A Comparison of Urban Versus Rural Experiences of Nurses Volunteering to Promote Health in Churches

Authors

  • Mary Chase-Ziolek Ph.D., R.N.,

    1. Mary Chase-Ziolek was the Coordinator, Geriatric Health Ministry, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, during the project. Currently, she is the Director of Health Ministry Programs and an Assistant Professor in Health Ministries, North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. Jan Striepe is the former Parish Nurse Project Manager, Northwest Aging Association, Spencer, Iowa. Currently, she is a Consultant for Health Ministries, I.C.A.R.E., Newell, Iowa.
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  • Jan Striepe M.S., R.N.

    1. Mary Chase-Ziolek was the Coordinator, Geriatric Health Ministry, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, during the project. Currently, she is the Director of Health Ministry Programs and an Assistant Professor in Health Ministries, North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. Jan Striepe is the former Parish Nurse Project Manager, Northwest Aging Association, Spencer, Iowa. Currently, she is a Consultant for Health Ministries, I.C.A.R.E., Newell, Iowa.
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Address correspondence to Mary Chase-Ziolek, 5247 N. Wayne, Chicago, IL 60640.

Abstract

Recent years have seen a resurgence of the health and healing role of the church. Nurses have been involved in this movement through the development of health ministry and parish nursing with a growing number of nurses volunteering their services to congregations. This program evaluation research study compares two programs (one in an urban environment and the other in a rural environment) that use nurses who volunteer in congregations to promote health and well-being. The study found that the two programs differed significantly with regards to the location where nurses provided care. The urban nurses provided most service at the church, while the rural nurses provided service through home visits and phone calls as well as at the church. The groups were also significantly different in the ethnicity, education, work status, and age of the nurses. Further differences were also found in the type of services the nurses provided; for example, the rural nurses were more involved in case management and practical assistance than their urban peers. The two groups were similar in the program support they valued and in their appreciation of the opportunity to integrate their faith and their nursing practice.

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