Parish Nursing: Promoting Whole Person Health Within Faith Communities

(Phyllis A. Solari-Twadell). SAGE Publications, 1999.

Twenty-six essays—written by nurses, physicians, pastors, health administrators, and teachers—introduce the history, theory, and practice of parish nursing. Each author gives a unique perspective on a profession that promotes “whole person health within faith communities.” Parish nursing can be a vital service beyond the congregation, especially to those who cannot afford medical care. As a pastoral caregiver, the parish nurse helps persons interweave medical attention, prayer, congregational presence, and the healing presence of God. (The authors agree that healing is distinct from cure. One can be healed—growing in the presence of God, congregation, family, and one’s own spirit—even when a physical cure is not possible.) Included in the book are discussions of context (ethics, accountability, documentation, differing faith traditions) and challenges (parish nursing types, education, and professional identity). 'Parish Nursing' is a thorough introduction to a demanding profession. Prospective parish nurses and employing congregations find will good descriptions of the profession and how it differs from other forms of nursing.