The role of the parish nurse was first envisioned in 1983 by the Reverend Granger E. Westberg, a Lutheran Pastor in Chicago, Illinois. Reverend Westberg felt that having a nurse on the church staff as a representative of the health sciences was a visible symbol of the close tie between one’s faith and one’s health. Parish nurses do most of their work in the areas of prevention/wellness, and focus on the intentional care of the spirit. Their main functions typically include the following areas: 1) health educator 2) personal health counselor 3) referral source 4) advocate and facilitator 5) integrator of faith and health. The parish nurse does not take the place of a primary care physician. They add another layer of care and support for the congregation.
Good Shepherd’s current parish nurse, Lois Bartels, is an ACNP and she was installed in May 1, 2016 as our 2nd Parish Nurse.
For more information about parish nursing, please visit www.parishnurses.org