Starting a Parish Nurse Program is often times intertwined with starting a Health and Wellness Committee.
1. Learn all you can about Health Ministry and Parish Nurse Ministry (Pastor & Parish Council)
- Read books , journal articles, newspaper articles on both topics
- She this information with other interested people and arrage for discussion
- Brainstorm how this might work in the parish
- 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 by:
- Presentations at the parish council, parish committees, sermons etc.
- Post flyers in parish bulletins and newletters
- 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).
- Membership of this committee should include other health professionals and persons involved in some aspect of the health ministry
- 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 parish staff structure for:
- Relationships and communication with other staff members and committees
6. Secure Funding
- Seek additional outside resources to support parish nurse basic education i.e. Catholic Education Ministries and other grant providers that support religious activities
- Determine if the parish nurse will be paid or a volunteer staff member.
7. Select a Parish Nurse :
- Begin the parish nurse ministry with a blessing in the presence of the parish community.
- 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 How to Start a Wellness Committee in Your Church by Jill Westberg McNamara, IPRNC, 2002.