Parish Nursing began in the mid-1980s in Chicago through the efforts of Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg. Parish nursing is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and the historic practice of professional nursing, and is consistent with the basic assumptions of many faiths that we care for self and others as an expression of God;s love.
Parish Nursing is not school nursing but a specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on intentional care of the spirit as well as whole health and prevention or minimization of illness in the context of the faith community. No hands-on nursing takes place but with intentional focus on whole health, through all age groups, parish nurses will use the interventions of education, counseling, prayer, presence, active listening, advocacy, referral, and a wide range of resources within the church and community.
Parish Nursing or a more recent name change, “Faith Community Nursing”, has been recognized by the American Nurses Association since 2005. There are more than 12,000 Parish Nurses (Faith Community Nurses) world wide. Kathy Ford RN has been a Parish Nurse for 28 years and has started 4 Parish Nursing Programs in the diocese of Joliet.