Parish Nursing: Nurturing Body, Mind, Spirit, and Community


Address correspondence to Ingrid Brudenell, R.N., Ph.D. Department of Nursing, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, Idaho 83275. E-mail:


Abstract  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.