence Nightingale and other nurses began providing care to patients in their homes. This type of home health care became known as district nursing. In the United States, the first district nurse was Lillian Wald, who founded the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Parish nursing is an outgrowth of the district nursing tradition. In the 1980s, some nurses began to see a need for a more spiritually based approach to health care. They started providing health information and offering support to congregations. As the demand for this type of service grew, parish nursing programs were established in churches and other faith communities across the country.


14. Why Are Parish Nurses Important?

Parish nurses are important because they are able to provide health care and education to parishioners. They are also able to connect people with resources and support within the community. Parish nurses play a vital role in promoting wellness and preventing illness within the church community.


15. Why Should Churches Have Parish Nurses?

Parish nurses are a great addition to any church. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in healthcare and wellness promotion that can benefit the entire congregation. Churches should have parish nurses for several reasons. First, parish nurses can help ensure that members of the church are healthy and able to participate in activities.

Second, parish nurses can provide education and support to churches about health and wellness issues. Third, parish nurses can be a resource for churches when health-related problems arise. Finally, parish nurses can connect church members with local resources and services.


16. Are Parish Nurses Direct Medical Care Providers?

Parish nurses are not direct medical care providers for the most part. They are trained in health promotion and disease prevention, and they provide support and education to parishioners. Parish nurses may also coordinate care for parishioners who have chronic illnesses.

In some cases, a parish nurse may work with a doctor or other health care provider to provide direct care to parishioners. For example, a parish nurse and doctor may work together to provide health screenings or flu shots to parishioners.


17. Does A Parish Nurse Implement Pastoral Activities When Providing Care?

As a parish nurse, you can implement pastoral activities when providing care. Pastoral activities can include anything from praying with a patient to providing spiritual resources. As a parish nurse, you are able to provide care for the whole person- body, mind, and spirit.


18. Can A Parish Nurse Change Dressings?

Yes, remember that first and foremost, you are a nurse and have nursing knowledge. If you are in need of changing a dressing, you are able to.


19. Is Faith Community Nursing Nationally Recognized?

Yes, faith community nursing is Nationally recognized. But, it has not been routinely taught in schools of nursing. However, the number of faith-based health ministries is steadily growing. There are many opportunities for nurses to minister within these settings. This can be accomplished through videos, webinars, conferences, and more.


20. Do Parish Nurses Work In Rural Areas?

Parish nurses can indeed work in rural areas. In fact, many rural communities can benefit significantly from the presence of a parish nurse. Parish nurses often link the medical and faith communities, providing much-needed healthcare services and education to rural residents.


21. Do Parish Nurses Work In Urban Areas?

Yes, you will find parish nurses working in urban areas. They often cooperate with other health care providers, such as primary care physicians, to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Parish nurses may also be involved in community outreach programs, providing health education and screenings in underserved neighborhoods.


22. Can An LPN Be A Parish Nurse?

Typically, parish nurses hold either an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing. Some states allow LPNs to be parish nurses; however, they will have a more limited scope of practice.


23. Does A Parish Nurse Facilitate Access To Community Resources?

As a parish nurse, you will be able to assess your clients’ needs and connect them with community resources. This ability will enable you to help clients meet their health goals and save them time and money.


24. Does A Parish Nurse Need A License?

Yes, a parish nurse will need to have a nursing license. This license is obtained by being successful on the National Credentialing licensure exam (NCLEX). Passing the NCLEX will allow you to be able to apply to the state that you plan on practicing to become licensed.


25. What Are The Two Parish-Based Modules For Faith Community Nurses?

The two parish-based modules for faith community nursing are Lifestyle Management and Holistic Healthcare. These two modules are designed to help in the health education of people and performance improvement among faith-based nursing agencies.

The Lifestyle Management module focuses on building relationships with patients, helping them build healthy habits, and providing guidance on how to make changes for the better. It also delves into depth about how chronic disease affects people's lives.

The Holistic Healthcare module, on the other hand, focuses more on providing care for the whole person. It deals with topics such as mental and spiritual health and physical health. This module also includes information on how to better manage stress and anxiety.


26. How Does Your Faith Community-Based Nursing Differ From Your Hospital-Based Nursing Practice?

Faith Community-Based Nursing differs from Hospital-Based Nursing Practice in a few key ways. First, faith-based nursing focuses on providing care to individuals within their faith community. This means that nurses working in this setting have a unique opportunity to build trusting relationships with their patients and get to know them personally.

Second, Faith Community-Based Nursing takes a more holistic approach to care, considering the whole person - body, mind, and spirit - in order to provide comprehensive care. This approach often includes incorporating faith into the care plan as a way to address the needs of the whole person.

Finally, Faith Community-Based Nursing is typically more hands-on and personal than Hospital-Based Nursing Practice. Nurses in this setting often have more time to give one-on-one care to each patient, really getting to know that patient and the unique challenges they face.


27. What Are The Top International Parish Nurse Associations?

The Top International Parish Nurse Associations are organizations that provide support and guidance to those in the field of Parish Nursing internationally. These organizations offer a variety of resources, including educational opportunities, networking events, and professional development resources. They also work to promote the profession of Parish Nursing and to advocate for the rights of those who practice it. The following are some of the top International Parish Nurse Associations.

The Association of International Parish Nurses (AIPN) is a professional organization that provides support and resources to parish nurses around the world. The AIPN works to promote the profession of Parish Nursing and to advocate for the rights of those who practice it.

The International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) is an ecumenical Christian denomination encompassing more than 400 churches worldwide. The ICCC offers continuing education opportunities, networking events, and professional development resources for its members.

The North American Association of Christians in Social Work is a professional organization that works to build peace through social work practice and advocacy. This association sponsors conferences, publications, and educational programs for its members. It advocates for the rights of those involved in social work.

The World Parish Nurse Resource Center (WPNRC) is a nonprofit organization that provides education and resources to practicing parish nurses who are interested in improving their skills. This association hosts an annual conference, which features keynote speakers from around the world as well as networking opportunities.


Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.