The Parish Nurse: Facilitating Wholistic Health Through the LifespanCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

This course will focus on the family, illness and spirituality, discussing wholistic health issues throughout the lifespan. The overall goal of this course is to create excellence in parish nursing ministry while recognizing the unique issues and needs of children, adults and families. Meeting the needs of children and adolescents can be significantly different than those of adults. The needs of the older adult are at times complex. Meeting the needs of individuals and families pose many challenges for the parish nurse. This course builds on previously attained knowledge and skills to further prepare the Parish Nurse for the role as parish nurse in the faith community. Successful completion will contribute toward certification in parish nursing.

Please Note:
In order to run this course we need a minimum of 8 students to register for each offering.  If registration is not sufficient, the course will be withdrawn and offered again in the following year.  We regret any inconvenience to those who have registered. 

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Understand the role of the nurse in the provision of wholistic care across the lifespan
  • Discuss normal physical, emotional and spiritual growth and development as it relates through the life span
  • Understand the challenges encountered when caring for children, adolescents, middle adults, older adults and families
  • Increase awareness of the various needs of individuals and families experiencing chronic illness
  • Discuss the role of the parish nurse in supporting resilience in individuals and/or families through spiritual care
  • Understand the issues and needs during end of life transitions and the role of the parish nurse

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Mary Elizabeth O’Brien Spirituality in Nursing-- Standing on Holy Ground Sixth Edition, 2017, Jones & Bartlett Learning, LCC ISBN: 978-1284121001
  • Required Book: Michelle O’Rourke and Eugene Dufour Embracing the End of Life, Help for Those Who Accompany the Dying Novalis Publishing Inc. 2012 ISBN: 978-2-89646-396-1
  • Required Book: Janet S. Hickman Fast Facts for the Faith Community Nurse: Implementing FCN/Parish Nursing in a Nutshell (Vol 1) New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 2011 ISBN: 978-0826107121

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Wholistic Health For Children, Adolescents and Young Adults
    • Describe developmental theories, stages and tasks in the children’s, adolescent’s, and young adult’s life cycle
    • Identify spiritual needs of children, adolescents, and young adults
    • Develop and discuss a plan for interventions based on assessed unique spiritual needs
    • Discuss the role of the parish nurse in caring for children, adolescents and young adults based on their health issues, spirituality and developmental concerns
  • Week 2: Wholistic Health for Middle Adults and Older Adults
    • Describe developmental theories, stages and tasks in the middle and older adult’s life cycle
    • Identify spiritual needs of middle and older adults
    • Develop and discuss a plan for interventions based on assessed unique spiritual needs
    • Discuss the role of the parish nurse caring for middle and older adults based on their common health issues, spirituality and developmental concerns
  • Week 3: Caring for Families in the Faith Community
    • Describe developmental theories, stages and tasks in the family life cycle
    • Identify spiritual needs of the family
    • Develop and implement a plan for interventions based on a family's assessed unique wholistic needs
    • Consider the special needs of the family as caregiver.
    • Discuss the role of the parish nurse caring for families
  • Week 4: Impact and Management of Chronic Illness on Families
    • Describe the characteristics of chronic illness
    • Understand the challenges and special needs of persons and families with chronic illness
    • Identify coping strategies for the individual and family
    • Discover the resources available to maximize the potential for a meaningful quality of life including formal and informal social and spiritual support[br]
    • Describe parish nurse interventions in support of individuals and families living with chronic illness
  • Week 5: End of Life Transitions
    • Understand spiritual well-being and quality of life at the end of life
    • Understand the complex issues and needs of the patient and family at end of life
    • Discuss the parish nurse’s role in providing support, in particular spiritual support, as a component of end-of-life care
    • Discuss available resources to support individuals, families and caregivers including hospice palliative care
    • Describe the parish nurse’s role in collaborating within the healthcare system and the church to support end of life transitions